Slathering on the SPF, keeping up your Omnilux appointments and still seeing the signs of premature ageing? Recent research suggests that it may be the device on which you’re reading this story that is the culprit!
We all know that exposure to the light from our phones can disrupt our sleep cycle and cause lasting damage to our eyes. Now, a 2017 study has found that in addition to UV radiation from the sun, exposure to high-energy visible light (HEVL) also known as blue light emitted by our electronic devices can cause premature ageing – and over a long period of time, even hyper-pigmentation. Greeeeeeeeat.
With statistics suggesting we check our phones upwards of 150 times a day (absorbing an average of 4 hours of blue light radiation daily), this is a real skincare concern that beauty brands have set about addressing.
WHAT DOES ‘DIGITAL AGEING’ LOOK LIKE?
There is a growing evidence to suggest that extended screen time impairs our skin’s barrier function, with research revealing that it can deteriorate elastin and destroy skin’s vitamin A, which is required for healthy skin turnover, by approximately 21% in just over eight minutes. As a result, skin becomes susceptible to inflammation, congestion and hyper-pigmentation.
Leading Sydney dermatologist, Dr. Natasha Cook, says the evidence is still out as to exactly how much damage it can do long term. Unlike UVA and UVA, “we know it does not cause skin cancer,” she says, “but excessive blue light is believed to accelerate the oxidation process, which is how it causes skin ageing”.
CAN SUNSCREEN FIX THIS?
Unfortunately your regular SPF won’t protect you against these pesky blue light rays. Cassandra Hilton, Founder and Director of Research and Development at Ocinium says, “Sunscreens are only designed to block UVA and UVB wavelengths and don’t protect the skin from the effects of visible light, however the use of blue light filters on devices and adjusting filters to night mode can help to reduce blue light emissions and their affects to the skin.”
BLUE LIGHT BARRIERS
Dr. Cook recommends wearing antioxidant vitamins such as Niacinamide B3 and Vitamin C to prevent the oxidative and inflammatory damages of digital ageing. These can be found in her excellent Concentrated Illuminator serum, which is swimming with the stuff.
NIOD’s Survival range and Dr. Sturm Anti-Pollution Drops also which run the gamut of environmental and digital protection powered by potent antioxidants and actives. Ocinium Elemental A+C+E and Alpha-H Essential Daily Vitamin Mist with vitamins A, B, C, D and E will help restore the vitamin A degraded by overexposure to blue light, and cosmeceutical specialist skincare brand, DNA Renewal’s new DNA Restoring Mask, is engineered with dna repair enzyme technology to combat free radical damage – both sun and smartphone-inflicted.
Tell us, how much time do you spend in front of an electronic device?
Did you know about ‘Digital Ageing’?