How Does Blue Light Damage Your Skin and What to Do About It?

Consider a 'digital detox', maybe? 

Listen up, 'Work from Home' is not solely hampering your productivity levels, but the increased screen time may also be sabotaging your skin. According to a 2016 Nielsen Total Audience Report, the average adult logs more than 10 hours of screen time every single day—so, truth be told, signs of premature ageing, free radical damage, and oxidative stress are on the horizon. 

While we always knew our lives would be intertwined with technology, did we ever imagine it would happen this way? As the ongoing global pandemic has got us indefinitely cooped up at home, our virtual presence and tech dependence have significantly peaked (how can life go on without Zoom meetings and online dating, right?). And, with our fast-paced lives revolving around buzzing cell phones and virtual meetings that can drag on for hours, our skin is having to bear the brunt. 

While these routine activities are a part and parcel of 21st-century life, proximity to the latest gizmo is proving to be exceedingly harmful to our skin health. "In today's time, we are highly vulnerable to High Energy Visible Light (HEV). Long and tedious work hours—that keep us glued to our screens—can wreak havoc on the skin and increase oxidative stress by copious amounts. The blue light emitted from these gadgets tends to penetrate a lot deeper into the skin, as compared to UVA and UVB rays. In turn, this directly affects collagen production and gives way to fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and accelerated pigmentation as well," explains Samir Modi, Founder and Managing Director at Colorbar Cosmetics.

Yup, notable damage must already be done. But, at the same time, it's never too late to fix things. Here are a few ways to curb screen time and its after-effects. 

 

Actively Limit Your Screen Time

 

While this is probably the most difficult intervention out of the lot, it also the most crucial one. We understand that excessive time spent glued to our screens is inevitable in today's day, but it is important to strike a balance between our digital lives and the time spent off-screen. Set aside a time up till when you will expose yourself to blue light, after which switch off your screen and give your skin a breather. 

 

Apply a Generous Amount of Sunscreen

 

There's no denying that we spent more time indoors than outdoors. Yet, skipping on sunscreen is a grave skincare mistake. In case you didn't know, the harmful rays of the sun tend to trouble our skin even if we aren't directly exposed to sunlight. Hence, regular application of sunscreen will be your skin's saviour and will delay signs of premature ageing. 

 

Add Products That Are Designed to Tackle Blue Light Into Your Skincare Regime

 

Taking the recent developments into consideration (increased screen time = increased skin damage) cosmetic companies are making innovative advances in the world of beauty, specifically creating products that tackle blue light damage. For instance, Colorbar’s Blue Light Defense Range offers five high-performance products that are formulated to battle skin concerns caused due to the damaging light emitted from our screens. Brimming with power-packed ingredients such as Carotolino actives which are a combination of beta-carotene, carrot root extract, and carrot seed oil, they create a defensive barrier on your skin to shield it against HEV light. 

 

Include Antioxidants in Your Skincare Routine

 

Widely touted for the expansive array of benefits they offer to the skin, antioxidants are directly responsible for repairing your skin barrier and fighting damage caused due to free radicals. Thereby, try to add products that boast antioxidants to your shelf. 

 

Pay Close Attention to Your Devices

 

While we can consciously tweak our skincare routine to tackle the problem at hand, we can also take all necessary precautions to limit the amount of blue light our screen emits in the first place. Something as simple as reducing your screen brightness or shifting to 'dark mode' can go a long way in curbing the number of harmful rays released by your device, and consequently the damage it does to your skin. 

 

Image: Courtesy Cosmopolitan USA