64% of people unaware of blue light impact on skin
Two in three (64%) people are unaware of the effect that blue light can have on their skin, Unilever has found. We want to help people “beat the screen blues” by raising awareness of the negative impact that blue light has on skin – not just on our faces, but on the rest of the body too.
With 60% of people now spending more than six hours a day in front of a digital device, five working days can have the same impact on the skin as spending 25 minutes in midday sun without any protection.
How blue light effects skin health
The blue light emitted from screens not only affects the skin but can also disturb our biological clocks. Blue light can penetrate the skin far deeper that UV light, passing through the epidermis and dermis to the subcutis layer.
It can induce both immediate and persistent pigmentation, which can still be present after three months. In addition, these rays can inhibit melatonin generation, increase stress hormone levels, and excite nerves, which in turn disturbs sleeping pattern and circadian rhythm. 30 hours of exposure to blue light from smartphone or laptop screens can increase the inflammation level in skin cells by 40%.
Samantha Tucker-Samaras, Global Vice President Science & technology, Beauty & Personal Care explains: “Long-term exposure to blue light has the potential to have a significant negative impact on people’s wellbeing, and we’re concerned people are simply unaware of the risks. 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. 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 wellbeing too.
“Unilever’s 5,000 experts across the world work to bring science and innovation insights to products which benefit people’s health and wellbeing, and we have a duty to let people know how best to protect themselves from the impact of blue light exposure.”
How to Beat the Screen Blues
To protect against blue light, Unilever’s scientists recommend using products which include ingredients that minimise or neutralise blue light, as well as restore skin. Look for products which include the following ingredients:
- Products with optics minimise visible light to prevent skin tanning. For example, BB cream is scientifically proven to minimise the effects of blue light by 80%.
- Zinc Oxide, which creates a protective barrier for the skin.
- Vitamin C protects and recovers skin cells from blue-light-induced oxidative damage.
- Vitamin B6 combats visible-light-induced antioxidant depletion and effectively supresses oxidative stress caused by visible light.
- Niacinamide restores skin surface cells from blue-light-induced oxidative stress and provides strong protection against skin damage caused by blue light.
 According to a poll of 1318 consumers conducted by Unilever in August 2020
 Source: Unilever Science & Technology study
 Source: Unilever Science & Technology study
100 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0DY
Where relevant, these actions are subject to the appropriate consultations and approvals.
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'looks', 'believes', 'vision', or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Unilever Group (the 'Group'). They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; Unilever's ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; inability to find sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; the effect of climate change on Unilever's business; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and natural disasters; financial risks; failure to meet high and ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Annual Report on Form 20-F 2019 and the Unilever Annual Report and Accounts 2019.