The damaging effect of HEV Light on SkinJune,18,2020
The blue light emanating from your phone and computer is causing havoc on your skin. We ask Dr.Harshna Bijlani, Medical Head of The AgeLess Clinic & Celebrity Skin expert to educate on the effects of HEV and what you can do to protect yourself from it
1) What are the different lights that can damage skin and how will you best explain blue light that is emanated from our phone screens?
Light comes in various spectrums and waveleghts. The visible light emitted from the sun ranges in the wavelengths of 390 nm to 700 nm. UVA and UVB on the other hand fall under invisible light but that doesn’t mean it isn’t damaging your skin, just because you can’t see it.
The latest controversial light in skincare is High-Energy Visible (HEV) Light or blue light, the wavelength of which ranges from 380 nm to 500 nm. HEV Light is the light emitted from our cell phones, computer screens, certain types of light bulbs and so on and is now as per studies, proved to be damaging to our skin health.
2) How seriously can blue light damage our skin?
While we still need further studies to indicate the extent of the damage, various studies show evidence that supports its contribution to pigmentation in individuals who are susceptible to it.
HEV light leads to skin damage in multiple ways, namely pigmentation, dark spots, free radical damage (free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to our cells in the form of oxidative stress) and so on. However, there are no concrete studies to show its effect on ageing still.
3) How to prevent HEV / blue light damage?
The best thing you can do is to limit your exposure to HEV light, wear a specialised sunscreen that protects you from HEV light, Beyond Sun Protection by Crystal Tomato® is a good choice and now available in India.
4) Some in-clinic treatments and homecare products to help deal with HEV light damage or photo damage in general?
To help control photo-damage and oxidative stress use a product rich in anti-oxidants and to help with pigmentation you can opt for mild acids at home that can help reduce pigmentation. Some good ingredients to look out for are vitamin C, idebenone, retinol, niacinamides in the form of antioxidants, for acids look for hyaluronic acid, lactic acid and so on. My favourite is Crystal Tomato® Skin Clarity Cream which has a great mix of antioxidants and ingredients that help lighten pigmentation.
Apart from this try to increase your intake of oral supplements like oral antioxidants and collagen, opt for IV drips like Vitamin IV boosters if possible for increased absorption of anti-oxidants and vitamins in your body if possible and remember that homecare can only help you so much if you do not supplement it with skincare treatments. Go for regular facials and opt for mild collagen boosting treatments early on for skin health and upkeep so as to try and slow down the aging process as best as you can. If you do notice pigmentation, opt for treatments that would help you de-pigment like super facials like Wishpro, peels, pigmentation lasers like Q:switched, PicoSure, Glass Lasers and so on.
5) What are some ways to prevent blue light damage?
The best prevention is of course to try and limit your exposure to HEV light. We know that mobile phones emit dangerous radiation, we know they are receptacles of germs, especially during COVID times - yet we love them and have them stuck to our cheek lovingly for many hours of the day! I would suggest that it’s best to limit time in front of your phone, use a blue light reducing filter or setting (some of the newer phones have it as a built in option) and most importantly use a hands-free headset but ideally a wired one (bluetooth may have its own issues but we’ll leave that for another day). Apart from that try to avoid extremely bright LED bulbs in your home and maintain distance from your TV and laptop while you’re working on it and effectively reduce screen time of all sorts.