Next time you go to snap a selfie, you could be causing your skin to age prematurely, according to a UK blogger who takes 50 selfies a day.
A 26-year-old blogger named Mehreen Baig, from London, claims that light from her mobile phone is contributing to ageing her prematurely.
Mehreen takes up to 50 selfies a day to post to Instagram and her blog, but became concerned about High Energy Visible (HEV) light that is emitted by devices like phones, laptops and tablets after studies suggested it is just as harmful to skin as UVA and UVB light.
Researchers have found that HEV light generates the same amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the skin as UVA and UVB light combined, and prevents skin repair and leads to ageing.
They’ve also found that it penetrates the skin more deeply than UV rays and sunscreen cannot protect the skin from its effects.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Mehreen says that she loves being her own photographer, editor and publisher and taking selfies allows her to be the best version of herself.
“Besides, I couldn’t stop taking selfies even if I wanted to, as my job pretty much revolves around it,” she writes.
“As a lifestyle blogger, I spend most of my life in front of the computer or mobile phone screen. Good pictures result in an increased following which is essential to, well, pay my rent.”
Mehreen claims that she was concerned when she heard light from electronics could potentially be causing damage to her skin, as recent scientific evidence suggests that HEV light can damage skin and lead to accelerated skin ageing.
“I am constantly exposed to HEV light, and I wondered if this could be why I had recently developed trouble spots on my skin that had never been there before?” she wrote.
“From freckles on my cheeks to larger pores than usual to dark circles under my eyes – it was time to stop relying on make-up to paint over the reality.”
Mehreen sought out Dr Simon Zokale, a cosmetic dermatologist, who explained to her there are three factors that lead to skin damage – pollution, sun damage and HEV light.
“The combination of these three factors cause heat and inflammation under the skin, slowing down the skin’s ability to heal and protect itself,” she wrote.
Dr Zokale used a skin scanner to analyse Mehreen’s poor size, sun damage, lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, moisture and HEV light damage. He concluded that her skin was somewhere in the 25-30 age bracket – but he also advised that her skin had indeed been damaged by HEV light, with a lot of the damage under her skin and not yet visible to the naked eye.
Mehreen said the predominant damage to her skin from HEV light was evident through pigmentation and new freckles, and brown spots on her cheeks were a direct result of light from her computer screen and mobile phones.
The doctor advised Mehreen to use an antioxidant serum in the daytime to penetrate the pores and slow down and reverse the process of ROS. And at night time she was advised to use an antioxidant cream or gel, which is thicker.