Is Your Computer Ruining Your Skin? The Effects of Blue Light

We’re upping our time sitting in front of technology, but how is it affecting our skin? Beauty Editor Elizabeth Best explains how to combat blue light damage.

There’s no doubt we all suffer from a little too much screen time these days, but did you know it could be affecting your skin? And what exactly is blue light anyway?

Basically, it’s a man-made version of the light we get from the sun. Beaming out of your electronic devices, blue light is the name given to short, high-energy wavelengths on the blue end of the visible light spectrum. And sure, a small amount of this blue light won’t do much, but as with the sun, the exposure can add up to have negative effects on your skin health. 

Recent studies have shown that prolonged exposure to blue light can increase your skin’s dullness, dryness and accelerate premature aging thanks to a breakdown in collagen, while also increasing hyperpigmentation. Eek! Just think: all that time in front of your phone, tablet, computer screen and even your television can be slowly damaging your skin while you literally just sit there. Even worse, we have so many of these devices close up to our skin on some of the most vulnerable areas (hey there, soft and supple facial skin). And yes, while the sun also has some pretty powerful blue light coming from UV rays, that light is much further away and diffused than say, a phone right next to your face. 

So what can you do to battle this blue light pollution streaming from just about everything you’re… well, streaming? 

Thankfully there are a lot of skincare companies sitting up and taking notice of this modern skincare malaise. One of the latest is British makeup maven Charlotte Tilbury. She’s released a new version of her bestselling Magic Cream called Magic Cream Light

The new Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Light contains an ingredient they’re calling Radicare™Gold – a blend of carotenoids to help protect against the increasing radiation associated with our modern lifestyle. Carotenoids are natural filters of high-energy blue lights, with high UV absorption which may help the skin reduce and resist blue light stressors.  

Now that I’m working from home, and not having as much time away from all my tech, I thought it might be time to invest in a moisturiser that gave me some protection from the blue light. Can I just say: there’s a reason the regular version of this cream has gained cult status. 

After a week of using, I can say the Magic Cream Light has all the things I love about the Magic Cream and then some. It has a lovely light texture which is perfect for daytime use, leaving my skin feel springy and giving me a lovely glow for all my day’s Zoom calls. I also notice (from compulsively touching my face even though I’ve been telling myself for three months NOT TO TOUCH MY FACE) that my skin is noticeably smoother. 

I also love that it’s slightly less dewy than the original formula… this one has an almost like a matte satin style finish, which will be amazing in the more humid months. 

As for whether the blue light protection part is effective, I will have to observe for a longer period of time, but so far this cream is a big yes in my book. 

As for skincare in general, it’s great to see brands moving towards pollution protection  (both for blue light and for air pollution). It’s important that we recognise these atmospheric conditions aren’t trends or fads, but a new normal we need to be ready for. So keep your skin glowing by ensuring you look for products that can help fight off the effects of our modern lifestyle. 

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