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The Battle Against Blue Light

All that screen time is ageing you faster than you think, one skincare expert explains

It’s common knowledge that using smartphones before bed inhabits a good night’s sleep, but your nightly Instagram scroll has another side-effect – it’s damaging your skin, too.  

The latest skincare research dives into the impact of blue light emissions on skin, and it isn’t good news. This particular type of light can harm the skin’s barrier function, allowing free radicals to cause oxidative stress, resulting in premature ageing. And according to Trilogy’s Head of Global Education Corinne Morley, it’s harder to avoid than you’d think.

“Sunlight is the biggest source of blue light and heading indoors for cover doesn’t mean your skin is necessarily safe,” she says, adding UV rays may penetrate windows, too. Couple this with emissions from smartphones, laptop computers, TV screens and even energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs or LED lights, and it’s easy to understand why blue light is difficult to dodge.

It doesn’t help that we’re living in the technological age, either, Corinne says. “With technology being more portable and accessible now than ever, we have become an ‘always plugged in’ culture that can easily and effortlessly spend longer periods of time exposed to blue light-omitting electronic devices, anytime and in any location,” she says.

It’s an alarming statistic, but studies have shown US millennials check their phones a whopping 157 times per day. “You just need to look around to see how much more time we are spending on our devices - everyone is looking at a screen of some kind, even it is not one they’re holding,” Corinne says.

In addition, many people continue to do their skin a disservice by eschewing sunscreen during their morning skincare regimen. While some sun exposure can be good for you – including supporting the body’s own production of vitamin D and boosting your mood – Corinne warns that too much UV exposure can result in a number skin issues, the most sinister of which being skin cancer.“Sun exposure increases skin conditions like rosacea; pigmentation marks and causes premature skin ageing. It’s particularly important for anyone with very fair skin that easily burns to protect their skin all year round,” she says.

As we move into summer, Corinne explains that while a natural tan is associated with looking ‘healthy’, a tan is really a sign of damage caused from UV radiation.

“A daily SPF moisturiser will help protect you throughout the day against small amounts of UV exposure, such as when you walk to the car or pop outside to hang out the washing. Remember it takes more than 10 years for sun damage to show on the skin, so what you do now is an investment in ensuring a healthy and happy future complexion,” she says.

Cue Trilogy’s latest innovations that seek to combat the effects of blue light – Trilogy Multi-Shield Moisturiser SPF15 and Trilogy Age-Proof Multi-Defence Moisturiser SPF15.

Launched as new iterations of their current SPF moisturiser range, Trilogy has supercharged each formulation with the brand’s breakthrough blue light defence super-ingredient PEPHA®-AGE.

This hero ingredient claims to protect and support the skin’s natural defence barrier against both natural and artificial blue light damage. Derived from freshwater algae, PEPHA®-AGE contains vitamin B3, zinc and amino acids, which work at both the epidermal and dermal layer of the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production, resulting in a smoother visage.

But it’s not all bad news; Corinne says some forms of blue light can be beneficial to our health. Some blue light may help us feel more awake and alert – accelerating reactions, improving memory and overall function in the short term. It can have the same mood boosting effect like coffee for some. In skincare clinics, blue light therapy (or IPL) helps specific skin conditions using a specific blue wavelength light, effectively neutralising the bacteria responsible for inflammatory acne.


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At the office:
- Walking meetings, to get out of the office for at least half an hour per day
- Office meetings, come armed with a notebook and pen and leave devices at your work station

At home:
- No phones in the bedroom, or at the very least put it in the drawer at night
- Agree on a cut-off time in the evening to put your phone away
- Go for a walk with a friend or your significant other and leave your phone at home
- Switch on the blue light filter on your smartphone while using your device in the evening, as blue light can halt the production of melatonin, a hormone that is essential to achieving a restful night’s sleep

• For more information, visit Trilogyproducts.com


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New Zealand Herald

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