First there was tech neck. Now there’s the blue light conundrum. Turns out, looking at our phones, computers and TVs all the time isn’t just bad for our mental state, it’s also aging our skin.
According to a recent study by the US National Library of Medicine, long-term overexposure to blue light (aka high energy visible, or HEV, light) can speed up the signs of aging. We’re talking hyperpigmentation, inflammation and premature fine lines and wrinkles—yikes.
But you don’t need to move to the wilderness and toss out all technology just to achieve a youthful complexion (although that sounds nice for a weekend). There are certain preventative steps you can take to keep HEV light from affecting you.
The first defense is always to limit your screen time as much as possible. (Yeah, we know…good luck.) The next best thing? Using a sunscreen with HEV protection. While typical sunscreens only protect from UVA and UVB rays, there are some newer formulas on the scene (like Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush On SPF 50) that also target HEV light. Yet another reason to always wear sunscreen, even when it’s not sunny outdoors.
One final word to the wise: When you’re using your phone in bed (which, tsk tsk you shouldn’t do), switch it to “night mode,” which swaps blue light for yellow light. It’s not only easier on the skin, but also on the eyes. And if that still isn’t enough protection for you, get a blue light shield for your phone and computer to help omit its effects on your skin throughout the day.