Blue light is everywhere around you now. You see the sky as blue because the sky absorbs all other colours of light but reflects blue light right back at you. White light contains blue light. Computers, your TV and even your mobile phone are continually pumping out blue light.
Question is – what does blue light do to skin? Does blue light hurt your skin? Is blue light damaging to your skin?
#1 Yes Blue Light Can Be Harmful To Your Skin
A fact science tells because blue light is a generator of free radicals. Prematurely ageing high energy particles. Scientists have shown that when the skin barrier is purposefully aggravated, blue light slows down skins normal recovery rate. Blue light skin damage is real. Interestingly green light has no effect whereas red light can heal skin faster[i]. A finding supported by the fact blue light out of all visible light types generates most free radicals.
Light can be measured on a ruler of wavelength. From the small side to the large side it looks like this;
UVB < UVA < blue visible light < green visible light < red visible light < infrared light
UV light is a known ager to skin and the ruler which is it measured by is simply a tool used and invented by science. Light simply does not get to the end of the UV ruler and say – no more skin damage. It continues.
Blue light, just like UVA light is able to penetrate skin more deeply than UVB light. This is why UVA light is potently ageing but UVB light is not. Both UVA and blue light are in contact with your wrinkle resisting collagen, your bounce back elastin and even your bloodstream. This is what blue light skin damage could look like – more about this soon.
#2 LED Screens & Lights Emit More Blue Light
Light with a higher levels of blue light is seen as cold whereas light with lower levels of blue light is seen as warm with cosy, yellow tones. The light revolution from traditional light bulbs to indoor – daylight mimicking LED lighting could be weighing more harm to your skin.
Less than 100 years ago the major and for most only contributor of significant blue light exposure was the sun – natural visible light.
Today we are surrounded by blue light emitting devices;
- Your smart phone
- Your tablet
- Your computer screen – how many hours a day do you sit in front of it?
- Your TV
Quick action point; Blue light filters are a quick and cost effective way to help minimise your blue light exposure.
#3 Pigmentation Is a Tell-Tale Sign Of Blue Light Skin Damage
Are you using sunscreen every day but are still seeing uneven skin pigmentation? Age spots? Or spot induced post inflammatory hyperpigmentation which takes an age to fade? All 3 could be signs you are experiencing blue light skin damage.
Excess pigmentation caused by visible light has been shown in preliminary studies to last longer than pigmentation caused by UV light[ii].
Most of the sunscreen options available today solely protect your skin against UV induced skin damage – however new and exciting actives are set to extend your protection. Actives like tomato fruit extract found in our Explorer Blend Facial Oil which is studied to help stop the exact kind of damaging free radicals blue light causes skin to create.
Bottom line; Blue light has strong potential to cause your skin silent damage, you can be exposed at any hour of the day and uneven persisting skin pigmentation is your first clue.
[i] Journal of Investigative Dermatology 128(5):1335-6
[ii] Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2010 Feb;26(1):16-21