Blue Light: Skin Therapy or Skin Nightmare?
Could the time spent in front of your phone or laptop be damaging your skin? With a new generation of technology, comes many unknowns for us users. Many studies have been released discussing the dangers of blue light for your eyes, but researchers are now looking closer at what it could be doing to your skin as well.
Blue light is a portion of the white light spectrum that radiates from the sun, as well as from your technology. It can actually penetrate to the subcutis layer of the skin, going much deeper than UV light, through the epidermis and dermis layers.
So What’s The Harm?
Studies have revealed that long-term exposure to blue light can increase the amount of DNA damage, cell & tissue death, skin barrier damage, and photoaging. It has been known to affect the pigmentation of your skin and according to a study by Unilever, 30 hours of exposure to blue light from smartphone or laptop screens can increase the inflammation level in skin cells by 40%. Other recent studies have shown that exposures as short as one hour may cause the generation of reactive oxygen species (which break down collagen!!) and that even the flash from your selfie could accelerate skin aging.
Aging skin, and for what? The perfect selfie and a few hours wasted scrolling through social media? No thanks ✋
Is It All Bad?
In short, no. Blue light, depending on the intensity and duration of exposure, can also be beneficial to the skin if monitored closely by a professional. Dermatologists have used blue light therapy to prevent skin conditions, such as psoriasis, and even to treat mild acne. However, not enough information is known about the long-term exposure and most professionals recommend avoiding it altogether.
How To Combat Blue Light
Reduce screen time when possible
Look for skincare products with antioxidants, as well as niacinamide and zinc oxide
Taking Vitamin C topically and orally can protect and repair the skin from oxidative damage
Look for screen protectors for your laptop, tablet, and phone that can filter blue light
Wear your SPF! Look for broad spectrum sunscreen with iron oxide and zinc oxide, as not all SPF are blue light blockers