The evidence for this is limited, and scientists don’t believe HEV alters your DNA. Some basic studies have shown that HEV light could lead to pigmentation with a darkening effect in the short-term, but the mechanism underlying this is not clear and research is ongoing, so it’s too early to definitively say HEV light has a significant impact on the skin.
But wait … because there is evidence from other areas of medicine that suggests heavy use of devices has a negative impact on our health. For example, using a tablet or smartphone just before going to bed can disrupt our sleep cycle, lowering melatonin levels and elevating cortisol, which degrades collagen. There’s also evidence that HEV light plays a role in eye diseases, such as macular degeneration.
More food for thought
A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2015 showed the UV dose measured on a mannequin was greater when a tablet or smartphone was placed in front of it. This shows we might be increasing the UV dose to our faces and necks if we use these devices outside, due to reflected UV light.
Pressure from holding a mobile to your ear can lead to ear cartilage inflammation called chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis.
In rare cases, resting your laptop on your lap for prolonged periods can lead to a net-like rash on your thighs.
“Tech neck” describes what happens when you constantly look down at your device. The skin around the neck becomes loose and leads to neck folds.
Repetitive facial movements (such as squinting at a screen) can lead to wrinkles.
You may see breakouts on the “phone” side of your face, which makes sense when you consider the claims made by a microbiologist that our phones house more bacteria than a toilet seat.
While we wait for science to determine if our tech is ageing us, here’s three ways to protect yourself right now:
- Blue-light filter apps maintain good screen clarity while reducing the amount of blue light reaching your eyes.
- Keep a microfibre cloth or wipes handy so you can regularly clean your smartphone and tablet screens.
- Antioxidants help neutralise free radical damage and SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $214, is a beauty editor favourite.
This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of marie claire.