The dark side of visible light

The dark side of visible light


You may have heard the saying, "The best skincare in your 30s and 40s is sunscreen in your 20s", but sunlight's not the only visible light that can speed up your skin's ageing process and damage it at a cellular level. Recent studies show that visible light indoors is as damaging, if not more so, than Mother Nature's 'lightbulb'. So, here's what you need to know about the light being emitted by the most efficient of energy-efficient fluorescent lightbulbs and marathon social media scrolling sessions – and how to protect your skin and your future selfies from it.

You know about UV, but how about HEVL? 

High-energy visible light (HEVL) is emitted by energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs and LED lights and causes ROS-mediated photo ageing and inflammation of the skin. Wondering what 'ROS-meditated photoaging' is? We can guarantee you're not alone, so here you go…

ROS stands for 'reactive oxygen species', which clever researchers figured out years ago are behind the skin's free-radical damage(when exposed to UV light from the sun). What does free radical damage look like? Acne, pigmentation, eczema and collagen degradation, just for starters. So, in short, you need to be protecting your skin against the artificial light sources you use to illuminate your indoor environments – at home or the office.

Are HEVL and Blue Light the same thing? Yes. 

The term 'blue light' is most commonly used in connection with our screen time. Ever sat and watched TV in the dark? If so, you'll have noticed that those watching are bathed in a light blue hue, which moves and flickers as the screen changes. The same happens when you're in front of a laptop or smartphone screen, except it's less noticeable – or practically undetectable – during daylight hours. Our complexions are constantly taking strain because we are exposed to blue light from so many different sources. That's the bad news. The good news? You can protect your skin from it. 

Gone are the days of wearing sunscreen just when you're in the sun.

While staring at your screen for eight hours doesn't carry the same consequences as ditching the SPF on the beach to try and tan, the hours spent watching TV, sifting through our inbox, juggling Zoom calls and scrolling our favourite social media feeds add up. This means that you need to be wearing – and possibly reapplying – a high quality, broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, 365 days a year. And the fact that your foundation contains a smidge of SPF doesn't count. So, get yourself an SPF that multi-tasks and takes the job seriously; this creates a strong barrier between your skin and all the different types of light. These include HEVL to UV and every kind in between. 

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At Skin Renewal, we stock several innovative, light-fighting SPFs that protect your skin from damage today and the consequences tomorrow and even repair the damage caused in the past. Visit our Online Skin Shop to learn more about the HeliocareLamelleNeostrata and Skinceuticals superheroes in the sunscreen department.

And, if you want to make sure you find the perfect SPF fit for your skin type and lifestyle, chat to your Skin Renewal therapist the next time you pop into one of our 18 branches nationwide. 

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