What’s Blue Light?
Blue light is a high-energy visible light derived mostly from the sun. When found in electronic devices, it’s known as digital blue light. So while we toil on our phones or laptop, flip through the news or leave our reality to step into some VR, it's everywhere and unavoidable. In this article, we’ll take a look into the effects of digital blue light on the body and skin.
In the last year, we spent on average about 8 hours on screens and other electronic devices - that’s more than we sleep! And from 2014 to 2021 the average time spent on TV and mobile devices alone rose an hour and 20 minutes. As technological advances allow us to live faster and more efficient lives, it’s inevitable we’ll spend more time on our devices. Surely we’ll be able to lower the effects of digital blue light by developing less harmful and more efficient screens, but until then we’ll still be staring into the headlights.
What Does it Affect?
Whatever you might have heard, blue light is actually not the reason for some common issues like eye strain or lack of sleep. It has more to do with forcing your eyes to look at something close-up for long periods of time which can lead to a headache, sensitivity to light, or acute blurred vision. And your sleep? Well, keep looking at your screen for a while and the blue light causes your brain to wake up and disrupt your sleeping pattern. How much your pattern is affected depends on how long you use your phone at night. No studies have directly associated digital blue light with depression but a disruption in sleep patterns over a long period of time can cause depression-like symptoms.
So, What About The Skin?
The skin does take a bit of a beating from digital blue light emitted by our phones, computer screens, VR, TVs, LED lights, and other electronic devices. Your skin isn’t a fan of CoD marathons.
Since blue light is high-energy visible light, the long wavelengths penetrate the skin deeper than UV light. And even though UV is much more harmful than blue light there are still some effects that contribute to skin damage. Below are some of the major concerns:
Photoaging, or Aging Caused by Light
With a boost in the production of oxidative stress from digital blue light in the skin, a few things happen here to make your skin look older than it should. This includes the creation of fine lines and wrinkles, photodegeneration of collagen, and immunosuppression which can lead to breakouts.
Digital blue light can affect pigmentation and can prolong hyperpigmentation.
This is from not sleeping well which happens when staring aimlessly at your crypto coin every night.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
There are a few methods that can protect your skin from the effects of digital blue light. One is plain old screen-time moderation. Not looking at your phone every so often can lower blue light exposure. As most of us look at our phone about 58 times a day (30 of those times are during work hours) it is really hard to think about not looking at your phone. Some of us do this without even thinking. Also, lowering your phone’s light or keeping it on auto can help.
What About Sunscreens?
Unfortunately, most sunscreens do not protect your skin from blue light. But there are other ingredients that can protect against and reduce the amount of oxidation in the skin, and thus reduce the risk of photoaging.
Even with just 1.5% inside the formula, iron oxide can protect your skin from visible light. With a combination of zinc oxide, the formula can block most UVA and blue light.
High antioxidant formulas are the best to eliminate oxidative stress in the skin. Look for ingredients like Dark Phyto Matter or quality vitamin C to break down the stress caused by digital blue light. Look for this in GOA’s Collagen+Control Facial Serum which contains 50% Dark Phyto Matter and 7% Vitamin C.
Infuse these ingredients into your daily skincare regimen while moderating screen time and your face will love you for it. And the next time you close your laptop before heading to bed and wake up to those Zoom meetings, just know blue light from devices can leave its digital footprint on your face.
Thanks for reading!