Ep03: When I scored at a work meeting, but failed miserably at beauty sleep


  • Time 4 min
  • Date August 1, 2020

"I had stayed up late researching the effects of blue light on beauty sleep. Ah, the irony!"

It was my first official meeting at DoYou — we were mulling over the toxic effects of excessive screen time on skin and the best way to explain it to busy women, considering half of us run our lives digitally. It seemed like an oxymoron to me though — explaining the ravages of screen time to adults who ravaged screen time like it was going out of style. Work or entertainment, there is always a screen involved. We were working to come up with interesting yet simple ways to explain this to urban, busy women at an interactive session at a corporate event, the next day.

We were a team of 7, including 2 new recruits — me and, hold your breath, Ms. Perfect (psst, the Wikipedia).  She had been taken on too. Difficult to say who was more surprised to see the other LOL. Oh, and did I mention that her name was Mallika? Fitting, right? Anyway, baring that one little thing, my day was going pretty well. Now if only I cud come up with a brilliant idea.

The whiteboard was already a riot of colours, arrows and bullet points. Everyone seemed to have some really neat ideas, including Mallika — from changing digital device backgrounds to night mode to using protective screens as filters. As I skimmed through them, I winced as I read the third point — excessive screen time leads to overexposure to blue light. I was so guilty of that. Scrolling through my Instagram feed in the darkness of my room, without mom hovering over like a watchdog, had been one of the perks of adulting. In fact, I had stayed up late researching about the effects of blue light on beauty sleep. Ah, the irony!

 

Blue light affects the internal body clock and results in sleep deprivation, eye strain, uneven pigmentation and even premature ageing. I gasped… I was experiencing the first one. Thankfully, the rest had not shown up yet. Surprisingly, I learnt that sunscreen, though not specifically designed for protection from blue light, does form a physical barrier that can block it? Awesome or what!

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“I knew I had boss lady’s attention… and everyone’s in the conference room.”

Back to the ideas, I was yet to give mine and was a little nervous. As if on cue, boss lady looked at me and asked for my opinion. I cleared my throat… Mallika gave me a thumbs up. I warmed at her generosity, but then in an undertone meant only for me, she said, “Please no vacuum cleaners or mops.” I looked at her, she had the sweetest smile on and I realised that she meant to deflate my confidence. Not this time, babe! I looked at boss lady and confidently told her that I felt that a different approach was needed. I had her attention… and that of everyone else in the room.

There was pin-drop silence and everyone in the room held their breath, me included. I began nervously.

“This is a group in need of instant gratification and we should give them that. Instead of telling them, we should prove it to them. Let’s not just talk to them, let’s give them an experience. How about we take tiny vials of Vitamin E and ask them to apply it to their face, four times a day for three days? The only requirement was that, post-application, they would have to place a moist cloth on their face and rest for half an hour. At the end of the experiment, most of them will notice a visible glow on their face.”

I looked around to see expressionless faces, except that of boss lady. She looked straight at me and asked, “You mean a placebo effect? The two hours of reduced screen time per day will be what does the trick, and not really the Vitamin E or the moist cloth. Right?”, she asked. I nodded and said, “When they see this for themselves, they might make more efforts to reduce screen time.”

Boss lady loved the idea but was sceptical if it would work, though she did decide to run with it in the end. That itself had me thrilled, My first official brainstorming session had been a success.

Would my idea have the same fate?

Fingers, toes, elbows and knees crossed.

What Megha learnt about blue light:

  • Excessive screen time = exposure to blue light
  • Slows down your skin’s overnight repair process
  • Shows on your face as hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles
  • Starter protection pack requires loyalty to your tube of sunscreen
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