During the coronavirus lockdown, many of us have been working more from home. So instead of face to face meetings, we have spent hours in Zoom meetings, and perhaps spent more time than usual watching Netflix and on social media. Facebook recently stated that during the coronavirus pandemic they have seen a 70% increase in usage of Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp. In fact, by March 2020, all internet usage already increased by at least 50 – 70% and streaming by 12%. With predictions that working from home will become the new norm, this means we will be spending more time in front of our devices. The more time we spent on a mobile or a computer screen, the more we get exposed to blue light radiation.
My daughter Makaela, under UV light (left) and blue light (right).
What is Blue Light Radiation?
Blue light is also known as High Energy Visible Light (HEVL) and Artificial Visible Light (AVL) and close in wavelength to ultraviolet light on the visible light spectrum. The picture above shows the visible difference in blue light and UV light on the skin.
Is there a relationship between skin cancer & Blue Light Radiation?
The sun emits large amounts of blue light which is why the sky is blue. But in smaller amounts we don’t see the color in quite the same intensity. Like UV rays emitted from the sun, blue light from our devices can weaken our skin’s barrier and can cause damage to the deeper layers of our skin, resulting in premature aging and skin cancer. Research has shown that due to the high energy of blue light it can penetrate deep into our skin. This means we should be cautious when using our devices as they may lead skin cancer.
This sounds scary, but don’t panic! There are easy ways to prevent blue light damage.
Symptoms of too much Blue Light Radiation on your skin?
We all know that too much time on our devices can cause strain on our eyes. If we wear glasses, we are offered blue light protection when we purchase them, to help alleviate the effects of blue light on our eyes. The same is true for our skin. Recent research shows that skin cells exposed to artificial blue light from devices cause damage to proteins and lipids that give moisture and repair our skin. Studies have also shown that blue light can induce oxidative stress in our skin. Oxidation is the gradual damage to the skin that produces free radicals (unstable electrons) which accelerate the skin’s aging process.
Many of our members over the last couple of months have noticed more redness, inflammation and increased hyperpigmentation whilst working at home, this is possibly also due to the fact that they are not wearing make-up as they normally do which often has some UV protection in it. Dermatologists now advise protecting your skin daily from the on-going damage of blue light radiation.
How much of a problem is Blue Light Radiation for our overall health?
On average we get more than six hours of HEVL light exposure every day. Blue light suppresses production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which can disrupt our sleeping patterns, resulting in not getting enough sleep. If your devices allow a “yellow light” option, this will help, and blue light protectors can also be attached. Limiting screen time and taking breaks during the day for some fresh air and time in nature will go a long way to making you feel better and improving your general wellbeing.
How can Au Natural Skinfood Help?
Au Naturals Skinfood’s hero ingredients, Manuka and Kanuka honey, have been proven to contain prebiotic potent oligosaccharides and have been shown to improve the viability of probiotic bacteria. Being the hero ingredients in most of our products, this is the perfect way to control and keep your skin biome healthy. New Zealand active 16+ medical grade Manuka honey helps to strengthen your skins barrier function to be a strong as it possibly can, using its own defence system as nature intended to fight environmental damage.
Here at Au Natural Skinfood, for blue light protection, we recommend our On The Go Brush On Foundation With Sunscreen combined with a broad spectrum SPF 25. Manufactured in New Zealand using natural ingredients that reduce redness and correct imperfections, On The Go will provide protection throughout the day from environmental damage, decreasing the risk of free radical damage and signs of aging, while providing beautiful light coverage.
On The Go comes in three simple light colours that will warm and blend to your skin tone, looking very natural.
The bottom line!
There is no need to be throwing your devices out yet, but if you are concerned about aging and about the time your children are in front of screens, then you just need to take a common-sense approach. Try reducing your screen time, introduce a microbiome balancing cream to your skincare routine, protect your skin and your eyes from blue light, and do remember to be kind to yourself and take those all-important breaks.
I am here to help and want to support you on your journey to healthy skin! You can contact me directly through [email protected], or you can fill out a skin consultation form here, and I will provide you with free and confidential advice. I would love to hear your experiences and answer any questions that you might have.
Tracy – Founder
Au Natural Skinfood
Can Light Emitted from Smartphone Screens and Taking Selfies Cause Premature Aging and Wrinkles – Arjmandi et al
Exposure to Visible Light Emitted from Smartphones and Tablets Increases the Proliferation of Staphylococcus aureus Can this be Linked to Acne – Taheri et al
Protective Effect of the Aqueous Extract of Deschampsia antarctica on Skin Cells against Blue Light Emitted from Digital Devices – Lorrio et al
Bibliography – blue light – PHamilton – Apr 2020