Bad News: The Light from Your Phone and Computer Screens Could Be Aging Your Skin
While it's not as damaging as the sun, it turns out that the blue light from your screen could be harmful to your skin.
We have some troubling news for all the rest of you who, like us, tend to spend your days glued to a screen... It could be causing your skin to age faster.
According to research done by the dermatology department of the Berlin University of Medicine, the blue light emitted by our electronic devices (such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops) could pose a risk to our skin if exposed in high enough doses.
This "blue light", or more technically High-Energy Visible Light (HEV), is all around us: in addition to our smart phones and modern devices, it's also present in daylight, as well as both florescent and LED lighting. However, it's only as our technology screen usage increases that its effects have started to become a point of concern and study.
While no research has found any ties between blue light and skin cancer (or any other serious skin-related diseases), some studies have suggested a correlation between exposure and potential skin damage, including the one from Berlin University, which found that high exposure decreases cartenoids (skin pigments) in a similar way to infrared or ultraviolet light does.
More research may be needed to explore this link more thoroughly, but that discovery alone certainly raises concerns.
Many dermatologists and skin specialists have been quick to support this idea, as well. According to Dr. Howard Murad, a certified dermatologist and founder of Murad Skincare, "Excessive blue light accelerates the oxidation process, causing hyperpigmentation, its oxidative effects elicit inflammation and damage the skin barrier making it more prone to signs of ageing, increased uneven skin tone, dullness, pigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles."
In response to this growing concern, the beauty industry, too, has stepped in in an effort to provide solutions to worried consumers. Since around 2015, products intended specifically to combat the effects of blue light have begun to line the shelves, and the market looks promising for more.
However, while these products may provide healthy ingredients for your skin, it's important to point out that this issue still has a lot of unanswered questions, and researchers are still unsure of the extent of long-term damage that blue light could be causing.
It's a good excuse, though, to limit the amount of time you spend on your devices, as over-use is dangerous in more ways than just blue light. We also recommend you wear sunscreen on a regular basis (not just when it's sunny out) to help protect your skin from damaging light, whether it's coming from your phone or anywhere else.
Want another great reason to wear sunscreen? It turns out it doesn't just prevent aging... It can actually reverse it!