Is the daily selfie really that harmful? More than you’d think, actually.
We spend an average of 5 hours on our smart phones and more than 10 hours on our computers daily. With research unveiling that the blue light from our devices is more ageing than the sun, it’s time we started protecting ourselves from its adverse effects.
Blue light is more harmful than UV rays
The blue light emitted from our smart phones and computers is known as high-energy visible light (HEV), and can penetrate the skin more deeply than UV rays from the sun. Recent studies have also shown that it prevents the skin from healing while accelerating the ageing process, by disrupting our bodies’ circadian rhythm through the suppression of melatonin. When our melatonin levels drop, our sleep is disrupted and this in turn upsets our bodies’ natural ability to repair itself while we sleep. Additionally, constant and frequent exposure to HEV will cause the cells in the eyes to deteriorate, increasing the likelihood of future eye problems like cataract.
Long-term side effects
Continuous and prolonged exposure to our devices will accelerate premature ageing in the form of hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, reduced elasticity, dull texture and skin inflammations. Other experts have gathered that the electromagnetic radiation from our devices causes structural damage to our DNA, which prevents our skin from healing itself while placing severe oxidative stress on our cells. What’s terrifying is that the damage is happening so silently, right under the surface of our skin, and completely undetectable by the human eye.
Tips to protect your skin from this silent threat:
- As the damage is skin deep, dermatologists recommend adopting an effective daily double cleansing routine and exfoliating at least twice a week.
- Apply a sunscreen with at least SPF50 whether you’re going to be staying indoors or outdoors.
- Treat your skin to a potent dose of antioxidants like Vitamins C and E in the morning and evening to repair damaged cells and prevent further DNA damage caused by HEV.
- Incorporate copper peptide into your skincare – it’s well known for encouraging cell regeneration, boosting collagen production, and reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
- Clean your phone daily with an antiseptic wipe to prevent buildup of acne-causing bacteria.
- Go for a digital detox at least once or twice a week. Limit your exposure to all devices at bedtime. We recommend wearing an eye mask and earplugs for a restful night’s sleep.
This story was originally featured in the Sep’17 issue of Marie Claire Malaysia.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Imaxtree.