Screen Time and Your Skin: Are your devices aging you?

We’re all guilty of being in front of a screen way too often – heck, I am right now, writing this. Whether it’s your computer, smart phone, tablet or TV, our skin is constantly exposed to blue light emitted by our devices.

And now, scientists have been looking into the effects screen time is having on our skin.

It’s being dubbed “screen face” but how serious is it? Do we really need to be concerned?

Here is what has been confirmed so far

High-energy visible light – also known as blue light – is emitted by our devices as well as fluorescent lighting and daylight. The primary concern with blue light is that it generates free radicals when we are exposed to it.

In the case of blue light and free radical damage, it is causing collagen and elastin to weaken and die. And this can lead to early signs of aging or increase the signs of aging.

Adding to the problem is our tendency to use smart phones and tablets right up until we go to bed, and even continuing to wake up and check them throughout the night.

Using devices at night disrupts our circadian rhythms, which results in us having trouble falling – and staying – asleep. But the issue is bigger than lack of sleep. Our cellular repair is greatest at night, so on top of accelerating the production of free radicals, we’re compromising the regeneration process of our skin.

So while our collagen and elastin are being threatened due to UV rays, blue light, and the natural aging process, you’ve just reduced the rate of repair even further by using your phone or tablet, or watching TV late into the night.

The good news is, blue light itself, unlike UV rays, does not contribute to skin cancer. This is because it doesn’t induce DNA mutations the same way the sun does.

What can you do to limit « Screen Face »?

You can reduce your exposure by placing a specialized screen that filters blue light over your devices or by adjusting the level of blue light on your computer and phone.

It is also a good idea to shut off devices a couple of hours before bed. Read a book, play a game, do something else to wind down before going to bed. This will help get your circadian rhythm back in check.

Finally, use skin-loving products that reduce free-radical damage. Look for products that contain Vitamin E, and include ingredients that are sourced from nature.

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