Warnings about blue light damage - and what it can do to your eyes - is all over the internet. Chances are you’ve at least considered purchasing a pair of blue light-blocking glasses (there are some really chic options out there)! But what about the effect that blue light has on the rest of your face - specifically, your skin? Let’s take a closer look.
What exactly IS blue light?
All light is made up of different energetic frequencies - or wavelengths - and is categorized across something called the electromagnetic spectrum. The shorter the wavelength, the higher the energy emitted. The human eye can perceive the part of the light spectrum that is seen as colors - violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red - and because blue light has a very short wavelength, it produces a higher amount of energy. Blue light is everywhere; it occurs naturally from the sun and in our atmosphere, but it’s also widely used in electronic devices - including cell phones, computers and flat-screen TVs - to help enhance screen brightness and clarity. It’s this wide-spread use and increased exposure to blue light (and the potent energy it emits) that becomes damaging to our bodies. For skin specifically, blue light is thought to accelerate the aging process by instigating microinflammation, free radicals, pigmentation and moisture loss. Blue light can even penetrate the skin more deeply than UVA and UVB light!
Great. Any good news?
“Digital detox” has become a buzzy practice proliferated by wellness experts; carving out time to disconnect from devices and reconnect with the physical world is an obvious boost to our relationships and mental health, but taking a break from electronic screens can have powerful benefits for our skin, too. And while there are measures that can be taken to block blue light from penetrating the skin (similar to blue light filtering glasses for the eyes), there are ingredients and skincare treatments that may actually work to repair damage that’s already been done, and rebuild the barrier layer of the skin to prevent further damage from occurring as easily. Vitamin C is the most important ingredient to look for when it comes to saving digitally stressed skin, and ingredients that promote anti-inflammation, boosting collagen, barrier strengthening and hydration can also help alleviate the negative effects that blue light has on skin.