Protect Your Skin From Blue Light!
Here’s bringing you up-to-date with the effects of blue light on your skin and ways to prevent it.
The effects of the damage caused to the skin from UVA and UVB rays have been closely studied, and ways to prevent or reduce the harm they cause are now widely known. However, the effects and degree of harm caused by exposure to the blue light that emanates from devices like our mobile phones is not yet widely recognised.
Some sources of information clearly show that blue light from electronic devices such as laptops and phones can affect our skin cells, causing cell shrinkage and death aka expedited skin ageing. Research also shows that exposures for as short as 60 minutes can trigger these changes. Simply put, blue light promotes stressors in skin that cause photoageing; that is, ageing from exposure to light. We are all constantly exposed to blue light, and hence, this could adversely affect our skin health.
What is Blue light?
In order to understand the ways of damage prevention, perhaps it is best that we first understand what blue light is. Blue light is simply a part of the visible light spectrum (380 to 500 nanometres) contained in sunlight. It is also emitted by indoor lighting and electronic devices such as computers, tablets and mobile phones. Although this ‘artificial’ blue light is just a fraction of what is given off by the sun, we are constantly exposed to it, now more than ever, and especially with COVID when we experienced a huge spike in device usage.
Does device usage actually contribute to premature ageing and negatively affect our skin health?
Devices emit low levels of blue light. However, since our usage of devices is increasing, so is our exposure to blue light. According to experts, blue light exposure certainly causes dry eye, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration; also, there is scientific research that says it could affect hormone production, which in turn causes an imbalance that negatively affects sleep quality. Finally, prolonged and harsh exposure to blue light can cause skin damage, like colour changes, inflammation, and weakening of the skin’s surface. Although not immediately visible, as is the case with sunburn, skin changes like pigmentation, early wrinkling and redness can all be signs of damage from blue light.
However, solid and foolproof science proving the ill-effects of blue light on our skin is still in development. Interesting to know that blue light is sometimes used by dermatologists to treat skin conditions like acne, and there have been no reports that these treatments damage skin pigmentation.
While scientists work, what can we do to protect ourselves?
- Cut down your screen time
- Find accredited, ophthalmologist-approved blue light shields for your devices
- Use the settings on your devices, when available, that disables blue light in favour of yellow light (often called night mode), and turn down the brightness
- Wear headphones to create distance between your face and your phone
- For your eyes, use polarised sunglasses, like you would against the sun
The Way Forward
According to dermatologists, the best ways to protect our skin from blue light damage are in a way the routines we use to protect ourselves from the sun, smog and pollution that cause dull, tired, red and uneven skin tone. Experts in the field recommend using serums rich in antioxidants and using a concentrated, antioxidant loaded broad-spectrum sunscreen. Sunscreens which contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide help physically block light and blue light as well. Tinted mineral sunscreen is also helpful. Further, vitamin C can help with preventing photoageing and treating hyperpigmentation. Finally, iron oxide may help with reducing sensitivity to blue light, thus skincare products laden with these, may help reverse the damage caused by blue light.
If you are concerned about the damage caused by blue light to your skin, or are already suffering from symptoms similar to the ones described above, it is best that you consult a professional and seek medical advice from them.
At the end of the day, rest, good food, exercise, meditation, joy and love will help restore not just your skin and body, but also your mind and soul.
Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.