Block Blue Light: Is Blue Light Bad for Your Skin?
The first warnings about blue light came from eye doctors. Blue light was recognized as a major contributor to eye strain, even though the research seemed to suggest otherwise.
Software companies released free blue light filters or orange cast overlays for laptops and smartphones, making them easier on the eyes. Blue light filtering tech glasses became a solution for people with large TVs or multiple tech devices.
Research also suggested that blue light may be damaging to the circadian rhythm, disrupting the sleep-wake cycle. Sleep specialists advised against watching TV or scrolling through social media in bed, but many people weren’t interested in changing their habits.
Now, there’s this. Dermatologists caution that the same blue light being emitted from all your devices may also be bad for your skin. The research is new, but it’s something you’ll want to be mindful of when you’re caught up in scrolling through your feed.
What is Blue Light?
Blue light is a type of high-energy visible light. It’s the same kind of light the sun emits, but without the ultraviolet rays.
We know that too much sunlight has the potential to be harmful, but those harmful effects are primarily attributed to ultraviolet light rather than the high-energy visible blue light. All backlit screens like your television, smartphone, laptop and portable game console produce blue light.
Many people spend a significant portion of their lives with blue light beaming directly into their face. Many dermatologists wondered what the consequences of this blue light exposure may be, and early research seems to promote the theory that blue light exposure may come with disadvantages.
Can Light Really Affect the Skin?
Light is often used to deliberately affect the skin. That’s how tanning beds, LED curing lamps for gel nail polish, and many laser skin treatments work.
Intense pulsed light is used to fundamentally change the skin. Infrared light is used to stimulate the skin. The relationship between exposure to certain types of light and its effects on the skin has been well documented for decades.
Dermatologists and aestheticians often advertise the positive ways in which certain types of light can affect the skin, but that doesn’t mean every kind of light is beneficial. Plenty of forms of light, like ultraviolet light, can be dangerous.
Ultraviolet light exposure often causes skin cancer. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives. The risks are well established for ultraviolet light exposure.
The sun is ancient, and technology is still very new. We don’t have long-standing observations and documentation of excessive blue light exposure and its effects on the skin, but that hasn’t stopped dermatologists from attempting to find out.
Is Blue Light Harmful?
Early research seems to suggest a correlation between blue light exposure and photoaging of the skin.
Blue light isn’t dangerous immediately upon contact with the skin. Its effects as a result of temporary exposure don’t seem to be meaningful. It’s the cumulative effect of blue light that seems to degrade collagen and cause hyperpigmentation.
When collagen breaks down, it leaves behind a wrinkled texture in the skin. Hyperpigmentation causes dark spots and uneven skin tone. The abridged version?
Spending a few hours on your phone or computer every day may cause you to appear older or at least accelerate the visible manifestations of the natural aging process.
More research is necessary to assess how damaging blue light can be. While studies are still undergoing, early research seems to suggest that blue light has the potential to stimulate the effects of aging.
While you can’t yet take blue light damage as a fact, you can choose to be cautious if more research seems to back initial findings.
Should You Avoid Blue Light?
If you would rather err on the side of caution with the health of your skin, you can choose to limit your exposure to blue light. Even if you feel like the research on blue light is too early to call, there are still plenty of other reasons why it might be a good idea to spend a little less time on your phone.
Eye strain and the potential disruption of your circadian rhythm can play an important role in your decision to limit your device time. There’s also the more mindful approach of tucking technology away and choosing to immerse yourself more at the moment.
Going for nature, having a face-to-face conversation with a friend or family member, or focusing on a creative pursuit may be a more fulfilling use of your time than endlessly scrolling.
It may not be possible to avoid blue light altogether in your life as many people work with computers and enjoy a great show or video games as a great leisurely way to blow off steam.
Taking precautions against possible negative effects of blue light exposure is a potential workaround for the situation.
Protecting Your Skin From Blue Light
Protecting your skin from blue light won’t require you to dramatically change your morning routine. If you’re already using skincare, switching to antioxidant-rich products should be sufficient in mitigating or preventing potential damage to your skin.
Antioxidants may be beneficial in preventing damage to the skin from light and environmental pollutants. Antioxidant-rich skincare products are designed to set up a defensive line between the surface of your skin and the things that come into contact with it.
When air pollution lands on your skin, it’s seeking cells to steal electrons from. Antioxidants will allow free radicals to rob their own electrons, diverting them away from your healthy skin cells. When blue light that can be damaging reflects off of the skin, it will reflect off of the antioxidant barrier first. They’ll take the brunt of the damage rather than your healthy cells.
Using antioxidant skincare is a great choice, even if there is no certain damage potential from blue light exposure. Use antioxidant skin care to keep yourself safe from environmental damage. If it just so happens to ward off some of the potential negative effects of blue light, that’s a bonus.
The Good Is Designed To Protect Your Skin
Caldera + Lab’s The Good serum contains more than 3.4 million antioxidant units per drop, and it takes several drops to adequately cover your entire face.
This antioxidant shield is fortified by applying The Base Layer moisturizer after the serum has been absorbed by your skin. The Base Layer adds another antioxidant barrier to act as a buffer between your skin and the environment.
Our clinical study demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of participants experienced measurable benefits to the health and appearance of their skin with regular use of The Good.
Even if blue light isn’t the big bad wolf, what do you have to lose by taking better care of your skin?
Next Blue Light and Digital Eye Strain | American Academy of Ophthalmology
How Blue Light Affects Sleep | Sleep Foundation
Impact of Long-Wavelength UVA and Visible Light on Melano Competent Skin | Science Direct