You’re likely no stranger to blue light; you may even own a pair of blue light glasses. This is the kind of light that’s given off by your phone, tablet, laptop, and other devices. While this is how we think of it, the main source of blue light is actually the sun, and fluorescent and LED lights emit it too.
“Is blue light bad for your skin?” is a question many people have started asking in recent decades as the use of technology has increased. What you might be surprised to realize is that blue light can be both good and bad for the skin. How? Here, we’ll explore how blue light affects the skin and what you can do to protect your skin from the potential side effects of blue light.
How Blue Light Affects the Skin
There are different types of light and each type has varying degrees of intensity and wavelength. For example, sunlight consists of mostly UVA and UVB light; UVA light has longer wavelengths, while UVB light has shorter wavelengths. Depending on the time of day and season, the intensity of both UVA and UVB light varies. Blue light is another type of light that also varies in intensity.
Low-energy and low exposure times to blue light can actually help prevent certain skin diseases while longer exposure times to high-energy blue light can lead to skin damage and photoaging. Skin damage and photoaging are serious concerns that can manifest in visual symptoms such as fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone and texture, dullness, sallowness, and more.
So in the case of blue light, the dose makes the poison.
If you’re sitting in front of a screen all day, it’s safe to say you’re experiencing longer exposure to blue light. So, what can you do to prevent its damaging effects?
How To Protect Your Skin from Blue Light
Protecting your skin from blue light is possible, even if you’re exposed to it for hours on end. Follow these tips as part of your anti-aging skincare routine to help prevent further damage from blue light and diminish any signs of present damage.
The very best defense against blue light is sunscreen. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with zinc oxide can actually filter blue light as it filters light from the sun. Didn’t know your sunscreen could do that, did you?
Apply sunscreen every day — even in the winter and even when you’re staying indoors — because your skin needs protection from more than just outside sun exposure. Not only does it need protection from blue light, but also from the UV rays that penetrate the windows of your home and car. So, yes, continue to put on your sunscreen each morning and reapply it throughout the day.
Clean Screen SPF 30 is a mineral sunscreen that is made with 22% zinc oxide, which effectively blocks and reflects UVA, UVB, and blue light rays to prevent visible signs of aging, pigmentation and reduce the effects of photoaging. It’s also a mattifying formula, so you can apply it daily without needing to worry about greasy residue or clogged pores.
Limit Screen Time
Another sure way to protect against blue light is to limit your exposure to it. This means shutting down your screens more often. Read a book, listen to music, go on a walk outside (with sunscreen on, of course) instead of scrolling social media or shopping online. While our computers, tablets, and phones are often unavoidable during work hours, we are in control of how often we use them for nonessential purposes. If you reach for your phone mindlessly, consider taking up a new hobby or putting it in the other room.
If you can limit your exposure to blue light, you can limit the amount of damage it can cause. When you can’t limit your exposure, consider using blue light filters on your devices or switching to night mode, which reduces the light emitted by the screen.
Fight Free Radicals
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells, skin cells included. They’re triggered by a variety of factors, one of which is blue light. You can help protect against blue light damage caused by free radicals with antioxidant-rich skincare products, which can act as a shield for your skin.
Reach for Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream daily before sitting down behind your screen. This daily moisturizer utilizes Global Protection Complex, a synergistic blend of powerful antioxidants and free radical scavengers, together with soothing and nourishing seed oils to help better protect the skin against dehydration and environmental pollution, a known contributing factor that can lead to visible premature aging.
When you take these steps to protect your skin and limit your screen time, you will be able to combat the negative effects of blue light on your skin.
About the Author
Camille Poggi is a doctor in Pharmacy (PharmD.) and is passionate about skincare and how the skin works in general. She specializes in the cosmetic industry and worked for renowned companies in France like L’Oréal and Chanel before moving to London. After being a training manager for 4 years, Camille is at ease with explaining how products work in the skin and how to adapt her speech according to the audience.
She joined REN in January 2020 as International Training Manager and moved to the Research & Development team earlier this year to be the new Scientific Education Manager. A tailored-made role where she assesses and leads all technical communication and ensures scientific compliance is always met. She’s also involved in new product development from the earliest stages. Finding a way to create sustainable skincare products and making sure the message is properly delivered and understood is definitely a big challenge but also her favorite part working for REN.