Is Screen time affecting your skin’s appearance?
Have you seemed run down since lockdown? If so, here’s another question – how often have you been watching content on your laptop, smartphone or tablet?
Exposure to blue light can be caused by the sun, as well as electronic devices. There is evidence to suggest that blue light can impact the skin, and here Dr Anna Puri explains what blue light is, how it can damage the skin, and tips to prevent this damage. Read on!
What is blue light?
‘Blue light or high energy visible light, as it is also referred to – is a high frequency, short wave type of light which is located in the violet/blue band’ explains Dr Anna.’ It is understood to account for half of the sunlight spectrum. Along with TVs, smartphones and tablets, it is also emitted by indoor lighting such as LED bulbs.’
What damage can blue light cause to our skin?
‘While exposure to blue light as a result of natural sunlight can elevate your mood, improve your memory, and increase alertness, at night this is a different story. Looking at your electronic devices during the evening hours can disrupt the circadian rhythm of the body, which can make it harder to enjoy a restful night’s sleep.
Research also suggests that blue light could have a similar effect to ultraviolet light on the skin, contributing to free radical formation. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage our cells. There is evidence that blue light can also penetrate deeper into the skin, causing a breakdown of collagen and dullness of skin.’
We understand blue light from electronic devices after dark can also be damaging to the skin, but what can we do to reduce, and even prevent, this damage? Here are Dr Anna’s top tips:
Reduce exposure – Reducing exposure is the simplest way to protect your skin from potential damage from blue light. For many of us, that will mean a ‘switch off period’ before bed. A time which is ringfenced from engagement with electronic devices that emit blue light. This could be 7pm, 8pm, or 9pm – the key is to give yourself at least an hour before bed when you don’t engage in activities involving blue light.
Consider yellow-tinted screen protectors that block the blue light emitted.
Use night mode – many devices have their own functionality to protect you from blue light exposure, such as the night mode setting which significantly reduces blue light and replaces it with harmless yellow light.
Include products in your routine that protect your skin from Blue light damage.The best combination is a broad spectrum sunscreen and an antioxidant with the antioxidant being key to helping to protect against oxidative stress.
What are the best products for blue light protection?
Our recommended products to help protect skin from the damage caused by blue light
Neostrata Antioxidant Defense Serum – This powerful, concentrated serum formulated to combat oxidation-induced photoaging. The formula contains 8 powerful, multi-action antioxidants to combat oxidative damage and protect the skin from premature aging. Citric Acid and Lilac, Green Tea, and Chardonnay Grape Seed Extracts works together to neutralize five different types of free radicals and helps preserve healthy DNA.
Medik8 Tetra C Serum– Restore radiance and fight visible signs of ageing with C-Tetra. Utilising the antioxidant power of vitamin C and E, the hydrating serums brighten and smooth the complexion, while fighting free radicals to reduce visible signs of ageing. Stimulates the production of collagen and elastin to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as well as visibly brightening the complexion and balancing skin tone.
Obagi C Serum 10%- infuses skin with L-ascorbic acid, the only form of vitamin C suitable for topical application. Designed to penetrated deep into your skin, this formula provides effective antioxidant protection from UV damage as it brightens away hyperpigmentation and encourages the growth of collagen and elastin fibres.
Glo Skin Oil Free SPF40 Sunscreen -Ideal for oilier skin types . Provides broad-spectrum protection from the sun’s damaging rays while nourishing hydrators and antioxidants fortify the skin. This oil free moisturiser with SPF contains Hyaluronic Acid to attract and maintain hydration and protect skin against free radical damage. Plus, Zinc Oxide, Octinoxate and Octisalate to provide powerful broad-spectrum protection ageing harmful UVA and UVB rays
Neostrata Sheer Physical Sunscreen -. Using a blend of physical UV filters, including Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, alongside an antioxidant PHA/Bionic complex, this sheer fluid effectively protects against sun damage while preserving a youthful level of collagen within the skin. It also provides a sheer mattifying tint that adapts to suit all skin tones to even out discolouration and redness
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