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Is Your Smartphone Damaging Your Skin?

There is constant discussion on whether smartphones are detrimental to your emotional and mental health but smartphones could also be harmful to your skin health. Other than the spread of bacteria when you place your phone on your skin, new studies suggest that the HEV light emitted from your phone could cause premature ageing.

HEV light damage

What is HEV Light?

HEV light is short for high energy visible light. It appears blue in colour and is very close to UV light on the electromagnetic spectrum. You are exposed to it from the sun’s rays and from everyday technological gadgets. Mobile phones, computer screens and laptops all produce HEV light.

How Does it Damage the Skin?

It is still not known what exact effect this light has on the skin. However, in susceptible individuals, prolonged chronic exposure to HEV and UV light can lead to non-specific discolouration.  The electromagnetic spectrum can affect the intracellular minerals and their movement out and into the cells. This may lead to cellular dysfunctions.

Dr Obagi explains, “with chronic and long exposure the light from cell phones can cause damage to the texture of the skin. In my experience, I have been able to tell which hand a patient holds their phone in, as the skin takes on a dull, almost dirty texture, which has not been induced by the sun.”

HEV light damage

Ways to Combat HEV Light Damage

Dr Obagi insists that a DNA repairing agent and an antioxidant are necessary to encourage skin’s defence mechanisms against HEV light damage.

“I recommend ZO Skin Health Ossential Daily Power Defense as it uses DNA repair enzymes to enhance your skin’s recovery capabilities, regulate cellular functions and increases skin tolerance and immunity to UV radiation. Skin needs to be encouraged to defend itself. The special enzymes attach directly to your own DNA molecules and repair oxidative damage. It contains time-released retinol, enzymes and antioxidants to repair damaged cells and protect against future damage.

A new breakthrough: Liposhield HEV Melanin

Melanin occurs naturally in the human body. Melanocytes release it into the skin as the first line of defence against exposure to harmful light waves.  Liposhield HEV Melanin is a novel, patent pending ingredient. It is the first cosmetic ingredient designed to protect the skin from damaging high energy visible light.

Liposhield HEV Melanin is a fractionated melanin designed to be used topically as an additional defence. It shields the skin from high energy blue/violet visible light (HEV) that may induce premature ageing. Red visible light is deemed to have beneficial effects, and Liposhield HEV Melanin is tailored so that red light can be transmitted to the skin.HEV light damage

Dr Zein Obagi elaborates; “we have been able to successfully incorporate this breakthrough ingredient into a novel formulation while maintaining its efficacy. ZO Skin Health Oclipse® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF50 is a highly advanced broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen designed to blend into almost any skin tone. Patented, customisable colour beads utilising a comprehensive UVA/UVB photostable sun protection system helps provide daily protection from damaging ultra violet rays, while fractionated melanin helps shield against HEV light damage. The addition of Vitamin C helps to achieve an even-toned complexion by inhibiting pigment formation, and we have enriched the formulation with skin conditioners to improve skin texture.”

The ZO Skin Health Oclipse® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF50 also helps prevent future oxidative stress with DNA repair and protection. It also minimises the irritants that can cause skin redness. It has an exclusive 12-hour time release antioxidant system to help guard against photo-damage. What’s more, the sunscreen restores hydration with skin conditioners that aid in strengthening the skin barrier.

Dr Obagi believes “that this novel ingredient represents the future of sun protection.”

Always at the cutting edge of science and innovation, Oclipse® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF50 first launched 5 years ago with this patented and unique ingredient and in 2017 has introduced a new sunscreen the Oclipse® Daily Sheer SPF 50. This is the next step in sun protection shielding skin from HEV light damage, providing broad-spectrum UV protection but also formulated to be recreational-friendly. A non-greasy, perspiration and water-resistant sunscreen that blends seamlessly into the skin as a sheer matte finish. Swim and sweat this summer without worrying about your sunscreen washing away!

ZO® Triple-Spectrum Protection

ZO triple spectrum sunscreenSunscreens protect against UVA/UVB rays, and the ZO® sun protection portfolio offers both physical and chemical sunscreens that provide broad-spectrum protection against harmful, skin ageing UVA rays and skin burning UVB rays. Our physical sunscreens incorporate proven inorganic sunscreens, while our organic sunscreens incorporate a blend of safe chemical filters. Every ZO® sunscreen is oxybenzone-free.

Our sunscreens have actually been approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation.

What Makes ZO’s Sunscreens the Best?

