Digital Devices Could be Aging Our Skin
- Posted on: Oct 15 2018
You may be serious about your skincare regimen and anti-aging treatments and still be exposing yourself to harm. The thing is, you may not even know it. Recent studies on the effects of our heavy reliance on digital devices have brought up the fact that our skin may be suffering at the hands of our smartphones.
As scientists observe how the blue light from our television, computer and smartphone screens affects the body, data is increasingly pointing to the degrading impact this type of light has on the skin. Seeing that a vast majority of people check their phones hundreds of times and clock a whopping 10 hours of screen time a day, these findings cannot be observed without some alarm bells going off. Why? Because the same research suggests that an average workday at the computer is equivalent to 20 minutes of mid-day sun exposure when the skin shows signs of damage within the first seven minutes.
The Hidden Danger of Blue Light
The difference between blue light exposure and UV exposure we get when we’re outdoors is that blue light isn’t seen or felt, even though it is referred to as high-energy visible light. When live tissue is exposed to this type of light, it suffers oxidative stress. This suggests that blue light damages the skin by stimulating free radicals. And according to studies, blue light penetrates more deeply than the UV light that causes suntan; deep enough to degrade collagen and slow its production.
In addition to depleting the collagen we desperately need as we age, blue light has also been shown to cause changes in skin pigment – aka age spots. This light is also known for disrupting sleep patterns by affecting melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep and stay asleep. Interestingly, circadian rhythm is associated with the skin’s reparative processes, too. When it is dysfunctional, skin cells behave as if it were daytime more often, which blunts the regenerative processes that typically occur when we sleep.
What You Can Do to Save Your Skin
Experts suggest that the first thing we can do to start protecting our skin from the hazards of blue light is to apply a blue light shield to our phones and computers since those are the screens that tend to get the most usage. Many smartphones have a setting that disables blue light. Then, we can add protective products to our daily routine. The best ingredients are antioxidants such as vitamin E and C, retinol, and green tea extract. Antioxidants can be applied to the skin and also consumed in a healthy diet to build our defenses against environmental damage.
In addition to skin care products, we can boost skin health and fight the signs of aging with appropriate laser treatments. To see how your Manhattan dermatologist can support you in our fight against free radical damage, call 212-391-8600.
Posted in: Laser Procedures