June 19, 2020
Are Your Devices
Ageing your Skin?
During the lockdown, we’ve been directed to spend more time indoors—and for those that have been able to work from home, you might have noticed an increase in your overall screen time as a result. And though many of us regularly use SPF to protect our skin against UVA and UVB rays while outdoors, many are still unaware of the effects that blue light—or High Energy Visible (HEV) light—has on our skin while working indoors. This light emits from all of our digital devices—so how can we protect our skin against its ageing effects? We’ve compiled the research and findings for you on how you can protect your skin from blue light effects, read on below.
What is blue light?
Blue light is a high-energy, short-wavelength spectrum of visible light. The main sources of blue light exposure are from the sun, digital screens and indoor lighting.
Effects of blue light
Blue light plays an important part in regulating our circadian rhythm – the sleep-wake cycle. It also elevates our mood and boost alertness – which is useful during the daytime. However, if we are exposed to a large amount of blue light at night – from a nightly scroll through Instagram or final binge on Netflix, for example – it might make it harder for you to fall asleep. Furthermore, it could trick your skin into 'thinking' it's daytime, which impacts its ability to repair itself during your sleeping hours at night. This, in turn, can lead to increased signs of ageing in your complexion.
Blue light can lead to loss of firmness in the skin and an increase in visible lines and wrinkles, as it has the ability to penetrate deeper into the dermis than both UVA and UVB rays.
Furthermore, beyond causing sleep issues and possible skin damage, some studies have shown that blue light can also harm your eyesight.
Protection from blue light damage
You always need to protect your skin both when you’re indoors and outdoors – whether it’s from sunlight or from digitally emitted blue light. Luckily there are some easy fixes that you can make. On your smartphones, you can choose to disable blue light using the 'night mode' feature. The feature turns blue light from your device into yellow light – to protect both your skin and eyesight.
Many of us can’t avoid the screens as we rely on them for both work and entertainment purposes, but what we can do to lower skin damage is dimming the brightness to around 50%.
Plus, applying products that are enriched with antioxidants will shield your skin from damaging effects of blue light and environmental aggressors. Look for products that contain ingredients such as Vitamins C & E. In the morning, make sure to apply an SPF with antioxidants – we recommend trying Paula's Choice Resist Anti-Aging Moisturiser SPF50 or Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF50.
In the evening, deeply cleanse your skin to remove any SPF residue, before following up with the rest of your skincare routine. We love Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm for this purpose as it’s great at cleansing and it’ll leave your skin feeling nourished.
To protect your skin at night after cleansing, look for products that boost the skin's natural renewal process such as Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II or Allies of Skin 1A Retinal + Peptides Overnight Mask.
One of the best methods to prevent further blue light skin ageing damage is to reduce your screen time. For example, if you are partial to a midnight movie binge, switch to reading a physical book instead. If you find yourself reaching for the phone multiple times a day out of boredom, you can set a timer to lock yourself out of certain apps, too.