Beauty and skincare brands are now starting to address anti-aging concerns from a new angle. Recent findings suggest that the blue UV light emitted from tech devices like smartphones and tablets may be damaging to the skin and contribute to the signs of aging skin. Find out more details from Women’s Wear Daily below:
Is your iPhone making you look old? Perhaps — and beauty companies are bracing for it.
First there were products designed to fight “tech neck” — the neck skin that reportedly starts to sag from looking down at one’s mobile device too much — and now brands are quickly introducing products meant to protect skin from blue, or High Energy Visible, light, which is largely emitted from tech devices.
Even though science-wise, “the book is still being written,” said Marc Cornell, vice president of innovation and research and development at beauty product manufacturer Englewood Lab, beauty brands are being quick to jump on the trend. Blue light has two sources — screens and the sun — and brands are developing products to combat both. Already Murad and Make have sunscreen, moisturizers and serums billed to fight off blue light, and in the past few months, Farmacy, Derm Institute and Twinlab have added similar sunscreens, serums and supplements to their assortments as well.
The idea behind the trend is that blue light, part of the visible light spectrum, can penetrate skin more deeply than UVA or UVB rays, explained Cornell — and could potentially cause damage, as 20 to 30 percent of sunlight contains blue light. While HEV light can be blocked with a scattering agent, he said, (like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, common sunscreen ingredients) or with a “biologic pathway” (aka botanical ingredients that can block the light’s penetration, like buddleja officinalis flower extract), there is still the damage from smartphones to take into account.
For the time being, antiblue light products are making off-label marketing claims, or claims that are not regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Cornell said. But that doesn’t mean that labs and brands haven’t begun testing. Farmacy Green Screen, which launched in March, is a $36, antiaging SPF that reportedly protects against UVA and UVB rays and blue light. To protect against the latter, product was infused with marigold extract, an ingredient said to be effective in blocking blue light because of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that could be found in it.
Then again, not all experts agree blue light protection is a need. “The skin itself isn’t really at risk,” said New York dermatologist Dennis Gross, who noted that screen technology has changed in recent years.More pressing, in his view, is the way screens can hinder sleep.“It can affect circadian rhythm in people, it affects melatonin levels, which can make you have insomnia,” Dr. Gross said. Despite these skeptics, companies are keeping a close eye on the trend.
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