It’s no secret that our screen time has seen a big increase since the pandemic. According to a We Are Social Singapore 2021 study, we spend an average of eight hours and seven minutes daily on our devices, above the global average of six hours and four minutes. Essentially, blue light is all around us – and that’s not even the worst part.
WHY IS BLUE LIGHT BAD FOR SKIN?
Blue light, also known as High Energy Visible (HEV) light, is the shortest wavelength of the visible light spectrum, existing from 400 to 490nm. It also sits closest to UVA rays (315 to 400nm), known to contribute to skin ageing. This means that like UVA rays, blue light is able to penetrate deep into skin to cause damage, such as triggering excess melanin production, and oxidative stress that destroys our collagen and elastin production.
Also, a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2019, showed that blue light can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm, affecting your skin’s reparative abilities and regenerative cycle, resulting in more skin issues over time.
And just like sun exposure, blue light damage is cumulative. You won’t see the effects till it’s too late, which is why incorporating blue light skincare into your daily routine is an important step. Consider this a digital detox, without having to give up your devices.
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR
When it comes to protecting skin against blue light damage, active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide – typically found in sunscreen – are some of the top choices, as they are able to prevent the blue light rays from entering skin, just like how they work on UVA and UVB rays.
Aside from SPF – which you should be wearing both indoors and outdoors – there are plenty of serums, lotions and creams that protect skin from blue light. Packed with antioxidants, such as vitamin C or niacinamide (also known as vitamin B3), these products not only repair skin, but also reduce oxidative damage that can cause signs of ageing. The best bit? Antioxidants are great skin-loving actives to include in both your day and night routine.
This article was first published in the September 2021 issue of Her World.