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Blue light from computers, mobile phones can damage your skin: Tips to stay protected against it

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You may be aware of the harmful UV rays from the sun and its effect on the skin. However, not a many of us know the fact that the blue light emitted from our laptop and mobile screens can damage our skin too. Here's how you can protect your skin from such electronic devices.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : May 17, 2020 5:07 PM IST

As people remain stuck at home due to lockdowm, they are spending most of their time glued to the laptops, television sets, desktops and smartphones. Prolonged hours spent with such electronic devices means increased exposure to blue light, which is harmful for your eyes and skin.

Blue light or HEV (High Energy Visible) is basically found in sunlight, but it is also emitted by LED lights, fluorescent lights, computer screens, smart phones and tablet screens. Studies have shown that too much exposure to this high energy light can cause pigmentation, inflammation, wrinkles, and premature aging. The light from the screens can lead to break down of collagen, which results in black patches and hyper pigmentation. According to experts, exposure to blue light can also cause DNA damage, leading to DNA mutations which subsequently can cause skin cancer and aging.

Extended exposure to blue light can weaken your eyesight too. The light emitted from the screen can kill photoreceptors (light sensitive cells) in the retina, which are essential to see. Too much exposure to blue light can also decrease melatonin levels, and cause sleep disruption.

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How to protect your skin from the blue light

We take different precautions to protect our skin from the sun, but not many people know about the blue light and the threat is poses. A certain amount of blue light from the sun is beneficial for us, but the man-made light emitted by our mobiles and laptops has no positive effects. And since we are using our phones all the times, it has become a serious concern. Since it's not possible to completely avoid using laptop and mobile, there are certain things you can do to protect your skin from the blue light. These include -

Wear a sunscreen

The best way to protect your skin from blue light is to wear a sunscreen with good SPF content. Sunscreen is not just for protection against the sun, you need to wear it even when you are indoors and reapply it every two hours.

Dermatologists recommend a broad-spectrum physical sunscreen containing zinc oxide and iron dioxide to protect your skin from UVA rays and blue light. A formula that also contains antioxidants may help block free radicals produced by UV rays and blue light.

Use blue light screen shield

Another way to protect your skin from blue light is to cover your phone and tablet with a blue light screen shield. You can find plenty of options on e-commerce sites. It's a cheap fix, eliminating the need to worry about skin care.

Eat a diet rich in antioxidants

Applying topical antioxidants can protect against the damaging effects of blue light from devices, say dermatologists.

Your skin contains antioxidants such as vitamin E, which are used up when the skin is exposed to excess free radicals. You can boost your skin's defence against oxidative environmental damage by applying topical antioxidants as well as eating a diet rich in antioxidants. Foods rich in antioxidants include fresh fruit and vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries, artichokes, kale beans, spinach etc. Lucky for chocolate lovers, dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants. The antioxidants in cocoa and dark chocolate can also provide other health benefits such as less inflammation and reduced risk factors for heart disease.

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