In this new age of TVs, iPhones, iPads, iWatches and just about i-everything, blue light is absolutely everywhere. But what is blue light and what has it got to do with your skincare?
Well, it turns out that the blue light emitted by your TVs and your smartphones can harm your skin in the same way that UVA and UVB rays do and may cause premature skin ageing.
What Is Blue Light?
High-energy visible (HEV) light, or blue light, is a high-frequency, short-wave light in the violet/blue band with wavelengths that range from 400 to 450 nanometers. It accounts for 50% of the sunlight spectrum and is the only part of light that is visible to the naked eye. The majority of our exposure to blue light is caused by the sun, but it’s also emitted by devices like smartphones, tablets and televisions along with fluorescent and LED bulbs from indoor lighting.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, natural exposure to blue light (from the sun) during the day can stimulate alertness, improve memory and elevate your mood. At night, however, staring at your smartphone or TV before bedtime can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm and make it harder for you to get a good night’s sleep.
What Effect Is This Having On My Skin?
Whilst there is scientific evidence to prove that blue light can affect your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, we are still learning about its cellular effects on the skin. There are few studies out there that do suggest that blue light can increase the production of free radicals in the skin which, in turn, results in increased pigment, redness and possibly premature ageing.
One such study conducted in 2017 shows that, like UV rays, blue light contribute to the formation of free radicals and induces oxidative stress in live skin. These free radicals cause skin cells to produce enzymes that break down collagen and elastin in the skin and it can also penetrate deeper into the skin, damaging essential proteins and resulting in wrinkles and loss of firmness. Similar research has shown evidence that exposure to blue light can delay skin barrier recovery and result in more significant hyperpigmentation when compared to UVB rays.
Is Blue Light Completely Bad?
It is important to note that while blue light can be potentially harmful, it can also be harnessed to benefit your skin, particularly if you’re dealing with acne. Blue light therapy has been shown to kill acne-causing bacteria. Lightwave is one type of blue light therapy that is pain-free and uses high-end LEDs to distribute specific visible wavelengths of light to the problem areas. It can help those who have lesions that become inflamed and result in red/tender bumps which can be filled with pus and bacteria.
How Do I Protect My Skin From Blue Light Damage?
Reducing your exposure to blue light is the easiest way to spare your skin from its unwanted side effects. Here are some top tips from our Serenity Skin Experts:
- Install covers that block the blue light from smartphones, tablets and computers.
- Enable ‘night mode’ on your digital devices. This significantly reduces the blue light in favour of harmless yellow light.
We would recommend using Priori Tetra daily on your skin to protect against blue light, which we sell both in store and on our website. We would also suggest applying SPF 45 to your skin to protect against UVA and UVB. It also contains DNA complex to repair your skin. Don’t hesitate to pop into Serenity Poynton with any questions regarding your skin – you’re always welcome!