Each sunscreen not only shields the skin against UVA, UVC and UVB radiation but also provide protection from blue light, (also known as HEV light) and IR-A rays. Let’s break down these two lesser known harmful lights.

ZO triple spectrum sunscreen

Protection against HEV Light

Fractionated melanin in all our sunscreens protects the skin from the ageing effects of HEV light. Protection from this light is especially important, as exposure comes from many daily sources including the sun, fluorescent and LED lighting, smart phones, computers, tablets and more. HEV light generates the same amount of ROS (reactive oxygen species) damage as UVA and UVB combined. It also causes DNA damage, inflammation and an onset of premature ageing skin. So sunscreen protection is essential.

Defence against IR-A Rays

Antioxidants protect against IR-A rays (Infrared Radiation). Research suggests that more than half of the sun’s radiation is IR-A which results in an increase of free radicals which in turn causes DNA damage and prematurely ageing skin. Every ZO® sunscreen is engineered with our exclusive 12-hour, time-release ZOX12™ to help shield the skin from harmful IR-A rays. They assist in protecting the skin from free radical damage and prevent future signs of premature ageing.

Learn more about ZO Skin Health Sunscreens.

Learn more about ZO Medical Sunscreens. 

Choosing the Right Sun Care for You

Damage from UV rays and HEV light can create a wide berth of problems for the skin. From hyperpigmentation and an early onset of wrinkles to more dangerous health risks such as skin cancer. So sun care products are essential to protecting yourself against these harmful rays. But which type of sun care is ideal for your skin type? sun care

There are two types of sun care; chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens. Below we’ve weighed up the pros and cons of each formulation to help you decipher which is the most compatible and beneficial for your skin type and lifestyle.

Formula

The most obvious difference between physical and chemical sunscreen is its actual appearance. Physical sunscreen is commonly a thicker, milky white formula that needs to be thoroughly and generously rubbed in. In contrast, chemical sunscreen is a thinner, clearer formula that can easily be absorbed into the skin.

Sun Care Depending on Skin Conditions

Physical sunscreen is better for sensitive, acne and rosacea skin as it is less likely to cause skin irritation and clogged pores. However, the multitude of ingredients required in chemical sunscreen to allow full broad-spectrum protection results in a higher likelihood of irritation for sensitive skin.

 

sun care

What’s more, physical sunscreen can deflect heat from the sun away from the skin which is ideal for rosacea sufferers. Chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, absorbs and transforms UV rays into heat energy, meaning that for those with rosacea skin, there is a higher chance for redness and flare-ups.

Longevity and Effectiveness

While physical sunscreens instantly protect the skin from the sun, chemical sunscreen requires approximately 20 minutes to be fully effective. Similarly, physical sunscreens last longer when in direct sunlight, while chemical sunscreens require more frequent re-application to remain useful.

However, physical sunscreens are not effective when the body gets wet or sweaty. Any physical activity can easily make it rub off. Plus, if physical sunscreen is not applied thoroughly, the skin may not have total protection. In comparison, the molecular formulas of chemical sunscreens have no spaces between molecules so there is no risk of UV getting between and into the skin.

Find all ZO Skin Health’s various sun care products here.

Product Spotlight: SPF

Photoageing is one of the biggest causes of premature ageing leading to an increase in fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and pigmentation. Sun damage is cumulative, the damage over the years from daily exposure to UV rays is not always externally visible. Early pigmentation damage occurs within the deeper layers of the skin and becomes more apparent on the surface as we age. The skin loses its ability to repair itself, prohibiting the breakdown and production of collagen, as well as the elasticity of the skin weakening, resulting in leathery and wrinkled skin.

With options for every skin type and lifestyle, ZO Skin Health’s sunscreens provide protection from the harmful effects of the sun while also improving the health of your skin.

