Staring at a computer screen or monitor all day is not only bad for your eyes but also damaging to your skin. We are all aware of the damage that UV rays emitted by the sun have on our skin but many of us are in the dark about harmful light from visual display units (VDU). These blue lights emitted by electronic devices can potentially be just as damaging as sun exposure.
Lockdown is forcing us all to spend more time in front of screens whether it be for home working purposes, our children attending online virtual classrooms or simply connecting with our family and friends over Skype or Zoom. This increased screen time means we are being exposed to more of these harmful blue light rays than usual.
The causes of long-term skin damage
There is mounting evidence to suggest that exposure to concentrated sources of blue light energy can cause long-term skin damage. This can be in the form of changes to skin colour, inflammation and the weakening of the skin’s surface which in turn can cause premature ageing to the skin. The good news is that this can be prevented.
Our skincare expert, aesthetic therapist Chantelle van Vliet says:
“It is essential that you make sunscreen part of your daily skin care regime. A lot of people don’t realise that their skin can be damaged while staying in doors just as much as being outside. Especially now with so many people working at home in front of screens it is critical to protect your skin against not only UV radiation but other types of light rays such as blue light.
“I always recommend my patients to get in the habit of applying sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection each morning – and no lower than SPF 30. Exposure to any light rays is the single most damaging factor to skin. It weakens it, discolours it and ages it beyond its years. It really can make a 30 year old look like a 50 year old. There is so much research out there now that points to blue light in general penetrating into the skin contributing to wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and ageing so the more time we spend on our devices, the worse off our skin is going to be.”
What else can you do?
In addition to applying sunscreen, other ways Chantelle suggests you can try to limit the harmful effects of blue rays on your skin include:
- Wearing mineral-based make-up (these contain iron oxide that neutralise wavelengths of light)
- Lowering the brightness level on your screens
- Going hands-free on your mobile to cut down the risk of hyper-pigmentation.
“When it comes to skincare the one thing everyone needs in their regime is a good sunscreen. Applying a sunscreen won’t harm you, but not wearing one will!”