Beauty

Can too much screen-time really cause skin damage?

Posted by
Lucy Partington
Published

Recent research into the effect that the blue light emitted from screens can cause damage in a similar way to the sun’s rays, we look into the products that are specially designed to protect our skin…

Blue light from your laptop, phone and tablet has been linked to premature skin ageing and irregular pigmentation. But what exactly is blue light? According to Stefanie Williams, dermatologist and medical director at Eudelo, “Blue light (AKA high energy visible light, HEVL) is part of the visible light spectrum. It’s the electromagnetic radiation that sits between ultraviolet and infrared radiation, and it consists of different colours with blue light being the closest in wavelength to UV light.”

Sounds complicated, but the most important thing to note is that blue light is emitted from electronic devices like televisions, computer screens, laptops and tablets… the list goes on. Even some fluorescent bulbs and LED lights can emit it. “And, of course, the sun emits blue light, too,” adds Williams.

While it has long been known that blue light can interfere with our circadian rhythm, Williams says that there is increasing data on the potential long-term harms of visible light, particularly blue light.

In fact, just last month, new research discovered molecular and cellular changes in human skin cells exposed to artificial visible light, similar to the light emitted by electronic devices. “The authors concluded that that may impede normal cellular functions and contribute to premature skin ageing,” Williams explains.

So, with that in mind, brands are starting to create products to help protect skin from potential harm. Here are three of Stylist’s best rated…

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Defense Radiant Tint Protective Moisturiser

£35, feelunique.com

Hydrate, illuminate and protect with this clever tint that works on all skintones. It’s packed with cacao extract that helps defend against blue light, while camellia extract protects skin from environmental damage. Win-win.

Elemis Daily Defence Shield SPF30

£46, debenhams.com

Not only does this cream offer broad spectrum SPF30, but it also shields skin against pollution and high-energy visible light. The super-lightweight formula. quickly and easily absorbs into skin and is virtually untraceable under make-up. 

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex Synchronized Recovery II

£43, boots.com

Artificial blue light can make skin think it’s daytime, inhibiting the overnight renewal process. This cream helps skin recharge as it should. 

Main image: Oscar Wong/Getty