Blue Light: What Is It and How Does It Affect Our Skin

The Skinsmith | 14th December 2021

Blue Light Skincare

We all know that the main factor in premature ageing stems from the damaging effects of UV rays from the sun. However, evolving research shows that every day, our skin is exposed to potential sources of damage from blue light emitted from not only the sun, but from commonly used gadgets such as mobile phones, computers and tablets.
Here we have more information on what blue light is and what you can do to protect yourself.

What Is Blue Light?

The visible light we see is made up of seven colours. Blue light (also referred to as high energy visible or HEV light) is the shortest wavelength at 400 to 500 nanometres and is the closest to ultraviolet light which causes accelerated ageing of the skin.

How Does Blue Light Affect Our Skin?

The main source of blue light comes from the sun and although the blue light emitted from smartphones, tablets and TV’s is only a fraction of that of the sun, it’s the amount of time people spend on these devices and the proximity we hold them to our face, that can lead to oxidative stress that causes a breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin resulting in premature aging and more fine lines and wrinkles.

In addition to this, blue light also disrupts the secretion of melatonin – the hormone that affects the natural circadian rhythm of our sleep/wake cycle which can lead to health issues.

Scrolling on our portable devices at night can affect our bodies natural rhythm, skin cells start to act as if it’s daytime, affecting the valuable night-time repair process that happens when we sleep, this can lead to inflammation and photo-ageing including wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and dark circles under the eyes.

What Can We Do to Protect Our Skin from Blue Light?

Protecting your skin from blue light can be quite simple and inexpensive. Incorporating some simple changes such as cutting down on screen time and using blue light protection moisturiser can make a difference.

Natural cocoa seed extract has been found to protect the skin from the damage blue light can cause by blocking the blue light receptors found in our cells. These blue light receptors are affected by free radical damage which in turn breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin.

Eminence Organics Lilikoi Daily Defense Moisturiser SPF40 has been formulated to incorporate blue light protection. Cocoa seed extract along with satsuma mandarin peel extract found in this moisturiser protects the skin from the damage caused by both blue light and pollution.

Using blue light skincare packed with antioxidants can also help. Antioxidants slow down the production of free radicals protecting the skin from damage to our skin cells. Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum, for instance is a fast-absorbing advanced anti-ageing serum that contains 16% naturally fortified Vitamin C and has been proven to reduce free radical damage by 47% in just 3 hours! *

You can also adopt other simple ways to protect your skin from blue light such as:

  • Keep your phone or tablet an arm’s length away from your face. Putting the screen further away from the skin can help reduce the damaging effects of blue light.
  • Switching on the blue light filter on your phone and other hand-held devices that switches your screen to a warm, yellow light.
  • Use a blue light screen blocker for your PC.
  • Set a routine with an alarm to remind you to turn off your devices 2 to 3 hours prior to bed.

*as evaluated by the reduction in UV induced ROS in human ex vivo skin after 3 hour application – Eminence Organic Skincare

Is All Blue Light Bad for The Skin?

The use of blue light therapy by dermatologists has been prescribed as a treatment for acne as it’s thought to kill acne-causing bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). Blue light also has a balancing affect on the skin as it slows down the production of our natural oil secretions. For acne and breakout prone skins types this can help to reduce breakouts, whilst calming redness and inflammation. However blue light therapy is really only best for people with inflamed acne breakouts (tender red bumps and pustules) as opposed to blackheads and whiteheads. It’s also best used along with an acne skincare routine.

Is the blue light from your phone the same as blue light therapy I hear you ask? Most Definitely not! Holding your phone in front of your face for 20 minutes won’t work! The blue light needs to be within a specific wavelength for beneficial effects. Whilst there are minimal side effects of light therapy, a qualified dermatologist will be able to best advise the safest treatment for you.

Why Wait? Take The Next Step and Find the Right Blue Light Skincare Products for Your Skin

If you would like to learn more about our products and how to protect your skin from blue light, contact a member of The Skinsmith team by using our quick an easy contact form below. You can also get in touch with a member of our team by calling 01527 834 904 or by emailing us at info@theskinsmith.co.uk.