By now we all know that exposure to blue light (the type of light emitted from phones, computers, TVs, and electronics) can damage your eyes. But I didn't start worrying about the amount of blue light in my life until I learned that it can also damage your skin. (What can I say? Vanity was my entry point to wellness.)
Apparently, blue light isn't too bad for the skin in small doses–but the problem is that there's no such thing as a "small dose" of blue light these days. We're glued to computer screens at work, constantly checking our phones throughout the day, and sometimes even sleeping with the TV on (guilty). Long term, that kind of blue light exposure can have the same effect as UVA rays.
HOW BLUE LIGHT AFFECTS YOUR SKIN
- It accelerates aging. To put it simply, blue light leads to oxidative stress leads to aging skin. Oxidative stress takes place when antioxidants are outnumbered by free radicals. Free radicals (which are normally caused by light and environmental pollution) break down the body's natural collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid...in other words, your skin gets drier, duller, and saggier quicker.
- It impairs the skin's surface. Blue light impairs the skin's natural lipid barrier, leaving it vulnerable to damage. This usually presents as inflammation, the basis of almost all skin issues (including acne, rosacea, psoriasis and more).
- It causes hyperpigmentation. One study of blue light shows that, like sunlight, it increases pigment production. So theoretically, blue light can lead to hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone over time.
- It messes with your sleep. Blue light stimulates brain activity, suppresses the secretion of melatonin, and interrupts your natural circadian rhythm. All of this leads to less (and lower quality) sleep–and that means increased cortisol levels, the breakdown of your body’s natural collagen and hyaluronic acid, and premature aging.
- It can damage your DNA and even lead to DNA mutations. According to Dr. Anetta Reszko, the effects of blue light exposure can change your DNA forever and potentially be passed on to your kids.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
- Load up on antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals and oxidative stress, so reach for skincare products that have natural antioxidant properties. Vitamins A, B, C, and E, found in natural skincare ingredients like jojoba oil and rose water, will help protect your skin. Our Sage & Violet Morning Ritual Skin Soothing Oil and Rosebud & Frankincense Luminous Overnight Oil both fight free radicals!
- Get a blue light blocker for your phone. Because limiting my screen time isn't realistic, I use EyeJust's Blue Light Blocking Screen Protector instead.
- Reduce the amount of blue light on your computer screen. You can turn down the blue light settings on your computer or laptop by following the instructions in this video.
- Wear blue light-blocking glasses. I recently ordered these glasses from BLUblox. While lenses like these are intended to protect your vision, they also offer a layer of protection for the sensitive skin around your eyes.
- Limit blue light exposure an hour before bed. You'll sleep better and, as a result, look better. It's science!
Now, the big question is: Will the fact that I'll look ridiculous in my yellow- and red-lensed glasses overshadow my glowing skin?