How is your smartphone affecting your skin

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Busy city life, take-aways, ice creams and cupcakes, happy hour drinks, smoking, cheeky glasses of red wine, sunny days in the park… Turns out that pretty much all the pleasures in life can cause ageing (unless you count kale smoothies and wheatgrass shots among your guilty pleasures, in which case you can just keep sipping on those babies). And if you think you’ve got nothing left in your life to cling onto, then boy, you’re going to cry when I tell you that even your smart phone makes you age quicker! Sad, isn’t it? Not even a good selfie can bring a smile back on your face…

How is blue light affecting your skin?

While UV light has been one of the major culprits causing skin ageing, wrinkles and pigmentation, HEVL (High Energy Visible Light) or the blue light emitted by electronic devices is one of the more recent health-damaging factors that modern lifestyles expose us to. Although you might not see any immediate redness like after sun exposure, blue light might be guillty of inducing silent damage on our complexions. There are plenty of studies that prove the damaging effects of blue light on our bodies, beginning with their interference with the circadian rhythm and natural sleep patterns, leading to sleep deprivation, insomnia and chronic fatigue, and becoming possible causes of increased risk for depression, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

When it comes to skin damage, blue light might not be as harmful as UV rays, which lead to DNA mutations and long-term deterioration of skin tone and structure. However, the effects of HEVL-induced sleep deprivation are very clear, with the overproduction of stress hormone cortisol interfering with skin’s self-regeneration cycle and contributing to breaking down collagen and elastic tissue, while also promoting inflammation and older-looking skin. And there is another proven consequence of lack of sleep and exposure to blue light, namely the decrease of skin’s antioxidant levels, making it more prone to external attacks and hyperpigmentation.

The good news is that you can prevent all these from happening.

So before you grab your selfie stick, just make sure you…

… always put on some sunscreen during the day, preferably broad-spectrum and based on titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide. This will help create a shield to keep visible light waves at bay.
… start using antioxidants in your routine: in the morning to form a barrier against free radicals, and at night to treat any potential damage occurred throughout the day.
… help boost your skin’s renewal by using exfoliating acids (like glycolic, salicylic, azelaic and lactic acids etc.)
… apply retinol at night, which works as a multi-tasker that tackles signs of ageing, acne or pigmentation.

Blue light-proof products

How are beauty brands responding to blue light?
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Make Beauty offer a series called Naxos, designed to defend against HEVL, as well as the usual infrared rays and environmental stress, with a primer, a serum and a salve.
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The Asian market is already up-to-date with Lancome’s UV Expert XL-Shield Ultimate XL UV Protection CC Cover SPF 50/PA++++ in Japan, which focuses on the blue light in sunlight, smart phones or computers, to tackle pigmentation.

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NIA (Not Into Aging) Skincare, a very millennial brand, uses the NIA-114 molecule to address all the issues caused by modern life, including tech-effects (constantly looking down at your phone / squinting at your screen), wear + tear from putting on makeup / taking selfies / facial expressions, and common ‘sins’ like late nights, weekend benders or work-life drama.

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