If you’re looking to improve your skin health this year, there’s an opportunity right in front of our faces—literally. Whatever your screen time is, it’s all too easy to unknowingly expose yourself to the harmful effects of blue light while doing everything else in your skincare routine right. But is all blue light bad? We’re going to take a look at what it is, how to protect your skin from it and how to use it so that you’ll be able to beat your January blues and achieve healthy, resilient skin.
What is blue light?
Blue light or high-energy visible light (HEV) is a type of electromagnetic radiation that has a short wavelength and high energy. It’s constantly around us since it makes up about 25% of sunlight, as well as being produced by electronic devices such as our smartphones, laptops and TVs.
How does blue light affect the skin?
Blue light penetrates deeper into the skin than UVA and UVB light, meaning that traditional or “chemical” sunscreens don’t offer protection. This light can cause premature ageing by inducing oxidative stress, which effectively means an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants, leading to damage to collagen and elastin production. Since these proteins are what keep our skin plump, taught and firm, fine lines and wrinkles are more prone to form when their production is impacted.
Research indicates that people who use devices with bright screens before bedtime are more likely to have difficulty falling asleep and trouble staying asleep during the night. Since sleep induces collagen production, not getting adequate rest due to blue light exposure means double the impact on premature aging.
How to protect your skin against blue light?
The first step is easier than you might think: simply adjust the settings on your laptop/computer and phone. In your settings, you should be able to change the warmth of your screen display, or toggle on “night mode” which will reduce blue light emissions.
When it comes to protecting yourself from sunlight and electronic devices at the same time, mineral or “physical” sunscreens that contain zinc oxide such as Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 offer comprehesive skincare protection against UVA, UVB and blue light. Medik8 Advanced Day Total Protect SPF30 alternatively uses antioxidant theobroma cacao seed extract to boost the skin’s defences against blue light. Using glasses and sunglasses with a blue light filter is also a great way to avoid the sleep-damaging effects to ensure your skin looks well-rested by morning.
What is blue light LED skincare?
Blue LED light has been shown to help treat acne and other skin conditions. LED light skincare has been deemed safe to use at home when instructions are followed: blue light emits a negligible amount of UV, and the other colours emit none at all. Blue LED light is used to improve the skin by killing bacteria, clearing pores, and reducing inflammation. This helps reduce the appearance of acne and blemishes in addition to improving circulation and elasticity. MZ-Skin’s Light Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device uses five different colours of LED light, with blue light to balance and clarify blemish-prone skin so that you can enjoy the experience of an LED facial from the comfort of your own home. Simply apply the mask to clean, dry skin for 10-30 minutes a couple of times a week and tailor the light colour to suit your skin concerns.
What is blue light pollution?
Blue light pollution is effectively a term for excessive exposure to blue light, usually through electronic devices. Skin pollution generally means external factors—such as vehicle exhaust emissions, smoke, UV light from the sun and blue light—that impact the health of your skin by generating damaging “free radicals”. When it comes to protecting our skin from these external aggressors, ensuring our skin barrier is strong is the best form of defence. A healthy skin barrier is hydrated, calm and prepared to fight free radicals with antioxidants.
MZ-Skin Anti Pollution Hydrating Mist Deluxe is a moisture-boosting mist that protects and shields the skin from damaging modern environmental pollutants, infrared and blue light, using antioxidant vitamins, minerals, adaptogens and hydrators to defend the complexion and improve visible signs of fatigue and inflammation associated with pollution. It’s ideal to keep on your desk to use throughout the day; not only will the mist make you feel refreshed and awakened, but it will ensure you’re continually protected from any blue light emissions.
Now you know which type of blue light is actually good for your skin and how to protect your skin from damaging blue light. It’s time to give a whole new meaning to January Blues and Blue Monday, and take this month as an opportunity to use blues to your advantage.