Explaining the connection, Dr. Sushma Yadav, Dermatologist, Cosmetologist, Hair Transplant Surgeon, and Founder of Skinology Centre in Bangalore says, “Blue light or the high energy visible light from our electronic gadgets could potentially be as harmful as the sun rays. It promotes stressors in the skin that cause photo aging. We do see a lot of patients with hyperpigmentation around the eyes, dull tired looking skin with changes in the skin textures, fine lines etc.” Dr. Nishita Ranka Internationally acclaimed dermatologist, Medical Director & Founder of Dr. Nishita’a Clinic for Skin, Hair & Aesthetics agrees. “While UV rays from the sun are well-known for their damaging effects on the skin, the impact of rays emitted by electronic devices, known as High-Energy Visible (HEV) or blue light, is still being studied. Research suggests that prolonged exposure to blue light may contribute to skin aging, hyperpigmentation, and potential oxidative stress. However, the extent of the damage is not yet fully understood. In my experience, I have encountered patients who have reported skin concerns related to electronic devices, such as increased skin sensitivity, dryness, or uneven skin tone. While further research is needed to establish definitive conclusions, it is prudent to take precautions to minimize potential harm from gadget screens.”
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MINIMISE SKIN DAMAGE FROM SCREEN
The obvious answer would be to limit your screen exposure but for those of you who struggle with this growing addiction, there are ways you can minimize skin damage or skin sensitivity from the screen. Dr Nishita suggests,
Firstly, consider using screen protectors or filters that are designed to reduce blue light exposure. These can be applied to electronic device screens to help block or absorb the blue light.
Secondly, practice good screen hygiene by taking regular breaks from electronic devices and limiting screen time when possible. This allows the skin to rest and recover from potential effects.
Additionally, maintaining a consistent skincare routine that includes moisturizing and nourishing products can help support the skin’s barrier function and protect against potential damage. Antioxidant-rich skincare products can also provide additional protection against oxidative stress caused by blue light exposure.
Lastly, adopting a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep can also contribute to overall skin health and minimize potential harm.
Dr Sushma recommends applying sunscreen before sitting on your laptops and screens.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SUNSCREEN
With so many sunblock options to choose from, it can get confusing to know which one to pick. Here’s some help. You need to look for certain qualities and ingredients. “For sensitive skin, choose products that are labeled as “hypoallergenic” or “fragrance-free.” These formulations are typically designed to minimize potential irritation. Mineral-based sunscreens containing ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are often well-tolerated by sensitive skin. These ingredients work as physical blockers, reflecting and scattering UV rays away from the skin. For oily skin, opt for lightweight formulations such as oil-free or gel-based sunscreens that are non-comedogenic, meaning they do not clog pores. Look for labels that specifically mention oil-free or non-comedogenic properties to help prevent breakouts. It is also important to avoid sunscreens that contain potential irritants such as fragrances, alcohol, and preservatives like parabens, as these can potentially aggravate sensitive or oily skin. If you have specific concerns or conditions, it is advisable to consult with a dermatologist who can provide personalized recommendations based on your individual skin type and needs.”