It’s no secret that over the past decade we’ve gotten a little closer to our electronics. It’s also no secret that blue light from our screens can have an effect on our eyes – hence the concern over the potential effects of artificial blue light on skin and the rise of vision-blocking glasses. blue light.
On top of that, we’ve spent the past two years relying more on our screens for work, entertainment, and connecting with loved ones. But what are the effects of artificial blue light on the skin? Does this have a negative effect? Let’s talk about what we know so far about the effects of artificial blue light on the skin.
What is artificial blue light?
So what exactly is artificial blue light? In order to answer this question, it helps to first understand what blue light is in nature. Although we often associate it with our screens, most blue light actually comes from the sun.
Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum, which is the type of light we can see. It is also the form of visible light with the shortest wavelengths and the highest frequency, with vibrations on the order of 380 to 500 nanometers.
Blue light also plays an important role in our daily lives, as it has been shown to help regulate our circadian rhythm by helping our body wake up during the day. Likewise, the absence of blue light helps us sleep at night.
In the digital age, however, we are exposed to artificial blue light from the screens of our phones, TVs, tablets and computers. For this reason, humans feel much more blue light today than just a few decades ago. This has led some experts to question the effects of artificial blue light on the skin. So what do these artificial blue light effects look like on the skin?
Effects of blue light on the skin (in theory)
Before we talk about the potential effects of artificial blue light on the skin, let’s talk about what we know about blue light from the sun. It is well known at this point that sun exposure can cause both short and long term skin damage. Dermatologists have plenty of evidence showing that it can trigger different skin issues.
For starters, experts agree that visible light can cause hyperpigmentation. One 2012 study showed that UV exposure can trigger the development of melanin, leading to melasma. A more recent study 2020 reported that blue light in particular can cause hyperpigmentation.
When it comes to the effects of artificial blue light on the skin, some research indicates that blue light from electronic devices can cause changes in our skin cells. For example, this study 2018 suggested that increased exposure to artificial light may lead to increased levels of oxidative stress in the skin. As we know, it has a huge impact on premature aging. So what are the long term effects of artificial blue light on the skin?
Long-term effects of artificial blue light on the skin
In the scheme of things, artificial blue light is still a new factor in our society. And because of that, we don’t have a full picture of its long-term effects. The consensus, however, is that the more time we spend in front of screens, the more our skin deteriorates in the long run.
However, that being said, experts don’t have an exact threshold with this, in terms of screen time. Experts have not yet measured the direct effect it has on our skin.
And while there are no official studies on blue light exposure buildup, some dermatologists have shared patient stories, particularly regarding hyperpigmentation. Some have suggested that patients seem to have more dark spots on the side of their face that touch their phones during calls.
Blue light skin care: is it necessary?
It is true that we are more than ever exposed to artificial blue light. However, this is still a tiny amount compared to what we are exposed to from the sun.
Additionally, the majority of research citing the dangers of blue light damage comes from Natural blue light, which is associated with UVA and UVB rays. Needless to say, we must first and foremost protect our skin from the sun.
Still, we are expected to see more research on the effects of artificial blue light on the skin. With it, we’ll likely see more products specifically designed to fight blue light damage.
At this point, however, many products claiming to prevent blue light damage are considered gimmicky. It is important to note that you should not need to buy more products to protect your skin from your screens.
What you should do for your skin, however, is to keep applying your SPF. It’s also vital to nourish your skin with antioxidants to protect it from known dangers in our environment. For a more comprehensive guide to blue light skin care, check out our article here.