How Your (Tech) Devices Impact Your Skin
In our high tech world, the average person checks their phones more than 150 times a day. If we’re not looking at a phone, then it’s a computer or tv screen.
We spend our lives saturated in blue light. The faint glow emitted from electronic devices is always in our faces. While blue light, also called high energy visible light, doesn’t seem to trigger cancer in humans, it can affect your skin in other ways. Keep reading to learn how.
What is Blue Light?
Blue light streams into our lives in a variety of ways. Unlike most wavelengths, we can see blue light unassisted. It is the reason the sky looks blue.
There are many sources of blue light. They include:
- The sun
- Handheld gaming consoles
- Fluorescent light bulbs
Your body is built to respond to the sun. Its rising and setting naturally triggers the release of hormones related to waking and sleeping. You can throw your body’s system out of whack by looking at blue light before bed. Recent research by Estee Lauder found that blue light can affect the natural circadian rhythm of your actual cells.
Your body needs to sleep to replenish itself. We all know how much better we feel and look with a good night’s sleep. So it comes as no surprise that shortened night sleep and insomnia have been associated with a host of skin conditions.
If you want plump and radiant skin, 7-8 hours of sleep each night is ideal. To protect those restorative hours, researchers recommend avoiding devices that emit blue light for at least a few hours before going to bed.
There’s some speculation that blue light causes premature aging. The science isn’t conclusive, but a few studies have shown that exposure to blue light leads to hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles, and inflammation. This is because blue light penetrates down to the dermis, the middle layer of the skin responsible for collagen and elastin. People already suffering from hyperpigmentation may experience noticeable skin changes.
How to Protect Your Skin
As technology continues to expand into more parts of our lives, exposure to blue light is only going to increase. Here are some ways to mitigate the damage.
- Purchase a special screen that blurs the blue light
- Apply antioxidant cream, often. Your skin is packed with antioxidants, but they’re destroyed when they encounter blue light and other harsh environmental factors. Topical antioxidants will replenish your supply.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants. It’s always a good idea to treat your skin from the inside, out
- Switch your phone into “night mode” so it emits yellow rather than blue light
- Turn off your devices a few hours before bedtime
Technology makes our lives easier in so many ways. Just take a few measures to minimize the blue light glow in favor of your skin glow!
About the Author
Olivia Hsu Friedman is the owner of Amethyst Holistic Skin Solutions and sees patients all over the nation in person and via video conferencing. She holds a TCM Dermatology Diploma and a position on the internationally recognized Register of Chinese Medicine Dermatology (RCMDerm). Additionally, she received a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine (Dipl.OM) from the National Certification Commission of Oriental Medicine and is a licensed Illinois acupuncturist (LAc). Olivia earned a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) from National University of Health Sciences, graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the Joseph Janse Outstanding Graduate Award.
Outside of the office, Olivia serves as the Vice President of the Illinois Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is also one of two Illinois delegates to the American Society of Acupuncturists.