Selfies are ruining your skin, according to science

How many selfies do you take every day? Google says 93 million are taken around the world each and every day (according to Kim Kardashian, up to 1200 of those are hers). Millennials will apparently take over 25,000 selfies in a lifetime, and 95% of them admit to having taken one before. (So, 5% of millennials are liars.) That’s a rough average of 10 minutes a day, 5 hours a month, and about 60 hours a year, spent taking selfies.

Well it turns out that they’re single-handedly destroying your skin. Just kidding—not single-handedly; computers are, too. 26-year-old London-based blogger Mehreen Baig was taking about 50 selfies a day for Instagram and her blog, when one day she noticed some changes in her skin. “From freckles on my cheeks to larger pores than usual to dark circles under my eyes — it was time to stop relying on makeup to paint over the reality,” she writes. “So I set off to see Dr Simon Zokaie – Cosmetic Dermatologist at the Linia skin clinic – to finally discover the truth.”

The results? High Energy Visible (HEV) light — aka the blue light that your computer and phone emit — is indeed harmful to your skin. It slows down its ability to repair itself, and accelerates ageing. In fact, the dermatologist determined that three factors were playing into Baig’s skin problems: sun damage, pollution, and HEV light. It made the top three! In fact, studies suggest that HEV light produces the same amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as UVA and UVB rays combined.

The worst part? Sunscreen doesn’t protect against HEV light — just UVA and UVB rays. Womp womp. However, there are some things you can do to reverse the process of ROS, like applying an antioxidant serum during the day. Some even better news is that New York beauty brand Make uh, makes, a primer called ‘Moonlight‘ that protects against the HEV light your phone, tablet, and computers emit.

So no, you don’t have to stop taking snapping, but you do need to be more mindful of the harmful effects of staring at a screen all day long. Just take care of your self…ie.

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