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SCREENS AND SKIN: ALL ABOUT BLUE LIGHT
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SCREENS AND SKIN: ALL ABOUT BLUE LIGHT

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Image: @garmentthelabel

 

Let’s be honest, the only thing that’s more shameful than our recent transactions is our weekly screen time report.

 

From checking emails to scrolling through social media or texting that ex (don’t do it), it seems that we have developed somewhat unhealthy habits for our electronic gadgets. And the stats back it up with intensive research done into our accumulation of screen time and the harm it's causing.  

What is yet to be thoroughly explored is if these devices can cause harm to our skin. But we are starting to hear chatter around this topic.

We are obsessed with our skin and shielding it from all kinds of stressors, so it is concerning not knowing if our usage of electronic devices can cause harm.

We’ll shed some light on if we should be concerned about this prospect. BUT, before we do, we need to understand why we’re even asking in the first place. And it's all down to blue light.


WTF IS BLUE LIGHT?

Blue light is a section of detectable light among the light spectrum. Usually, blue light is contained in sunlight and is defined between 380nm to 500nm alongside the wavelengths range. BUT it is not the only source of blue light. Blue light can also be found in digital devices such as phones, tablets and light bulbs. 

There is a lot of research [3] around blue light done to date, mostly on its harmful effects on eyes. Issues such as digital eye strain are familiar to those of us who spend to much time on screens. Even more concerning, studies are suggesting that exposure to artificial light can increase the risk of breast cancer [4]. All in all, blue light can affect many of us in a variety of ways.

 
BLUE LIGHT AND SKIN HEALTH

We know and are not afraid to scream it from the rooftops, that UV light from the sun can be dangerous for our skin’s integrity. However, as 90% of our light sources come from LED lighting and contain blue light (we know, we’re just as shocked as you), perhaps we should be focusing more on blue light than UV.

There are no indications to suggest that exposure to blue light will lead to skin cancers, but it could influence our skin health in different ways.

One study [6] found a link between the introduction of blue light with the production of free radicals in the skin. When free radicals are produced, the buzz around the body and its tissues harming our cells and this is what accelerates the appearance of ageing.

Another study [7] found individuals with darker skin and in contact with blue light experienced more swelling, redness and pigment changes. Dermatologists are reporting a new pattern of hyperpigmentation with many of them concerned that this is down to the proximity of our phones.

Overall, there is a lot to suggest that long-term, exposure to blue light could lead to inflammation and the weakening of the skin’s surface.

Before you panic, research on the relationship between exposure to blue light and its effects on the skin is still on-going.

It is a complicated and convoluted relationship, especially when there are blue light therapies that can treat some skin issues, such as acne. Having said this, reducing the amount of blue light that we are exposed to needs to be considered.            

So, what are the easiest ways to protect our skin?

LIMIT SCREEN TIME

Limiting our screen time is an option in reducing our blue light exposure. But let’s be honest, it's easy said than done. However, doing so can also optimise our circadian rhythm and sleep, overall health and wellbeing, soothe our nervous system and help us achieve optimal health.

SCREEN PROTECTORS 

If that is too much of a challenge, investing in a screen protector is a great alternativeScreen protectors can reduce the amount of blue light that is produced from your screens. Eyejust is one of our favourite brands on a mission to do just that.

SUNBLOCK

We also recommend slathering on the sunblock for those long days in front of the screen. Sunblock containing titanium dioxide are recommended for those wanting to be protected from blue light.

This is because titanium oxide can offer better protection against blue light and prevent issues such as ageing and fine lines. Brands such as Coola and Glow Screen by Supergoop are excellent products to help protect against blue light.
  

RED LIGHT BULBS 

With wavelengths ranging from 650-850nm, red light is a brilliant substitute for blue light. This is because red light can provide firmness and elasticity to our skin.

As blue light accelerates ageing, red light does the opposite. Red light increases collagen production, making the skin firmer and elastic [11]. Thus, it reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Red light can offer significant benefits for sleep as well. This type of light enacts relaxation and is the star of our wind-down routines. This is down to red light slowing down reactions and alertness, hence enabling you to relax and sleep. That is why we are huge advocates for using these kinds of lights rather than blue lights in your bedrooms.

With blue light damaging our eyes, our sleep and our overall health, we are starting to question what it can do to our skin. As the research continues, to can bet we’re taking all the necessary precautions against blue light. 

SHOP THE STORY  

 

glow market and the content provided are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on glow market and The Scoop is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your doctor and/ or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs. 

https://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/skincare-advice/basic-skin-care-tips/does-cell-phone-blue-light-hurt-your-skin.html

https://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-beauty/is-blue-light-harming-your-skin-health/

https://www.preventblindness.org/blue-light-and-your-eyes

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5299389/

https://macularhope.org/ultraviolet-and-blue-light/

6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4337113/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1805808

https://www.allure.com/story/blue-light-phone-skin-effects

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319254

10 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1805808

11 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3926176/