Blue Light & What You Need To Know…
If you’re serious about preventing premature ageing, it seems protection from UVA and UVB rays is no longer enough, as evolving research confirms that blue light – emitted from the sun and our digital devices – is also bad for our skin.
“We are now seeing increasing data on the potential long-term harms of visible light, and in particular blue light, on our skin, With millennials checking their phones an average of 150 times a day, and a 2016 report finding US adults clock up more than 10 hours of screen time daily, we’re getting significantly more blue light exposure than we used to from the sun alone. Spending four eight-hour workdays in front of a computer exposes you to the same amount of energy as 20 minutes in the mid-day sun.
The problems with blue light
Blue light (also referred to as High Energy Visible or HEV light) poses potential skin harm via free radical generation, as blue light has been shown in studies to induce oxidative stress in live skin. This can contribute to skin ageing, like exposure to UVA (long known to age our skin prematurely), “blue light has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin compared with both UVA and UVB light”. In fact “blue light can penetrate all the way to our dermis, where our collagen and elastin live”. Resulting in wrinkling and sagging.
Another way blue light might be ageing us is by causing pigmentation. “Studies indicate that visible light may also be more active in inducing pigmentation compared to UV light.
Blue light also compromises our beauty sleep by way of disrupting our natural circadian rhythm.
Results have also indicated that exposure to blue light at night can throw skin’s natural circadian rhythm (awake/sleep cycle) ‘out-of-sync’, causing skin cells to continue to ‘think’ it is daytime, impacting their natural nigh ttime repair process, which can lead to visible signs of ageing, and even dark under-eye circles.”
The new blue light debate
But is all blue light bad?
“Existing research demonstrates that exposure to blue light during the day has some health benefits, like boosting alertness and elevating mood,”. However, from sunlight (the main source of blue light) comes environmental damage which leads to premature ageing – as we know.
Acne sufferers may even use blue light as a beauty treatment, which is recommended by many skincare pros. “there is research showing that, in small bursts, blue light is an effective therapy for certain skin disorders such as breakouts”.
How to protect your skin from blue light damage
Clearly one needs to take an indoor and outdoor approach given that both sunlight and our digital devices emit blue light.
Before you tweak your skincare regime, address your tech and cover your phones and computers with a blue light shield.
“Some smartphones have a setting that disables blue light in favour of yellow light (often called ‘night mode’ or ‘nightshift’), which makes it easier on your eyes and on your skin. If your phone has this feature, use it all the time as a great anti-ageing and eye-saving method.” Easy.
When it comes to protection from products, take cover with a ‘smart shield’ sunscreen packing antioxidants. Ultraderm Daily Protector Moisturiser is a broad spectrum, non-chemical mineral SPF 30, loaded with antioxidants to help protect against the damaging effects of blue light from devices.
Topical antioxidants are “an absolute must” in everyone’s skincare regime, “The skin naturally contains antioxidants such as vitamin E; however, these are used up when the skin is exposed to excess free radicals. Applying topical antioxidants in the form of skincare, as well as eating a diet rich in antioxidants [from fresh fruit and vegetables] can boost our skin’s defence against oxidative environmental damage.”
While we’d recommend leaving your cleansing until after a catch-up TV binge – should you also be partial to a bit of screen time in bed – you don’t actually need to wear your broad-spectrum shields at all hours. “Topically applied antioxidants will essentially create an antioxidant ‘depot’ in our skin, so the antioxidants will still be doing good in our skin after we have washed our face in the evening,”
As for skincare you should be sleeping with, Ultraderm Active Night Repair used in with conjunction of the NEW All In One Micellar Cleanser & Skin Renew Apple Stem Cell Serum they work to repair and prevent the visible impact of blue light at night and other skin damaging assaults. With hyaluronic acid, Marrubium Vulgare Extract (Citystem) Vitamin A, Apple Stem Cells and powerful antioxidants, it protects the thin skin around the eyes against free radical damage, while promoting the skin’s natural renewal process.