How To Protect Your Skin Against Blue Light
7 minutes read
If you are looking into taking your anti-ageing routine up a notch, protecting yourself from those pesky UVs might not be enough, as research confirms blue light is another concern when it comes to skin ageing. Adding a blue light protection skincare into the mix should be your priority.
Dubbed as “the silent agers of our generation,” our constant scrolling and browsing on our digital devices contributes to skin photoaging (the same skin damage that happens when you spend time under the sun), and pigmentation without us being aware of it!
Beauty Daily turned to skin experts to understand how blue light causes skin damage, and the innovative products you should be using to combat it.
What is blue light?
Blue light: we’re all exposed to it. The main source of blue light is the sun, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. However, blue light is also emitted by our smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other digital devices.
Also called “high-energy visible light” (HEV), the glare they emit can penetrate the deeper layers of your skin (the same way as the UVs from the sun). In addition, they break down collagen and elastin giving way to premature ageing, hyperpigmentation, and brown spots. It also affects the way we sleep and, ultimately, our mood.
However, blue light has some benefits; the sun’s blue light controls our circadian rhythm and memory. But being exposed to excessive amounts of it can have a negative impact.
Is blue light harmful to skin?
There’s no denying all of us are constantly glued to our digital devices 24/7. By some estimates, we spend 50% of our lives staring at screens. The worldwide shift to an entirely digital lifestyle, with most of us working from home and a bit (or more) of social media scrolling in our free time, has made digital screen time truly inescapable.
According to a survey, people spent a huge proportion of their time on screens during the pandemic. This survey polled 2000 adults and found they spent on average a whopping 19 hrs daily on gadgets such as phones, laptops, and televisions during the lockdown.
Average time spent per device during the lockdown: laptop (5 hrs 10 mins), TV (5 hrs 9 mins), phone (5 hrs 2 mins) and gaming device (3hrs 45 mins)- summed up to 19 hrs 6 mins daily screen time.
Many of us spend a more substantial amount of time in front of screens than normal and this increases our blue light exposure. So, it’s important to understand the effects of blue light and ways you can protect yourself from it.
Expert-approved ways to blue light proof your skin
Incorporate more blue light skincare products into your beauty routine
The increased screen time and fears over the effects of blue light pollution has prompted brands to produce skincare products to help combat it. Unsurprisingly, blue light skincare is on trend this 2022.
In case you missed: 11 Skincare Trends That Will Dominate 2022, According To The Experts
Even before blue light was a skincare trend, Clarins has had blue light proofing its skincare products since 1991 via the anti-pollution complex present in its SPF, day creams, primers, and foundation, to name a few. This is thanks to the combined power of furcellaria, nipplewort and white horehound which wards off the harmful blue light.
Research shows that blue light from digital devices can lead to changes in skin cells, including cell shrinkage and even cell death. 60 mins of Insta or TikTok scrolling are enough to trigger these changes.
Incorporating an anti-pollution cleanser into your routine gives you peace of mind of having your skin purged from all the grime, pollution and dirt but also protected from the effects of the high-energy blue light rays and your skin from ageing.
“The blue light emitted from electronic devices tends to cause serious damage to your skin in the long run. Follow a skincare routine that includes antioxidants and ingredients to help strengthen your skin barrier,” advises UK-based Advanced Aesthetic Practitioner, Dr Pamela Benito.
Beauty Daily’s top pick is the Velvet Cleansing Milk, £24. It’s anti-pollution in the sense that it draws impurities away from the skin. It’s a good way to purify at the end of a working day when your skin has been exposed to the elements.
Layering with antioxidant serum creates a layer of protection against blue light. The Double Serum, £60 is formulated with 21 plant extracts with powerhouse antioxidant turmeric as its hero ingredient.
Read next: What Is Pollution Doing To Your Skin?
Protect yourself by applying My Clarins RE-BOOST Healthy Glow Tinted Gel-Cream, £23 part of the anti-pollution range. This daily, refreshing gel-cream tinted moisturiser is like a green morning smoothie for your skin. It is a healthy morning cocktail of fruit extracts, which includes organic coconut water, organic fig extract, organic goji berry all mixed to hydrate, boost radiance, and visibly brighten your complexion. It also has rose pearls and micro-pigments that give a universal tint for an instant healthy glow.
UV and pollution screen SPF
Does SPF protect skin from blue light? Thankfully the answer to that would be yes.
“To best protect your skin from blue light, you must wear an excellent broad-spectrum SPF50 daily (even at home),” says Dr Benito.
Beauty Daily recommends UV PLUS [5P] Anti-Pollution SPF, £33. It’s specially formulated with blue light fighting capabilities and gives a multi-protection SPF 50 protecting your skin from indoor and outdoor pollution, the sun’s harmful rays, and specifically, against five pollutants: atmospheric, indoor, pollen, photo-pollution and blue light.
It is available in three shades.
Translucent: An invisible texture with no white finish
Rose: A pinkish tint for a healthy and radiant glow
Beige: Tinted light beige offers natural coverage that evens the complexion and helps cover blemishes.
Beauty Daily Pro Tip: Every morning, apply your UV Plus to cleansed and toned skin after your serum and moisturiser. Wait 5 – 10 minutes before applying make up.
Innovative eye serum
It’s also worth mentioning that dark circles under your eyes are a form of hyperpigmentation called periorbital hyperpigmentation which may be caused by too much blue light exposure.
Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager, recommends using the Double Serum Eye, £56 to fight fatigue-related eye issues caused by blue light.
The anti-pollution complex targets all indoor and outdoor pollution as well as protecting your eyes against blue light, which causes dehydration and dry skin, leading to wrinkling and loss of tone.
“The skin around the eye contour is thinner, more fragile and less resilient than the rest of the skin on our face,” McHale says. “Everyday exposure to collagen-destroying blue light would lead to puffiness, dark circles, and sagging eyelids. If you’re spending a lot more time in front of digital screens, that’s a powerful addition to your eye care regime.”
In just seven days, the eye contour is intensely nourished, firmer, smoother, depuffed and dark circles are reduced.
Go on a digital detox or take frequent screen breaks
Apart from the damaging effects of blue light on our skin, it contributes to eye strain as well as cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye diseases. To prevent these conditions from happening, experts advise you to keep at least 12 inches between you and your screen and take frequent breaks. Benefits of taking a technology timeout include sharper focus, less stress, better social interactions, and more control of your time.
Or make it a habit to go on a weekend digital detox, which you can schedule on a Saturday or Sunday. Besides the positive impact on your skin and eye health, it can deepen your relationships with family and friends.
Practice this while having dinner with family, going out on nature walks, and hanging out with friends. Put down your phone and be in the moment.
Invest in a blue light screen shield
“Invest in a blue light screen protector. Also, I would recommend cutting down your screen time in the evening (less Netflix!) and taking a break from blue light at night turning your phone to dark /night mode,” says Dr Benito.
It’s worth investing in a blue light screen shield to keep blue light from reaching you. We love the Ocushield Anti Blue Light Screen Protector, £39.99. Before going to bed, switch your phone to night mode to turn the screen into warm, yellow light.
Consuming an antioxidant-rich diet will also benefit you to fight oxidative stress caused by blue light. Here’s your next read: The Best Antioxidants, According to Experts