Plant Lab.

Are selfies destroying your skin?

LSo, if you’re a clued-up skincare expert (or simply a frequent reader) you’ll know that things like pollution, lack of exercise, smoking, too much alcohol or skipping out on applying SPF can affect the quality and elasticity of our skin. But, did you know that selfies (or more specifically) the blue light emitted from screens is another major cause of damage?! So much so, this blue light damage is swiftly being labelled as the ‘silent ager’ of our digital generation. Yikes. That’s pretty majorly concerning considering the amount of time we spend on our various devices on an average day. A conservative estimate of this modern screen addiction would indicate that the average device user has a daily screen time in excess of 4.5 hours. This means we’re all getting significantly more blue light exposure than we used to from the sun alone! If you’re mentally tallying up how many hours that you personally spend staring at blue-lit devices every day, then this blog post is for you…

What is blue light and why should we care?

High Energy Visible (HEV) light, or more commonly known as ‘blue light’, exposes our skin to damage through free radical generation. Studies show that it accelerates oxidative stress within the skin which contributed to skin ageing much like ‘normal’ light exposure from the sun. The difference between UVA and UVB rays and HEV light is that HEV light has the ability to penetrate deeper into the layers of our skin. It can penetrate all way to the dermis (read: where our collagen and elastin production is) which can lead to a loss of firmness, an increase in pigmentation development and visible lines and wrinkles.

That’s not to mention that blue light also has the ability to compromise our beauty sleep by disrupting our natural circadian rhythm. There’s a reason why sleep experts will advise no screens before bed! The light emitted from our devices tricks out brains into thinking it’s not time to sleep, thereby shutting down the body’s natural production of the sleep hormone ‘melatonin’.

We all know what that means, generally your skin suffers in most ways. Decreased hydration, reduced cell turn-over, those fun dark circles and a general dull and lifeless complexion. Outside of the world of skincare, there is an increasing school of thought that blue light my also be harming our eyesight. With our eyes glued to our screens (right now, in fact!) and for increasingly long periods of time, research suggests that this could be degenerating our actual sight.

How can we protect against it?

Now before we have you slamming your laptop shut in fear it’s always important to have perspective. Repeat after us – not ALL blue light is bad. Like with many things (including the sun) exposure to blue light during the day has some health benefits, namely boosting your alertness, concentration levels and even elevating your mood. Blue light can also be particularly beneficial for acne sufferers and forms the basis of many of those fancy LED light treatment facials you’ve seen over on the ‘gram…

The but? Just like with sun exposure it’s important to be aware of the need to protect the skin from OVER-exposure. Clearly, we need to take action to protect our delicate skin. Before you throw out your existing skincare stash (we’ll get to that in a minute) a really cheap fix is to address your tech consumption. That’s right – screen time. In an ideal world drastically reducing our dependence (and therefore usage) on our screens would be the solution however, with our modern lives this isn’t the most practical of recommendations. What we can do is take advantage of the blue light settings on our smartphones (often called ‘night mode’ or nightshift’ which lowers the levels of blue light in favour of less damaging yellow. Simple.

When it comes to maintaining protection using your skincare products, shield yourself by using natural formulas packed with antioxidants. Topical antioxidants are an absolute must in everyone’s skincare routine as the skin’s natural supply is used up with exposure to free radicals. Reaching for a cleanser like the Oryza & Tsubaki Day Repair Cleansing Gel that contains nature’s equivalent of a light shield – Oryza (Tri-Rice Plant Complex), is your ticket to daily defensive action. This powerful trinity of antioxidants, photoprotectors and free-radical scavengers boots cell repair and defends against pollutants and oxidative damage caused by blue light.

All in all, our products speak for themselves. Lend us your ears (and the rest of your skin) to find out how at https://www.plantdpt.com.

Until next time, PLANT DPT.

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