Feeling the Blues
Mar 01, 2018 07:00AM
Your phone’s blue light might be aging your skinOver and over, you’ve heard that the blue light from your phone disturbs your sleep patterns—but could it be harming more than just your REM cycle? Research suggests that blue hue might actually be affecting your skin, too, though further studies are still needed. Is the age of wearing sunscreen just to look at your smartphone or tablet upon us?
Maybe, if skincare companies have anything to say about it. First, here are the details:
The radiation from the blue light (which is, in scientific circles, known as high-energy visible light, or HEV) emitted from your digital devices penetrates deep into your skin—farther down that UVB or UVA rays from the sun. There, it can damage the layers of the skin that contain collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. When that happens, you see the effect as aging.
And, so sad to say, there’s more—a 2014 study determined that this HEV light could affect skin pigmentation, particularly in those with darker skin types, causing melasma—gray-brown patches on the skin.
Can sunscreen protect against this? Well, currently, the vast majority of sunscreens aren’t tested to determine if it blocks HEV light. However, a patent is pending on Liposhield HEV, an ingredient that can be incorporated into sunscreens that protects against blue light. Soon, though, dermatologists might be recommending to be using this form of sun protection every day.
For now, though, experts agree that more research is needed before coming to a final conclusion on the risks of HEV light from digital devices—though it wouldn’t hurt to install a blue light filter on your device or change the settings to decrease the amount of blue light that it put out.
One thing is for sure: Focus should still be on protecting your skin from the sun’s UVB/UVA rays—which experts indisputably know causes premature skin aging.