THE IN-TRAY

See the light: here’s what you need to know about blue light pollution

WE CHECK OUR PHONES ABOUT 150 TIMES A DAY; WHAT’S IT DOING TO OUR SKIN? STUDIES NOW SHOW THAT EXTENDED PERIODS EXPOSED TO BLUE LIGHT OVER TIME CAN ACCELERATE DULLNESS, DRYNESS AND PREMATURE AGEING. BRANDS LIKE CHANTECAILLE ARE HELPING COMBAT THIS NEW TYPE OF POLLUTION. IT’S TIME TO SEE THE LIGHT.

Have you ever set up Screen Time on your phone? For iPhone users it breaks down the amount of time spent in each app on your device. It also provides a by-the-numbers look at the frequency with which you’re checking your phone. It can be pretty eye opening; without realising you might be clocking up hours staring at your phone, add to this eight plus hours staring at a computer screen and then probably another couple in front of the TV in the evening. We hear a lot about technology affecting our mental and physical health, but what about the health of our skin?

The term ‘blue light pollution’ is thrown around a fair bit, but what is it? In terms of the skin, blue light is a man-made version of the sun. Emitted from electronic devices, it refers to the short but high-energy wavelengths on the blue end of the visible light spectrum. A lot of the blue light we’re exposed to comes naturally from the sun, but it’s also emitted by LED lights, including those found in TV screens, smartphones, tablets and computers. A little blue light here and there never hurt anyone, but when it adds up over time it can begin to affect the skin. Preliminary research shows that blue light may trigger skin ageing by penetrating deeply into its layers, inducing oxidative stress leading to hyperpigmentation, inflammation and collagen breakdown.

On a recent trip to Australia, we caught up with Alex Chantecaille who’s the vice president of sales for the family owned brand. Chantecaille recently launched a Blue Light Protection Hyaluronic Serum, as a brand that already focuses on how to protect skin from regular pollution, it seemed only natural to delve further into the effects of blue light pollution, an approach Alex refers to as ‘omni-pollution story’. “It felt like the technology and the learnings were there for blue light exposure through tablets, phones, TV screens and laptops for a critically necessary amount of time to do the scientific research on it,” she says. “Researchers are seeing people get dark spots, elasticity loss, an asphyxiation of the skin and sallowness. That’s been proven,” she adds.

The brand wanted to create a product that could fit comfortably into someone’s current routine, a serum that’s not only deeply hydrating (thanks to plenty of hyaluronic acid) but also combats the skin exhaustion caused by blue light exposure. “It just felt like an aggressively silent polluter. It’s not as physically gritty and obvious as going outside into a very polluted external environment, but it is within our environment,” says Alex. Other hard-hitting ingredients in addition to hyaluronic acid include fermented extract—this helps reduce the visible effects of blue light pollution and decreases brown spots and the appearance of wrinkles. There is also nasturtium flower extract, which revitalises the appearance of skin that appears fatigued due to blue light overexposure.

For Alex—and the brand—the biggest message about any pollution is that it’s a reality that’s being recognised by the skin care industry more and more. “With the anti-pollution, and now with the blue light we’re saying these effects are the new normal. It’s not a trend, they aren’t products just for one market. Unfortunately, they are a reality,” she says.

Shop more blue light pollution protection products below.

Words by Emily Deacon
July 2019

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