I think we both know that watching a lot of TV and scrolling on your phone for hours could be damaging to our eyes, but can it impact our skin too?
Yes. Yes it can.
But how is that possible? It's due to something called Blue Light.
Let’s first understand what blue light is...
Blue light is a visible light that comes from the sun, LED lights and, you guessed it, our devices! Blue light is a high energy, short wavelength range of light that can penetrate into the deeper layers of our skin (more than UVA and UVB rays…) We can see it but we can’t feel it.
Research found that if we were in front of our devices for 4, 8-hour shifts, it’s equivalent to being exposed outside in the midday sun for 20 minutes, essentially indicating that just because you’re not outside, it doesn’t mean you’re free of sun damage.
Blue Light is one of the biggest contributors to skin damage, creating long term issues.
How is it damaging to the skin?
1. Premature Aging
So, because Blue Light can reach the deepest layer of the skin, it reaches our dermis, which is where collagen and elastin are. It increases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and can reduce skin firmness.
Also, Blue Light produces free radicals which induces oxidative stress, damaging our collagen.
This may not be visible immediately but that’s because the effects of blue light are similar to the impacts of UV rays and the constant exposure with little to no protection, the damage accumulates over time.
You know how the sun can cause sunspots? Blue Light can do that too! It can produce brown spots and uneven skin tone.
Pigmentation developed from Blue Light is apparently shown to be darker than hyperpigmentation caused by UV rays.
Unfortunately, Blue Light’s impact on skin of color (aka hyperpigmentation) is more common. And as we know, this production of melanin is harder for our skin to treat.
How do we protect ourselves from Blue Light?
Sunscreen! Like I said earlier, Blue Light can cause damage as if you were spending some time outside, so applying your sunscreen will be very helpful in combating the impacts of Blue Light.
And of course, making sure your skincare products have ingredients that help with aging and complexion issues, such as retinoids, vitamin c, niacinamide and exfoliating acids (ie. glycolic, lactic, etc) will also help.