Could screen time be aging you?
The average American devotes 10 hours a day to screen time, and all that time in front of computers, phones, and tablets is aging us. TVs, smartphones, and computers emit a blue light, also known as High-Energy Visible light (HEV). It is said that this HEV light penetrates the skin more deeply than UV rays from the sun.
While there is very little research (yet) on the effects of HEV light, it is thought that this blue light can damage collagen and elastin at rates greater than that of unprotected sun exposure. And if you wear sunscreen, which we hope you do, it likely does not protect against HEVs.
So, what can you do?
Of course, we can advise you to limit your screen time, but for most of us – that is a challenge. In fact, most of us use more than one digital device at a time, compounding our HEV exposure. Right now, as I type, I am sitting in front of my computer with my phone right under the wrists – HEVs hitting me on two fronts.
There are a few specialty products on the market that can protect the skin against HEVs – but they are a little hard to find and pricey. We can recommend ZO Skin Heatlh’s Ossential Daily Power Defense, which we don’t sell, but which can be purchased in other local physician-led cosmetic surgery center.
It is important to remember that protecting from HEVs does not protect you from UV (sun) exposure, so you will want to double-up your defenses until the industry comes out with products that work to protect our skin from both sources of skin aging.
The study of the effects of HEV light is new, and we anticipate more recommendations over the coming years.