Oclipse® Smart Tone SPF 50

  • The combination of UVA and UVB sunscreens offer broad spectrum, photostable sun protection
  • Fractionated melanin goes an extra step to shield against damaging high energy visible (HEV) light
  • Fractionated Melanin provides 6-8 hours of protection rather than the regular 1hr 45 minutes.
  • Fortified with vitamin C to inhibit pigment formation
  • Sheer tint that can be worn alone or as a makeup primer
  • Patented colour bursting beads release a subtle hint of customisable colour and radiance for a healthy glow that compliments any skin tone
  • Anti-redness inhibitors
  • Restores hydration with skin conditioners and skin barrier replenishers to skin stays youthful, soft and smooth

Key Ingredients

  • Avobenzone 3%: Provides UVA protection
  • Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 10%: Provide primarily UVB protection
  • Fractionated Melanin: Designed to shield the skin from high energy visible (HEV) light
  • Iron Oxides and Mica: Pressure-release colour system for customisable skin tone
  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: Pigmentation inhibition
  • Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate: 12-hour time release antioxidant complex fights against free radical damage

Oclipse® Sun Spray SPF 50 

  • Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 for Face & Body. Protects the skin from UVB, UVA and HEV exposure
  • Retains SPF for up to 80 minutes of water exposure
  • Exclusive 12-hour time release antioxidant system helps protect the skin from reactive oxidative species
  • Provides anti-irritant and soothing benefits to help reduce redness and discomfort
  • Helps restore hydration and enhance the natural skin barrier to prevent dehydration from daily environmental exposure
  • Breakthrough one touch, all angle spray system provides uniform, even coverage for the entire face and boy with a non-greasy, weightless feel

Key ingredients

  • Octocrylene 10% (UVB), Octisalates 5% (UVB), Homosalate 15% (UVB), Avobenzone 3%(UVA): Provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • Fractionated Melanin: Designed to shield the skin from high-energy visible light (HEV)
  • Panthenyl Triacetate, Ethyl Linoleate, Tocopherol: Provides DNA protection

Oclipse® Sunscreen Primer SPF 30

  • Provides daily multi-defence protection from UVA, UVB and high-energy visible (HEV) light
  • Exclusive 12-hour time release vitamin antioxidant system guards against photo-damage
  • DNA protection and repair
  • Helps minimise inflammation
  • Restores hydration and enhances skin barrier
  • Provides additional support to restore lipids and enhances skin barrier function
  • Helps to smooth the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines

oclipse-sunscreen-primer-spf30Key Ingredients

  • Titanium Dioxide (8.2%): Broad spectrum sunscreen (UVA/UVB) protection
  • Fractionated Melanin: Designed to shield the skin from high-energy visible light (HEV)
  • Helianthus Annus Seed Oil, Ethyl Ferulate, Rosmarinus Officinalis Lef Extract, Disodium Urine Phosphate: Helps provide DNA protection

The Necessity of UV Protection; Even in Winter

uv protection

It can’t be stressed enough, how important UV protection is year-round. UVA and UVB rays still penetrate the skin even when it’s grey and cloudy! Your skin is just as susceptible to developing skin damage or skin cancer in the winter months as in the summer.

Sun damage is connected to signs of premature skin ageing. Even a few minutes of exposure daily throughout the years can cause damage to the skin. From hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles to loose, leathery skin. The damage caused by repeated exposure to the sun is often referred to as photo-ageing. The skin loses its ability to repair itself, prohibiting the breakdown and production of collagen, as well weakening skin elasticity. This is what results in skin looking loose, leathery and wrinkled.

The intensity of photo-ageing is dependent on a person’s skin colour combined with their history of sun exposure. People with fairer skin tones commonly suffer more than those with darker skin. Those with darker skin tones are fortunate to be limited to fine lines, wrinkles and possibly an uneven, pigmented skin tone. However, it is important for all skin tones to take the proper precautions for UV protection.

Some important things to remember for the colder months…

  • While UVB rays may decrease during the winter, UVA rays are still ever-present and dangerous. They can play a major role in premature skin ageing alongside risks of skin cancer.
  • Cloudy weather does not offer much protection. Up to 80% of UV radiation can penetrate this deceptive cover and cause harm to your skin.
  • Sun damage is cumulative. Many do not realise that skin cancer and premature ageing can occur at its worst from a day in and day out exposure to UV rays, not just in the summer. 
  • The damage over the years from daily exposure to UV rays is not necessarily externally visible, but rather a collection of micro-scars that damage the skin.

uv protection

Make sure to protect your skin with a good sunscreen for UV protection

ZO Skin Health’s, Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF30 is clinically proven to be a non-irritating UVA & UVB blocker. It fights the damaging effects of the sun with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as well as providing additional protection with natural melanin. But that’s not all, it also multitasks as an anti-ageing product, helping to smooth the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines. Plus it doubles up as a makeup primer! So it’s something you’ll want to wear every day. Have you ever said that about a sunscreen? It’s the smart sunscreen. So if you’re going to do just one nice thing for your skin this is it.