In the past, it was more common to be concerned about the harmful UV rays contained in sunlight. In the last few years there has been a growing trend in skincare of blue-light blocking. So what is blue light, and do you need to be concerned?
What is blue light?
This light is emitted from sunlight, fluorescent, incandescent light bulbs and digital devices. Most people own one or more electronic devices, and each one emits blue light in varying degrees of strength. It is thought that blue light can penetrate deeper than UV light, but it is thankfully not linked to the development of skin cancer. While the majority of blue light we are exposed to comes from the sun, the issue with devices stems from the frequency in which our faces have direct exposure, through digital screens like our phones and laptops. Although it is low-level risk, it is long term exposure and there are still ongoing studies into the effects.
How does it affect the skin?
Blue light could cause your skin cells to shrink and die, speeding up the ageing process. It has been found that over-exposure could also lead to pigmentation, swelling and redness as it induces oxidative stress.
How will I know if blue light has affected my skin?
Keep an eye out for skin changes like swelling, early wrinkling and redness. Similar to UV light, blue light can cause pigmentation on the surface of the skin, which would be the first sign that there may be a problem.
How to protect from blue light damage
Try to limit your screen time whenever possible. When heading outside, use a high factor SPF and opt for a mineral sunscreen if you can. They don’t absorb into the skin like chemical sunscreens, instead they reflect the rays, creating a barrier between you and the sun. It’s also known that blue light can disturb our sleep as it suppresses the natural production of melatonin. It’s therefore best to have an hour before bedtime where you are limiting the use of digital devices.
It’s not all bad
Although blue light can impact your skin in certain circumstances, it has also been found to have healing properties for those with acne and psoriasis, when carried out in blue light therapy.
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