Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Have You Got Tech Face? Beauty from Selfies to Netflix, Digital Life Takes Its Toll on Our Skin. Emma McCarthy Helps Us Battle the Blue Light

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Have You Got Tech Face? Beauty from Selfies to Netflix, Digital Life Takes Its Toll on Our Skin. Emma McCarthy Helps Us Battle the Blue Light

Article excerpt

Byline: Emma McCarthy

WE'RE all aware that our collective smartphone addiction has its downsides. But crippling social anxiety and a complete inability to navigate without the Citymapper app aside, apparently it's the blue light emitted from our phones, tablets and laptops we should be really concerned about. And not just because all that latenight email checking has been exposed as a key culprit in disrupting our sleep, but because there is recent evidence to suggest that endless selfie-snapping could in fact be giving us wrinkles #irony.

"High Energy Visible (HEV) light from digital devices breaks down the skin's DNA which can inhibit the skin repairing itself and cause oxidative stress on skin cells," says Debbie Thomas, an advanced skin and laser specialist with a clinic in Chelsea. "This results in free-radical damage, equating to loss of collagen, weaker skin, redness and pigmentation all the signs of premature ageing."

Of course, the scientific research into the risks of HEV is as new as the technology itself. But some experts believe that the age-accelerating effects of blue light could actually be worse for our complexion than sun exposure.

"Skin damage caused by HEV may be as harmful as the damage caused by UVA and UVB light combined," warns dermatologist Dr Rachael Eckel, who explains that while the impact of HEV may not be obvious like sunburn through UV exposure the effects could be accumulative.

"Like UVA, HEV light may be another 'silent, long-term ageing wavelength'. It does not generate the immediate skin reactions triggered by UVB and UVA, but it may induce carcinogenesis and accelerated photoageing."

Dr Zein Obagi, revered dermatologist and founder of pioneering skincare brand ZO Skin Health, has also seen a rise in patients suffering from tech face. "With chronic and long exposure, the light from digital devices can cause damage to the texture of the skin," he says. "In my experience, I have been able to tell which hand a patient holds their phone in, as the skin on that side of their face takes on a dull, almost dirty texture which has not been induced by the sun. …

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