We all know that spending too much time in front of screens is bad for your eyes, but what effect is all that blue light really having on our skin? In today’s modern world, we are spending more time than ever staring at devices, whether that be a computer screen, mobile phone, or television.
Blue light is a type of high energy visible light that all screens emit and can penetrate deep into our skin. Everyone is aware of the damage that UV light can have on the skin, and SPF is well-known for protecting against harmful rays from the sun. But should we be doing the same to protect our skin from blue light?
Blue light is emitted from all kinds of screens and is also in sunlight, so it is coming to our skin from all angles. For many years, we didn’t understand the effects that blue light could have on our complexions.
However, recent studies have revealed that blue light can penetrate into our skin cells, break down the collagen and generate free radicals. Not only that, but blue light can contribute to hyperpigmentation, particularly in darker skin tones.
One study in 2018 showed that exposing the skin to artificial visible light resulted in cellular and molecular changes. Put simply; blue light can cause skin cells to die, shrink or not work as they are supposed to. Another study found that inflammation in skin cells is increased by 40% with 30 hours of exposure to blue light.
Considering many people spend a 40-hour working week sitting at a computer screen, as well as countless hours scrolling their phones and watching tv in their downtime, it is easy to see how these blue light exposure hours add up.
It is claimed that blue light can actually penetrate deeper into the skin than UV light, reaching all the way down to the dermis layer. The dermis layer is where elastin and collagen is found, and disruption to it can have detrimental effects on the skin. Prolonged exposure to blue light can result in:
For the majority of people, simply avoiding blue light and cutting down exposure isn’t an option. Blue light is an essential part of our daily lives, and we need to come into contact with it in order to do our jobs, keep in touch with our loved ones, and unwind after a long day. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to protect your skin from blue light damage:
When it comes to your phone, there are some options for reducing the level of blue light it emits. Mobile devices are often the most damaging when it comes to blue light, because we use them so often and so close to our faces.
The closer you are to a device, the more damage blue light will cause to your skin. This means televisions are often less damaging than laptops or phones. You can invest in screen protectors which block out blue light directly from your device.
Not only that, but most smartphones have a ‘night mode’, which turns the hue of the screen to a warmer light, reducing the amount of blue light.
Putting on sun cream when you are going to work or staying at home all day might seem like a waste of time, but it can help protect skin from blue light. We all know that SPF protects the skin from UV rays from the sun, but many of these formulas also contain ingredients that neutralise blue light. Particularly look out for sun creams that mention blue light protection or contain zinc oxide.
It is expected that in future, it will become a requirement that all sun creams will need to offer blue light protection too.
SPF alone isn’t always enough to protect against blue light. These rays are known to cause oxidative stress in skin cells, so using antioxidants on your skin is critical. Vitamins like ferulic acid, vitamin C and phloretin can help fight off free radicals and combat pigmentation.
Look for skincare products that offer antioxidants and skin defending properties.
One of the best ways of protecting your skin from blue light is to take good care of it and ensure you have a healthy skin barrier. Give your complexion the ingredients and treatments it needs to stay strong and fight off damage caused by blue lights. Boosting hyaluronic acid and replenishing collagen with skincare products and treatments is an excellent way to keep your complexion healthy.
At Hans Place Practice, we offer a range of treatments for all skin concerns. Many of our treatment options can protect the skin from blue light damage or help counteract the damage that has already been done.
One of the biggest concerns with blue light is that it can cause signs of ageing such as wrinkles, lines, and sagging. Treatments such as Renuvion can help combat signs of ageing and leave the skin tight and smooth once again. Not only that, but Renuvion works to contract the subdermal tissue in the skin and increase collagen production.
Another popular treatment for fighting signs of blue light damage and protecting the skin is INTRAcel. INTRAcel is a high tech treatment that rejuvenates damaged skin and encourages collagen production. Because blue light can prevent the production of new collagen in the skin, any treatments that improve this will help protect from blue light damage.
For a skincare treatment in the comfort of your own home, Obagi is an excellent choice. These products contain active, prescription ingredients and the dosage and frequency are determined specifically for you by Dr Mike Comins. For more information or to book a free consultation, speak with our team today.