It's sinister, trapping you in a web of connection and information. But, the very thing that lets you see the world through the eyes of your phone or tablet is looking back at you, and sneakily, stealthily, robbing your skin of age and beauty.
Electronics use blue light to enhance the picture they produce, but it's doing more than just creating something that looks good.
You might have heard by now that blue light is responsible for some sleep problems many people have. It can affect melatonin, the hormone you need to be able to sleep soundly and peacefully. The blue light tricks your brain into thinking it's the middle of the day, keeping you awake. Blue light insomnia is a thing.
But we're finding it's also doing more than that. As people are looking at their phones and tablets later in the evening, blue light affects your skin.
Let's take a look at how.
What is Blue Light and Why Does It Matter to Your Skin?
Blue light is one of the natural colors of the visible light spectrum. Unlike the natural sun, which is rather balanced, electronics give off a higher percentage of blue light.
The issue is with the high energy visible (HEV) light. With the increased amount of time people spend on their phones and tablets, some estimates say we spend 50% of our lives staring at screens. Not only does this contribute to eye strain and other eye diseases, but it's also affecting your mental health.
But according to some dermatologist, it's also prematurely aging your skin. According to a study published by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, blue light disrupts the circadian rhythm of skin cells. Yes, your skin needs to sleep just like you.
What happens during your skin's regenerative cycle is that your skin will heal and repair the damage it experiences during the day. But, under exposure to blue light, especially in the evenings, that rhythm is thrown off and your skin does not get a chance to recover.
The Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that exposing the skin to more blue light from the sun causes increased pigmentation, redness, and swelling. It's one of the pivotal pieces of science that opened the way to this research.
Interestingly, it seems to affect people with darker skin tones more than people with light skin tones. It's believed that blue light stimulates the production of free radicals, which in multiple studies accelerates the appearance of aging.
How To Avoid Blue Light Eye Strain & Skin Aging
So, blue light contributes to wrinkles, flabby skin, and hyperpigmentation. However, it's not known exactly how much blue light is needed to start noticing changes.
Your best bet is to follow some simple guidelines to protect your skin.
First, you should stay away from screens for approximately two hours before you sleep. This gives your brain and skin a chance to acclimate itself to the night and let you sleep.
Secondly, don't let your screens get any closer than 12 inches from your face. This will help protect your eyes and your skin.
Third, moisturized daily and use a good soap. The article we have here really helps with that.
Finally, a good moisturizer with a low-level sunblock can help. Dermatologists say sunblock with UVA and UVB protection helps, plus using a moisturizer with antioxidants. Eating foods with lots of antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, also helps.
How To Take Care Of Your Skin To Avoid Problems
So, if you're starting a skincare routine, you should look for good products for the outside of your skin and the best combination of food and supplements to get beauty from within.
Healthy, natural moisturizers help supply your skin with oils and antioxidants that benefit your skin. These products are usually more expensive because they do not contain harsh chemicals and the natural products are more susceptible to oxidative damage.
Most natural products have a natural oil base, which has to be preserved, typically with vitamin E. But, this preservation doesn't last that long. You would need to use the product often to get the best benefit.
You should also look at habitual changes that help keep your phone and tablet farther away from your eyes to avoid damage. If you're not exposing yourself to the damaging light, you have less to repair.
Finally, choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to get plenty of antioxidants that work from within. If your body is healthy on the inside, it will show on the outside. You can also choose supplements that provide a lot of antioxidant benefits. These typically are vitamins A, C, D, and E. Minerals include zinc, magnesium, and selenium. There are also hundreds of herbs and natural food extracts that provide a tremendous amount of antioxidant potential.
Some of the best foods you can eat are dark red and blue fruits. Things like pomegranate, blueberries, raspberries, and plums have the best antioxidant potential of your food. Nutrients to truly be healthy works wonders.