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Selfies Could Be Ageing You, Researchers Warn

Dominique Adams


smartphone selfies

LED flashes from smartphones when taking selfies could lead to premature ageing, a study has found.

Flashes from LED lights on smartphones can affect the skin’s ability to repair itself and thereby cause wrinkles, researchers at Shiraz University have discovered.

Based on the findings of their study, the researchers are calling on smartphone makers to use Xenon rather than LEDs.

Dr Najmeh Arjmandi, who led the study, said: “Frequent exposure to visible light spectrum of the selfie flashes may cause skin damage and accelerated skin ageing. Although there are numerous advantages for the use of LEDs over Xenon flashes, the peak spectral intensity of LEDs lies in the blue region.

“Current data shows that exposure to blue light can lead to different levels of damage in human eyes and skin. Changing the spectral output of LED-based smartphones’ flashes can be introduced as an effective method for reducing the adverse health effects associated with exposure to blue light.”


It was found that the UV rays emitted by LEDs cause reactive oxygen species, which destabilise skin cell molecules, and lead to the formation of wrinkles. This affect is only observed when the smartphone is held up to the face, not when it is on a tripod.

Arjmandi said: “If we assume that the power output of the smartphones’ photoflashes is constant at any distance, when someone uses a monopod, the intensity of light reaching the skin can be significantly reduced.”

As well as the potential damage caused by smartphone flashes, the researchers also found that the blue light emitted by a smartphone screen can cause damage to your skin, too.

“The widespread use of light emitting diodes (LEDs) and the rapidly increasing use of smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers have led to a significant rise in the exposure of human eyes to short-wavelength visible light,” Arjmandi added.

“Recent studies show that exposure of human skin cells to light emitted from electronic devices, even for exposures as short as one hour, may cause reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, apoptosis, and necrosis.”

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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