Can Blue Light Damage My Skin?
Your parents probably told you to not sit too close to the screen when watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the internet. And they definitely had the right idea in mind because digital screens damage eyes due to blue light. It has been known for years that digital light (AKA blue light) can cause eye strain, but the pressing question is: can blue light damage your skin, too?
We did some digging and found scientific literature about blue light from 2010 to 2020, and found out that blue light can indeed damage your skin.
It is 2020 and we are living in a Digital Age
The world has changed since the pandemic has hit us. Our daily lives have become virtual. Working from home, online lectures, and zoom meetings have bound us to our digital devices. As the world around us has changed, so did its influence on our health and our skin.
Can Blue Light damage skin?
We know it sounds scary, but stay with us to know why and how blue light has a negative effect on our skin and get some tips on how to prevent and treat blue light skin damage.
What exactly is blue light?
Blue light is a visible light that emits from screens of electronic devices like smartphones, laptops, desktops, tablets, TV, and LED bulbs.
To be more specific:
Blue Light - is a High-Energy Visible Light (HEV light) which is a color in the visible light spectrum that can be seen by the human eye. Blue light is a shortwavelength (380-500 nm), which means it produces higher amounts of energy.
Blue light is found everywhere. Years ago, the only source of blue light was from the sun, but since the first TV was developed, we started to become in contact with artificial blue light. Considering COVID-19, it is easy to say that we are surrounded by blue light 24/7, minus the 6-8 hours when we are asleep.
For example, seen to the right is the average times that we spend just on the screens of our smartphones.
According to research, we spend more than 50% of our time on a screen of an electronic device on average. If you have been working from home during quarantine or taking online lectures, the chances of blue light exposure is much higher.
Is Blue Light dangerous?
Blue light produces high energy according to the light spectrum which can reduce visual contrast, affecting visual clarity and sharpness. This can result in eye strain, physical and mental fatigue, and headaches when using electronic devices.
How does Blue Light affect my skin?
Honestly, this is a question that we ask ourselves everyday, but the answer is quite obvious. Just like how UVA and UVB damage our skin, blue light has its own negative influence on skin.
To the right are some effects that blue light has after prolonged exposure to LED bulbs and digital devices.
What is the difference between Blue Light and Ultraviolet Light?
It’s important to point out that these lights are different. When looking at the light spectrum, we know that blue light is visible light, meaning we can see it. However, we cannot see UVA and UVB.
Fact: Blue light is why the sky appears to be blue.
And most importantly, blue light penetrates the skin deeper in a shorter period.
While UVB works on the surface of the skin and UVA goes deep into the epidermis, blue light can penetrate deeper into the dermis and cause negative effects on the cellular level of the skin.
On the deeper level of the dermis, blue light:
Affects antioxidant balance of skin
Causes cellular damage via reactive oxygen species (ROS)
Delays the barrier recovery rate of the skin
Contributes to inflammation of the skin cells that lead to brown spots on the skin and hyperpigmentation such as melasma
Triggers breakdown of collagen, which leads to wrinkles and skin laxity
Just like UVA and UVB, damage from blue light is visible only after time has passed.
However what blue light and UVA and UVB have in common is that 60 minutes in front of screen equals to 15 minutes of unprotected skin under the sun.
How to Prevent Blue Light Damage
Studies show that 60% to 70% of people spend more than eight hours a day in front of a digital device.
Here are some tips to prevent damage from blue light:
Wear glasses or switch your device to night mode.
Don’t forget to eat food that has a lot of vitamins and antioxidants to fight against free radicals from within the body.
Protect your skin with sunscreen.
How to Protect My Skin from Blue light?
If you want to prevent blue light from penetrating deep into your skin, make sure to apply sunscreen everyday, no matter if you’re planning to stay indoors.
A mineral sunscreen that has Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide like our Complete No-Stress Physical Sunscreen that includes Niacinamide , will not only protect but also heal the skin that has been damaged by blue light.
Next, it is crucial to use products that are filled with antioxidants and vitamins to fight free radicals, improve collagen and elastin production, strengthen the skin barrier, and brighten pigmentation caused by blue light. The products below have all of these functions to help improve the skin.
First one is our Artichoke Intensive Skin Barrier Ampoule which delivers rich antioxidants, nutrients, and hydration to heal damaged, irritated skin barriers.
The other is our Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum which is a Niacinamide based serum that corrects dark spots and improves uneven skin tone. With the help of plant-derived Squalane, this serum retains moisture that will prevent your skin from premature ageing as well.