How bad are our electronic devices for our health? Let us count the ways: We’ve been told time and again how much sitting at our computer is killing us, not to mention the major impact blue light has on our sleep patterns. Staying mindful and anxiety-free? Not so easy when you’re logging countless hours on the Internet, it turns out. And now, add this to the laundry list: Your screentime could be taking a major toll on your skin, in a way that’s equivalent (and in some ways worse) than sun damage.
The culprit is high-energy visible (or HEV) light, commonly known as the blue light emitted from your TV, computer, and smartphone. Because these devices became indispensible to our lifestyles so quickly (remember the days when you didn’t check your cell phone every five minutes, like 10 years ago?), research on the specific effects of HEV light is still developing. But what scientists do know is that this light penetrates skin more deeply than UV rays, and studies on the way HEV impacts DNA leads them to believe that it could accelerate photoaging—the skin changes commonly associated with sun damage.
Even without concrete answers about the extent of this damage, it’s pretty terrifying, considering how long we’ve gone without knowing this and subsequently taking the opportunity to protect ourselves.
But much like we can’t exactly avoid the sun at all times, our computers, while not a great source of vitamin D, are a pretty essential source of our livelihood (also important). The good news is that the beauty industry is slowly taking steps to protect our skin from damaging electronic light in the same way that it tackles UV rays: with protectant creams.
Scroll to learn all about the innovative new beauty product that protects your skin from all kinds of light.
Make Beauty is one of the first brands to own this small but surely soon-to-be-mighty corner of the market, through the release of its Moonlight Primer ($55, pictured) this fall. The marine-infused moisturizer and makeup base is specially formulated to shield against HEV light. “We use a vegetal source of melanin, an edible marine algae, and a fraction of shea butter that work as a biological active complex that not only protects against HEV light and the effects of Infrared, or IR light but also against environmental pollutants: soot, car exhaust, free radicals, and general urban grime,” says the brand’s creative director, Ariana Mouyiaris.
Funny enough, HEV and infrared (IR) light weren’t originally factors in the beginning stages of the Moonlight Primer’s creation—Mouyiaris sought to develop a product that would aid with her vitamin D deficiency. “Living between London and NY, my levels became very low in the winter,” she explains. “I use sunscreen in most sunlight conditions, regardless of the season, but while protecting myself with SPF against the sun, I wasn’t able to synthesize the positive aspects of light. Without good levels of vitamin D, your circadian rhythm, sleep, and immunity are compromised, and I wanted to create a product that could help address this: to protect my skin from pre-aging but to also help me synthesize vitamin D.” Soon, she says, discussion turned to protection from these other elements (electronically emitted light, as well as other pollutants that are products of our modern environment), which hadn’t really been part of the skincare conversation before.
The finished product does it all—and it’s definitely worth noting that it does so with only natural and allergen- and cruelty-free ingredients. For example, Mouyiaris and her team settled on chicory root extract as the best plant-based way for the formula to promote vitamin D synthesis. And because this would all be rendered irrelevant if the Moonlight Primer didn’t deliver on application, we’re happy to report that it has a gloriously matte, velvety texture that layers easily with other products.
All in all, it’s a must-have for the complexion-conscious modern woman (or man). But why is it one of the only options out there? Mouyiaris predicts that this won’t be the case for long, even if Make got there first. “New information and studies are always being done,” she says. “It is one thing to be aware of an issue and another for material suppliers and chemistry labs to try and develop things to address the issues. We are lucky that we have an incredible in-house skincare lab that works with the latest technology and actives.
We were really excited to develop something that we’d never seen before that would be so relevant to how we live today.” In the meantime, consider this primer as essential as your daily SPF—and lather up.
Did you have any idea about the impact that your electronics have on your skin? Tell us what you think in the comments below!