Since the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, we have been spending an increasing amount of time in front of our laptop, phone and television screens working from home and for entertainment. The reality is we give very little thought to how the blue light emitted from our devices (and also the sun) is affecting our skin, potentially causing long-term skin damage, skin tone issues and inflammation. If you’re serious about preventing premature aging, it would be my advice that unfortunately protecting from UVA and UVB rays is no longer enough.
WHAT IS BLUE LIGHT?
Simply put when we turn on our device of choice and the screen brightens, that glow is called visible light – named so because, unlike other light forms, it is visible to the naked eye. The blue light immitted from our various devices falls within the middle of the light spectrum, between UV rays from the sun (which we know cause skin aging, damage and even cancer) and infrared rays (from heat). Scientists are finding increasing evidence that chronic exposure to such intense visible light impacts our skin health.
HOW DOES IT DAMAGE OUR SKIN?
With the average millennial checking their phones and having screen time of upwards of 3 hours a day there simply is a lot more visible light to contend with in our new lives. Thankfully, there is no proven link between blue light and skin cancer, however, it can penetrate deep into the skin, sparking inflammation and unleashing free radicals which attack our cells, contributing to premature aging and a host of degenerative diseases. In short, blue light triggers an inflammatory response in the skin that can exacerbate redness and set off enzymes that break down collagen and elastin proteins. It’s this structural weakening and degradation that contributes to fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging. Sadly, that’s not all. Inflammation in the skin can lead to disrupting the skin’s moisture barrier which is key for normal cell turn over. This leads to dryness and irritation. Not what we want.
The most well-studied skin risk posed by blue light is that of hyperpigmentation – you know those stubborn brown splotches? Intense exposure to blue light can cause a darkening of existing pigmentation and worsening melasma.
SO, WHAT CAN WE DO?
PUT OUR PHONES DOWN
Now before you cancel facetiming with your mum it’s important to remember we are talking about chronic levels of exposure here. Something simple you can do to drastically reduce blue light’s affects is simply to put down your phone or limit your device usage. Keep in mind that every time you mindlessly illuminate that screen, you are bathing your skin with blue light. Can’t break the habit? Many smart phones have a brightness function where you can adjust the amount of blue light your phone omits – turn (way) that down.
MAKE SPF NON-NEGOTIABLE
Now hopefully you are already receiving gold stars for your SPF usage however, if you’re not now’s the time. As I’ve said before SPF is an anti-aging non-negotiable. Look for an SPF that provides broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays and make sure to apply it every day you expect to be using a smart phone or other device. Spoiler alert: that’s pretty much 24/7 365, so the old ‘oh it’s cloudy outside I don’t need SPF’ excuse won’t cut it. Sorry about that!
INVEST IN ANTIOXIDANTS
Whether applied directly to the skin or taken orally antioxidants help to extinguish free radicals that wreak inflammation havoc on our skin and slow skin aging. In my experience, the pick of the bunch must be Vitamin C but products that are rich in other antioxidants may offer added protection. The Bemora Protect & Rejuvenate Instant Glow Elixir and our Superfruit Daily Vitamin Boost Oil contain a unique blend of powerful anti-inflammatory essential oils that help calm, soothe, and balance your skin. Luxurious ingredients such as Vitamin C, Coenzyme Q10, Rosehip, Sea Buckthorn, Pomegranate and Red Raspberry seed oil, act as an antioxidant powerhouse to protect your skin and encourage cell turnover.
Incorporate a little of nature’s power into your routine to protect against the damaging potential of blue light and your skin might just thank you in the long run.
Founder of BEMORA Skincare
BEMORA, Be More You
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