Andrea Swalec

Blue-Light Special? Digital Devices Could Be Damaging Your Skin

The blue light emitted from your digital devices may be damaging your skin, new research suggests, but there are ways to protect yourself.

Whether it’s your computer, your iPhone or your flat-screen TV, “The average American is actually using a screen for 10 hours a day,” Dr. Nazanin Saedi said.

Aside from sunlight, digital screens are the most common source of blue light.

“Our traditional sunscreens have UVA, UVB, full-spectrum protection, but a lot of them don’t protect against blue light,” Saedi said.

Dermatologists say long-term exposure to blue light can speed up the signs of aging, causing problems with pigmentation, inflammation, collagen and redness.

Skin care companies like Color Science are starting to include blue light protection in their products.

“They also have some other things out there that help protect against blue light, and that’s the shields that you can put on your phones and on your screens,” Saedi said.

Most smartphones and tablets also have a setting that turns off blue light, which is better for your eyes and your skin.

There are also special glasses to block out the blue light to protect your eyes.

But the bottom line is less exposure is best.

“Minimizing the amount of time you’re exposed to the tablet would be helpful, or your smartphone,” Saedi said. “I think it’s helpful for your skin, but it’s also probably good for your mind as well.”

But blue light is not all negative. It plays a key role in regulating the body's circadian rhythms and helps improve memory, mood and reaction times.

Reported by Doreen Gentzler, produced by Patricia Fantis and edited by Perkins Broussard.

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