Is your phone ruining your skin and body?
There’s a slew of factors we expose ourselves to on a daily basis that wreak havoc on our bodies and our skin.
FFor starters, there are the common culprits, like sun exposure, exhaust emitted from cars, trucks, and trains, and pollution that all cause damage to our skin and bodies. But a somewhat new aging instigator now exists, and experts believe it to be detrimental to our skin. Known as blue light, or High Energy Visible Light (HEV Light), this short-wavelength light is on the blue end of the spectrum of visible light and released from smartphone and computer screens, overhead and indoor lighting and televisions. Unbeknownst to many, the sun also emanates blue light, so you’re technically being bombarded from all angles.
One of the most talked about negative aspects of blue light is potential eye damage, specifically in the form of cataracts and glaucoma. Research from the University of Toledo shows that blue light, “hits a molecule called retinal that triggers a cascade of reactions that could be toxic to the retina.”
But it’s not just the eyes that are harmed. A study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology reports that the visible light can produce immediate changes in skin pigment that leads to long-term pigmentation, most notably in the form of often stubborn melasma. Other studies assess visible changes in the skin, like redness, as well as invisible ones, like free radical production, which can speed up the rate at which the body ages and initiate collagen and elastin breakdown. Research on blue light damage has led to an uptick in the use of protective antioxidants and ingredients, like polypodium leucotomos root, in beauty and nutraceutical products.
Because so many of us are in constant close contact with our reliable palm-sized devices, it’s becoming more commonplace for the effects of blue light exposure to be seen on the surface of the skin (although you can’t visibly see the light). There’s no denying that the amount of time we spend on our phones and computers and watching T.V. adds up to more blue light exposure than ever before. Light radiated from the sun coupled with HEV light released devices leaves us at even greater risk for damage.
As if that’s not enough, blue light is also said to be disruptive to a healthy circadian rhythm, which is our natural sleep-wake cycle. Although blue light can help regulate normal sleep patterns, too much exposure to it alters the natural levels of melatonin in our bodies. When melatonin levels are low, it can be hard to fall asleep. (On a side note, if you have trouble shutting off at the end of the day and falling asleep, we recommend Hush & Hush MindYourMind, a melatonin-free supplement that sets the stage for inner peace and restful sleep).
While the jury is still split as to just how much device-generated blue light exposure is needed for negative effects to be seen on the skin and body, as well as the frequency of exposure, we say it’s best to veer on the side of caution and protect yourself as much as possible. Sunscreen is non-negotiable, and it’s crucial to always protect your skin from the inside out and the outside in. Stockpile your anti-aging arsenal with these products that do your body good and protect against blue light damage.
Hush & Hush TimeCapsule ($75)
Hands down the most powerful defender when it comes to blue light, this daily nutraceutical contains antioxidants like vitamin E and polypodium leucotomos root (a tropical fern known to block out UV rays when taken orally) that give an extra layer of protection.
Dr. Loretta Anti-Aging Repair Moisturizer ($70)
This anti-aging cream not only works to lessen the visible appearance of lines and wrinkles on the skin’s surface, but it also contains a unique vitamin E-derived ingredient known as Chromabright that helps protect against free radical damage emitted from UV and HEV light.
Peepers Center Stage Focus ($25)
Your eyes are at risk of blue light damage just like your skin. Filtering out 40 percent of blue light, these protective lenses safeguard eyes from the damaging effects of computer, television and smartphone screens.
Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30+ ($40)
A good sunscreen is essential for any anti-aging plan. But if you really want to be skin savvy and are looking to preserve the integrity of your skin, a powerpacked SPF that also contains free radical-scavenging antioxidants to defend against environmental aggressors is a must. This one does just that—plus, it leaves the skin with a hint of sheer, natural-looking coverage, too.
Pur Cosmetics Light Up Collection (Starting at $15)
The first of its kind, this color cosmetic line is infused with Xanthphyll to ward off HEV and blue light damage. Not only are you protecting your skin, but you also get the benefit of added color—talk about a one-two punch!
Invisible Shield Glass+ VisionGuard+ (Starting at $44.99)
One of the best ways to limit blue light damage is by applying a protective shield to your devices. A screen protector of sorts, like this ultrathin one, filters out blue light and limits digital eye strain, too.