A close friend of mine described our generation as ‘screenagers’. That term basically means people moving from one screen to another. Come to think of it, what he said is true. Most of us who rely on digital media or the internet to earn our bread and butter spend a minimum of 8-9 hours on our gadgets and during leisure, another 1-2 hours binge-watching on our favourite TV shows or worse, scrolling through Instagram. We rarely give our eyes a chance to rest nor, our skin. What’s even scarier is that these screens produce something called ‘blue light’.
So what is it?
Simply put, blue light or High Energy Visible Light is light that’s emitted from electronic gadgets.
Where does it come from?
Some of the most common sources of blue light are laptop screens, cellphones, tablets, televisions and certain types of light bulbs. Believe it or not, but blue light emits higher levels of light as compared to the sun. While this does not only take a toll on your eyes, it also does the same for your skin.
Why is it bad for your skin?
According to Dr Harshna Bijlani, Medical Head of The Ageless Clinic & Celebrity Skin Expert, “frequent exposure to blue light causes pigmentation, free radical damage and breakdown of collagen, resulting in accelerated skin ageing.”
Dr Harshna Bijlani says, “Similar to UVA and UVB, try and limit your exposure to HEV light. You can use skin care products that are made to protect your skin from blue light exposure. The Beyond Sun Protection by Crystal Tomato® sunscreen is one such option(Rs 7,196 at the Ageless Clinic).”
“Apart from that, we know that mobile phones emit dangerous radiation, we know they are receptacles of germs – yet we love them and have them stuck to our cheek lovingly for many hours of the day! I would suggest that it’s best to limit time in front of your phone, use a blue light reducing filter or setting (some of the newer phones have it as a built-in option) and most importantly use a handsfree headset but ideally a wired one (Bluetooth may have its own issues but we’ll leave that for another day)”
Adding to what Dr Harshna Bijlani said, you can also apply a special screen filter on your phone’s screen to protect both, your eyes and skin. Every 20 minutes look away from your screen for 30 seconds. Before you go to sleep, do not touch your phone for an hour. Even if you’re indoors, you should be wearing a moisturiser that contains SPF in it. The same rule applies for wearing makeup with SPF in it! Apart from that, there are a few products – skincare and makeup that contain ingredients that can protect your skin from blue light exposure.
If you have constant exposure to blue light, it might be worth investing in products that can protect your skin from any damage. Here some products that will protect your skin from blue light.
If your skin is red, dry and looks dull, then you need this moisturiser. Packed with omega-rich cannabis Sativa seed (hemp) oil and antioxidant-rich Chaga mushroom, your skin will recover from inflammation and irritation. A plus point is it also helps to protect your skin from blue light exposure.
Frequently exposing your skin to blue light damages the and dries it out too. You need a moisturiser that has SPF in it to protect your skin adequately. This one, in particular, gives your skin an immediate line-smoothening matte finish and prevents the breakdown of collagen. Loaded with flaxseed oils, rosehip oil and gamma-linolenic acid, these ingredients improve skin’s elasticity and retain moisture.
These supplements promise to provide a daily dose of potent carotenoids and vital nutrients that provide protection to your eyes. The bilberry and beetroot extracts in these babies also help to improve eye strain, dry eyes and tired eyes. It is recommended that you consume one tablet daily to protect your vision from blue light. But as is the case with any supplements, you might want to check this with your doctor first.
The entire purpose of a primer is to smooth the surface of your skin, even your skin tone and helps to make your makeup stay on for longer hours. This cooling mousse primer, however, has an additional benefit. While it refreshes your skin, it also protects it from blue light. If you wear makeup frequently, adding a sunscreen, moisturiser and primer that has blue light protection would be highly beneficial.
Blue light might have a bad rep for causing your skin to age, but in the treatment of acne – blue light has proven to be quite beneficial. It is known to zap acne, kill bacteria and clear out blemishes. But if blue light is bad for your skin, how can it be good for acne? Dr. Harshana says, “Blue light or HEV light is the visible light emitted from the sun and electronics, whereas the Blue LED comes from a diode, which are different sources. While HEV tends to damage skin, Blue LED as per studies has shown to reduce acne work by targeting the P.acne bacteria.”
If you’re looking for a skincare device that zaps acne, the Espada by Foreo is a great at-home skincare product you can invest in. The tool helps take care of pimples, blackheads and clogged pores. All you’ve got to do is wash your face first, pat dry and then hold the device on the blemishes and keep it that way for 30 seconds and repeat for 4 times in the same area.
If your screen time during the day is unavoidable, you can also invest in a good quality blue light blocking pair of glasses as they’ll prevent your eyes from getting damaged. Avoid buying them online unless it’s from a trustable seller. Physically visiting an optical store will help you make a better and safer purchasing decision.
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