Your Phone is the Secret Culprit to Wrinkles, According to New Research

Protecting the skin from the sun should be a rule set in stone by now, and we know that we should slather on SPF every day (you do wear your sunscreen, right?) Well, fasten your seatbelts because our skin has a new sworn enemy: blue light.

Before you say, “What? I don’t see this blue light anywhere, I’m probably safe.” If you’re reading this, yep, you’re staring blue light right in the face. It’s the light from phones, laptops, tablets, and computer screens, and we spend an enormous chunk of our time on these gadgets every day. Blue light is known as High Energy Visible (HEV) light, and scientists say it contributes to developing wrinkles.

“Studies have shown that blue light can induce oxidative stress in the skin,” says Dr. Stefanie Williams, a specialist dermatologist and dubbed as ‘one of Britain’s best cosmetic doctors’. Oxidation is the process that causes gradual damage to the skin, producing free radicals and speeding up aging.

Compared to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, blue light has a longer wavelength, which means it penetrates the skin more deeply. Thus, it’s easier for HEV to destroy collagen and elastin – the components that give us firm and youthful skin.

According to Roshida Khanom, associate director of beauty and personal care at Mintel, recent scientific studies suggest that blue light exposure may accelerate pigmentation changes, add fine lines, and cause wrinkles.

“It’s clear from our research that most consumers are unaware of the damage HEV light is capable of doing to our skin,” adds Khanom.

So how do we protect our skin from blue light? We obviously can’t stay away from screens forever. Thankfully, the skincare industry never stops innovating and delivering solutions to our skin dilemmas. Here are some of the most advanced protectors that help shield us from HEV.

Priori TETRA fx251 Broad Spectrum SPF45

In this product, Priori introduces us to a next-generation SPF, namely GPF or Genetic Protection Factor. TETRA throws in four layers of defense —  UVA and UVB protection, antioxidants, DNA repair enzymes, and High-Intensity Radiation Complex. Aside from the traditional sun shield, it also protects the skin from harsh environmental elements, including blue light. Furthermore, it contains an exclusive IR Complex which counters the damaging effects of radiation. Combining a powerful blend of carnosine, soliberine, and sepia melanin, TETRA not only blocks infrared rays and 43% of HEV light but fights against free radicals, too.

Eucerin Sun Anti-Age Face Fluid SPF30

Made for all skin types, this facial sunscreen offers high factor UVA and UVB protection and HEV defense. Its anti-HEV ingredient is called Licochalcone A, an anti-inflammatory agent that mops up free radicals. It protects the deeper epidermal skin layers, which are the ones targeted by blue light’s long wavelengths.

Trilogy Multi-Shield Moisturiser SPF15

While it protects the skin from UVA and UVB with its decent broad-spectrum range, it also shields the skin from the damaging effects of blue light. Trilogy adds the ingredient Pepha-Age, which is scientifically proven to increase the skin’s defenses to blue light. Pepha-Age is derived from freshwater algae, and has zinc, vitamin B3, and amino acids.

With the changing environment and technological advances, our skin needs increased protection to keep it healthy and glowing. Our long hours in front of computer screens and phones have been contributing to skin damage, and new studies have proven it recently. Keep in mind that although products are available to offer protection from harmful blue light, it’s still a good practice to turn off our screens once in a while.