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Tiffany Geary
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Monday, January 29, 2018

Too Much Screen Time: How Blue Light Is Affecting Your Skin

Beauty

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You’re reading this on some kind of screen right now, possibly your phone. And how many other screens are within your reach? A desktop, laptop, tablet, TV, other cell phones? Blue light screens are EVERYWHERE. Between work, watching TV, and using your phone, you can spend more than 12 hours a day looking at a screen that is emitting very strong blue light rays, focusing particularly on your face and eye area. What is this blue light doing to you?

The Effects of Blue Light

Exposure to blue light has been shown to have many negative effects including affecting sleep as well as straining and damaging the eyes. But a recent study shows that it also affects your skin—it can be as dangerous to your skin as sunlight! You can now add “screen face”, “text neck” and “cellphone elbow” to the list of physical problems associated with the overuse of technology.

The blue rays emitted by screens are part of the high energy visible (HEV) light spectrum. These very short wavelength rays produce a high amount of energy which have been linked to oxidative stress, something that is known to disrupt skin health. These blue rays penetrate even more deeply into the skin than UV rays do. With high levels of exposure, the blue rays have been shown to cause premature aging and skin discoloration similar to that of UVA rays. Research suggests that the 12 hours you spend in front of a screen may be causing as much damage as 12 hours out in the sun!

How to Protect Yourself

One study identified three types of plant extracts that can help reduce the damaging effects of these blue rays: Marrubium vulgare, Leontopodium alpinum, and Plantago lanceolata. These three plant extracts were shown to protect skin by minimizing levels of oxidative stress. Plantago lanceolata was also shown to help lighten dark spots and smooth the skin.

Even if you’re not out in the sun a lot, you may need protection from blue light, especially around the delicate eye area. Think about the amount of time you spend on all your screens. Your skin needs some specialized protection! Look for these three powerhouse ingredients—Marrubium vulgare, Leontopodium alpinum, and Plantago lanceolate—when you are looking for skin care products. Protection from blue light appears to be every bit as important as protection from UV rays when you are trying to avoid premature aging and skin discoloration.

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