On our quest for anti-ageing, we might be overlooking a vital part of our daily lives that is slowly taking its toll on our skin: our smartphones. In fact, not just your phone but your TV, computer and any piece of technology you use that emits blue light.
This blue light (HEV – high energy visible) penetrates the skin even deeper than UV rays which we already know the dangers of. This light damages your skin’s collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin.
We all know that we should wear a high-quality SPF come rain or shine to prevent premature ageing, but that’s no longer enough, especially as our lives become increasingly digital and we spend more and more time staring at screens of varying sizes; blue light has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin with both UVA and UVB light, getting all the way to our dermis. And even more worryingly, we are now exposed to significantly more blue light exposure than we used to from the sun alone.
Just as we all know sun exposure is bad for us, we know that getting our beauty sleep in is also important. Blue light compromises that sleep. If you’re subjected to large amounts of blue light just before bed, it’s more difficult to fall asleep, this is because blue light also affects the level of melatonin in our bodies – melatonin is our sleep hormone.
If we go even further beyond wrinkles and sleep, blue light is also harming our eyes. How many of you feel like your eyesight has deteriorated since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic? Mine too! There is significant research that indicates just how damaging unprotected exposure to blue light from our digital devices is. Of course, blue light emitted from sunlight leads to premature ageing of our skin and our eyes.
Luckily there are things we can do to minimise the effects of blue light on our skin, sleep and eyesight. And that doesn’t mean you have to stop scrolling through Instagram.
By simply buying a blue light shield you can be rest assured that you are helping to protect yourself against blue light. Likewise, some phones have a night mode which when activated, tones down the blue light emissions and is less harsh on eyes and skin. I use this tool all the time as part of my anti-ageing and eye-saving quest.
There is another thing that we can be doing to protect ourselves against blue light: apply a sunscreen. Just because it’s Autumn or Winter, it’s cloudy or raining does not mean you should scrimp on wearing sunscreen. Invest in a good quality SPF, wear it every day to protect against the damaging effects of blue light from devices.
Lastly, limit your screen time. Not only is it good for our mental wellbeing, but a digital detox, however light, can actually be helping your skin and reducing your chances of premature ageing.