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How harmful is blue light? Beat the screen blues with these handy tips

Two in three, around 64 percent of people are unaware of how harmful blue light is to their skin, Unilever has found. Picture: Pexels

Two in three, around 64 percent of people are unaware of how harmful blue light is to their skin, Unilever has found. Picture: Pexels

Published Apr 8, 2021

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How often do you do a digital detox? Can you even stay away from your device for more than an hour?

There is about 60% of people now spending more than six hours a day in front of a digital device, according to a Unilever Science & Technology study.

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This means working days can have the same impact on the skin as spending 25 minutes in the midday sun without any protection.

Two in three people around 64% are unaware of how harmful blue light is to their skin, Unilever has found.

Blue light can penetrate the skin far deeper than Ultraviolet (UV) light, it not only affects the skin but can also disturb biological clocks.

It can induce both immediate and persistent pigmentation, which can still be present after three months, according to the study.

Additionally, these rays can hinder melatonin generation, increase stress hormone levels, and excite nerves, which in turn disturbs sleeping patterns.

The study also found that 30 hours of exposure to blue light from a smartphone or laptop screen can increase the inflammation level in skin cells by 40%.

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"It is highly likely that exposure to blue light has increased this year, as many previously office-based workers have increased their time in front of a screen, as face-to-face meetings have moved to virtual," Global Vice President Science & Technology, Beauty & Personal Care, Samantha Tucker-Samaras explained.

Samaras encourages peoples to opt for skincare products that are loaded with antioxidants, as well as niacinamide and zinc oxide.

"Limiting screen time also helps, not only for our overall skin health but our general wellbeing too," she said.

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How to beat the screen blues

To protect against blue light, Unilever’s scientists recommend using products that include ingredients that neutralise blue light, as well as restoring skin.

People are encouraged to look for products that include the following ingredients: - products with optics minimise visible light to prevent skin tanning. For example, BB cream is scientifically proven to minimise the effects of blue light by 80%.

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Zinc Oxide, which creates a protective barrier for the skin.

Vitamin C protects and recovers skin cells from blue-light-induced oxidative damage.

Vitamin B6 combats visible-light-induced antioxidant depletion and effectively suppresses oxidative stress caused by visible light.

Niacinamide restores skin surface cells from blue-light-induced oxidative stress and provides strong protection against skin damage caused by blue light.

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