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  5. How To Protect Your Skin From Blue Light Damage?

Are you glued to your smartphone or laptop most of the time? Then you might be risking your skin’s health, besides straining your eyes. Wondering how?

The blue light emitted from electronic devices tends to cause serious damage to your skin in the long run. However, you can minimize its effects by practicing healthy habits and taking good care of your skin.

Let’s take a closer look at what blue light is and how you can protect your skin from its harmful effects.

What Is Blue Light?

As we know, sunlight splits into different colors which include violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Each of the lights in the visible light spectrum have different wavelengths and effects. Blue light or High Energy Visible light (HEV) is a part of the visible spectrum that has shorter but higher energy wavelengths [1] ranging between 380 - 500 nanometer. Blue light is beneficial during the daytime as it helps to boost your attention, memory, and overall mood. Whereas, its effects on your health and skin can be severe after sundown or when you have prolonged exposure to it. [2]

Sunlight is the primary source of blue light. However, there are artificial sources too. These include fluorescent light, flat-screen LED televisions, smartphones, tablets, laptops, CFL lamps, LED light, etc. Being one of the shortest wavelengths producing higher amounts of energy in the visible light spectrum, the blue light flickers much faster than other types of light wavelengths. It casts a glare that affects your visual clarity resulting in headaches, eye strains, etc. You become prone to such effects when your exposure to electronic devices is higher.

Although the effects of blue light emitted from electronic devices’ screens are less as compared to sun exposure, there is a rising concern about the long-term effects because of the proximity with the screen and the exposure time spent looking at the screen.

girl lying in bed at night and using smart phone

How Does Blue Light Affect Your Skin?

You spend almost half a day interacting with the media on screen [3]. But what you often don't realize is that the screen time impacts your health in many ways, right from interfering with your sleep, memory, metabolism to lesser-known ways like affecting your skin. Yes, you read that right. Blue light can harm your skin too. It can severely damage your skin cells, make your skin age prematurely, and result in pigmentation.

A research study reveals that long-term exposure to high-level blue light can have effects similar to UV light exposure. That’s because blue light produces the same type of free radicals as UV light, which causes skin damage, including wrinkles and skin discoloration. [4]

beauty concept of skin aging and anti-aging procedures

Also, another study suggests that melanin production doubles when your skin is exposed to the blue light for a prolonged period as compared to UVA and UVB radiation. Increased melanin can lead to dark spots, premature aging, melasma, etc. Further, when your skin is exposed to blue light and then separately to UVA, more swelling and redness shows up on your skin. [5]

Referring to the scientific studies above, it can be said that blue light has harmful effects on your skin and can cause cellular damage. Since blue light can penetrate deeper into your skin layers, it damages the epidermal barrier, leading to hyperpigmentation. It can also cause oxidative stress in your skin. As a result, your skin tends to lose its firmness. You may notice dark spots, wrinkles, and other skin ageing signs when it is exposed for long hours to blue light.

asian woman having skin problem checking her face with dark spot

How To Protect Your Skin From Blue Light?

woman applying moisturising cream

1. Use Screen Guards

As most of you are used to a work from home setup now, there is no way that you can shrink your screen exposure time. However, the good news is you can use shields or filters for screens that block blue light and thereby reduce its harmful effects on your skin. Some smartphones already have an inbuilt setting that minimizes blue light emission. You can otherwise minimize the brightness on your device or choose night mode at night to control blue light emission.

2. Sunscreen Is A Must

Sun is the primary source of blue light. So, you need to ensure that your skin is well protected when you’re outdoors. Choose a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum and loaded with antioxidants. While the antioxidants don't block the blue light, they neutralize the free radicals generated from the blue light. Check if the sunscreen you’ve chosen has non-chemical minerals and has a minimum of SPF 30.

3. Watch Your Diet

While topical application of antioxidants is a must, you need to be mindful of your diet. Ideally, your diet should contain food rich in antioxidants like fresh fruits and vegetables, which can help your skin fight off the free radicals.

best healthy foods  fruits vegetable seeds superfood

4. Indulge In Night Care Regimen

Include night care cream and serum rich in hyaluronic acid in your night care routine. This will keep your skin hydrated and help it repair.

5. Choose The Right right Skincare Product

Choose skincare products that are loaded with vitamin C to help fight the free radicals produced from the blue light.

Effects Of Blue Light On Your Skin

Blue lights have several effects on your skin. It can induce more melanin secretion, as a result of which you may notice dark spots. Prolonged blue light exposure at night may cause your skin to lose its natural circadian rhythm. This means the skin cells continue to think it is daytime even during the night, thus losing out on the skin's nighttime repair process. This may lead to early signs of aging, wrinkles, and even under-eye circles.

Wrapping Up

Blue light emitted from your electronic devices can take a toll on your skin’s health.

From premature aging to black spots, exposure to this light can cause potential damage to your skin in many ways. However, you can minimize the effects by practicing healthy lifestyle routines, a proper skincare regimen, and most importantly reducing your prolonged exposure to digital devices. Be mindful of your screen time, eat a balanced diet, use a broad spectrum sunscreen, and use suitable products loaded with antioxidants to prevent any skin concerns resulting from blue light.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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