How tech devices cause aging
Why our screen time is taking a major toll on our skin
Everyone knows the dangers of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, but there are now talks of an emerging threat in the form of High Energy Visible (HEV) light. Known as blue light, it is also emitted by the sun, like UV light. The surprising news is that HEV is prevalent not just outdoors but also in the confines of our offices, salas, bedrooms—pretty much any place where digital devices are turned on.
Blame computer screens, tablets, smart phones, and television sets. Although the damaging effects of HEV are cumulative through the years, it may actually be worse than UV light as it penetrates more deeply into the skin.
Considered as a silent and longterm aging wavelength, HEV does not generate the immediate erythema (the superficial reddening of the skin) triggered by UV, but it may induce carcinogenesis and photoaging (accelerated premature aging of the skin). It can also affect the skin’s inflammatory system and its healing process. Because of the immense amount of free radicals generated through exposure to HEV light, antioxidants work harder to fight these free radicals to prevent further cell and tissue damage, and are then naturally consumed faster. Without these antioxidants, the healing process will take longer. The reduction of strength in the healing process leads to overall skin aging and uneven pigmentation.
As if sun exposure isn’t already enough to cause wrinkles, who would have thought that countless hours on the Internet could actually add years to our skin? Because SPF and UVA spectrum sunscreen can only minimally protect the skin against HEV light, the best way to prevent further skin damage is to lessen our screen time. Unlike the sun which we can’t completely escape from even on a cloudy day, we can set aside and veer away from our computers and smart phones.
Remember the days when we didn’t check our smart phones every five minutes? We have to relive those days and put social media in the back seat if we want to look younger. The good news is that when we set our smart phones aside, at least we can generate a real “like” instead—a face-to-face and personal comment on our youthful looking skin.