It's now almost impossible to imagine your life without your smartphone. It's practically an extension of your body, and on the odd occasion you leave it at home, or God forbid, lose it, it's easy to feel like you're down a limb.
Be careful though. A report suggests our "digital hands" aren't just giving us text neck, they're hurting our complexions.
Koko Hayashi, Founder and CEO of Japanese skin and body care brand Mirai Clinical, explains on her company's blog that the blue light permanently emitting from our screens is one of the culprits behind premature aging.
“The radiation from blue light penetrates all the way down to the bottom of the [second] layer of your skin (Dermis), which is much deeper than UVA and UVB.”
Hayashi argues the blue light from our smart phone screens can go even deeper than the sun's UV rays. "Which means that it damages collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin," she says.
Can you hear the collective shriek of every Instagram model on the planet?
Before you panic, keep in mind that that scientists are working out how to guard against blue-light penetration.
Mary E. Logue from the University of New Mexico tells Reuters Health she was drawn to the study of blue light damage because of the similarities she saw in modern day technology and the old-school tanning reflectors popular in the sixties.
Her study incorporated a mannequin and various pieces of technology including iPads, iPhones, Kindles and Mac computers. The researchers reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology that when an iPhone 5 was held close to the mannequin's face for an extended period of time, UV exposure was increased by 36 percent.
“The harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays have been well documented, and limiting exposure is the single most effective preventive measure an individual can take,” Logue says. Scary stuff. But a lot of research still needs to be done.
Thankfully ,Hayashi has a few tips we can implement immediately into our tech-dependent lives.
How to stop your iPhone wrecking your skin:
- Dim your screen light.
- Download a blue-light filter app or cover the screen with a blue-light filter.
You can also change the blue-light settings on your computer. For a step-by-step guide, go here. Learn what you can about blue-light damage, scroll smart and avoid excessive smart phone exposure.
You'll be fine.