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Blue Light and Your Skin

by Diana Benner

Recently, I have noticed that some of my favorite skincare brands are coming out with products that protect against blue light. Therefore, I began to investigate if blue light is damaging my skin.

What Is Blue Light?

Blue light is a high-energy, short-wavelength light. It not to be confused with UVA or UVB rays. The main source of the blue light we are exposed to is the sun and indoor lights. However, we also get exposed to blue light from our computer screens, cell phones, and other digital devices.

Effects of Blue Light

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are spending more time indoors and in front of our screens. Therefore, it is important to understand the effects of blue light. According to Dr. Sheri Marchbein, blue light has been reported to contribute to eye strain as well as cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye diseases. In addition, in this blog post by Lori Gracey, you can see how blue light can contribute to sleep disorders.

For adolescents who use a device in the hour before bedtime (and what teen doesn’t?), they are three times more likely to get less than five hours of sleep, which can be greatly detrimental to their mood and learning.

Lori Gracey, “Blue Light Bad

Your Skin

So, does blue light damage your skin? Research is ongoing, but what dermatologists know so far doesn’t look good. According to Marchbein, blue light we get from the sun does contribute to brown spots and hyperpigmentation such as melasma, and possibly the breakdown of collagen, which leads to wrinkles and skin laxity.  

However, getting brown spots on your skin cannot be really laid at the feet of the blue light we get from screens until further research is done. The bottom line is that blue light’s effect on your skin needs more research before we can determine any solid conclusions.

It’s Better to Be Safe

Skincare companies are doing their own research when it comes to the effect of blue light on your skin. They are taking a better-safe-than-sorry stance since so many of us are spending more time in front of screens. Dermatologist predict that we will see more blue light-protecting ingredients emerge as more research comes out.

In the meantime, I will continue to wear sunscreen daily, even when I’m indoors, and I might even invest in some blue light skincare products just to be safe.

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