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Notes on Blue Lights and Skin

First of all, what exactly are blue lights? Blue light makes up part of the spectrum of visible light and is known as HEV. It regulates our body’s circadian rhythm, elevates our mood and works with our cognitive function, so blue lights are not strictly bad news. However, researchers have recently begun to collate findings that suggest blue light can have an impact on our skin, in more ways than one. While anything substantial is yet to be proven, the evidence is not looking good – particularly in a day and age where our phones are just about glued to our hands. So while we wait for hard evidence, it doesn’t hurt to take a preventive approach. 

What exactly is it supposedly doing to our skin? Blue lights can contribute to photo-ageing, hyperpigmentation and skin laxity, as the visible light can trigger certain skin conditions (for example, the stimulation of pigment which can lead to hyperpigmentation). There is also evidence that blue light can penetrate the skin and lead to DNA damage, in turn, resulting in inflammation and a breakdown of healthy collagen and elastin. 

In short, blue light may very well be bad for your skin (sigh – yet another element to protect against) and you know my philosophy… an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this instance, where the evidence is inconclusive, it’s always best to take preventative measures where you can.

A tidal wave of products protecting against blue light are flooding the skincare world. Depending on the amount of screen time you are exposed to daily, it could very well be worth incorporating these into your routine. The inclusion of an antioxidant-rich serum or oil will work wonders to counteract the effects of free radicals caused by blue lights and of course a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA, UVB and HEV.  Where possible, keep screen brightness to a minimum.