04:11 GMT06 May 2021
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    Researchers at Unilever, a multinational consumer goods company, have found that sitting in front of a digital screen for six hours a day for five working days is equivalent to spending 25 minutes in the midday sun without any protection.

    According to the company’s findings, 2 in 3 people are unaware of the effect that blue light emitted by screens has on the skin. The findings were based on a poll of 1,318 consumers conducted in August.

    Although blue light can boost alertness and help memory and cognitive function, it can also penetrate deep into the skin to induce pigmentation, inhibit melatonin generation and increase stress hormone levels. 

    In fact, just 30 hours of exposure to blue light from smartphone or laptop screens can spike inflammation in skin cells by 40%.

    “Long-term exposure to blue light has the potential to have a significant negative impact on people’s well-being, and we’re concerned people are simply unaware of the risks,” Samantha Tucker-Samaras, global vice president of science and technology for Unilever’s Beauty & Personal Care division, said in the company’s release.

    “It is highly likely that exposure to blue light has increased this year, as many previously office-based workers have increased their time in front of a screen, as face-to-face meetings have moved to virtual,” she noted. “People should be looking for skincare products loaded with antioxidants, as well as niacinamide and zinc oxide. Limiting screen time also helps, not only for our overall skin health, but our general well-being, too.”

    To beat the screen blues and keep their skin healthy, Unilever scientists also recommend that people use products like vitamin C and vitamin B6. These products can protect skin cells and also prevent the oxidative stress induced by blue light.

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