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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

Your Phone Could be Aging You

Are you reading this on your cell phone?  Your answer is probably yes. Maybe you’re waiting for the train to arrive and trying to pass time, or you’re at work waiting for a meeting to get started and you don’t feel like making small talk, or maybe you’re sitting on the toilet and trying to keep your mind off, well, other “things” happening at the moment.  For these situations, having a mobile computer at the tip of your fingers is glorious. However, did you ever think of what all the time spent on your phone could be doing to your skin? Your answer is probably no.

Most of us are already aware of the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on the skin and that’s why we are encouraged to apply sunscreen before going outside in the sun!  However, recent studies show that prolonged exposure to the light given off by our mobile phones may also cause skin damage. HEV (high-energy visible light), otherwise referred to as “blue light” is the light emitted by our cell phones.  Blue light may accelerate signs of aging and increase the appearance of wrinkles that we have traditionally associated with too much sun exposure. Unfortunately, blue light is also emitted from our laptops and tablets

In a study of nine people, published in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, researchers found that the carotenoids in people’s skin decreased with exposure to high-energy light.  Carotenoids help give your skin its color, and a lack of them can cause age spots and discoloration. The study concluded that the light from your phone can cause pigmentation, which makes our skin appear older than we actually are. Premature aging isn’t the only problem associated with exposure to blue light. Other research shows that blue light emitted by our cell phones can even suppress production of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin, promoting insomnia.

Cosmetics to the Rescue!

Not to worry, cosmetic companies have already released products aimed at fixing this dilemma.  Beauty brands are acknowledging the potentially damaging effects of blue light on our skin and have begun marketing products that are designed to block blue light.  One option is SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF. It’s a broad-spectrum anti-oxidant face serum that delivers advanced environmental protection and claims to diminish the appearance of fine lines and discoloration.  Not surprisingly, this product does have a high price tag.  “UV Expert” is the name of another skincare product from Lancôme. Rather than just being another hybrid makeup-sunscreen product, this innovative new cosmetic is formulated to provide protection from both the sun's UVA and UVB rays, as well as the blue light that's emitted by smartphones, laptops, and tablets

Just Put the Phone DOWN!

While cellphone use is sometimes unavoidable, for those times when you’re just using your phone as a pastime and have difficulty placing it aside, now you can assure yourself that it would be better to have more youthful looking skin rather than continue messing around on your phone.  Get outside, and connect with your friends (and of course, wear sunscreen!). The weather is getting nicer and there are plenty of opportunities to hang out with your friends in NYC, in a healthy setting.