Have you ever wondered, why does our sky look blue? (and what does this have to do with our skin?)
That’s largely due to blue light! Apart from the sun – which is the main source – we are also surrounded by blue light almost ALL THE TIME due to the current digital society. The exposure is due to the widespread use of electronic devices such as computers, laptops, TV, cellphones, tablets – all these rely on LED technology, which emits blue light, not forgetting our lightbulbs as well.
We always emphasize how UV light plays a huge role in photoaging and its importance. Although blue light is not associated with the development of skin cancer, it does also have effects of long term, low levels exposure to our skin. Based on research, it can lead to changes in your skin cells, including cell shrinkage and death, which can speed up the aging process. If we look at the light spectrum, blue light is a high-energy visible light that technically can penetrate skin even deeper than both UVA and UVB rays. It passes through till the dermis, where our collagen and elastin live. This can result in loss of firmness, increase in fine lines, and causing pigmentation too along the way.
Knowing these leads us to focusing on the importance of taking the necessary precautions. We always emphasize on using daily sunscreen of at least SPF 30 for proper skin protection; well using a chemical sunscreen (typically containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, or iron oxides) definitely can help block blue light and UV rays. On top of those, oral supplements that contain antioxidants (for example, NanoMD or vitamin B3/B6/C/E supplements) is a good way to minimize the oxidative stress and damage from blue light and UV light, and keep your skin healthy. With so many new advancements, it’s good to know that there are also options of oral sunscreen (eg. Heliocare) and even shower-on sunscreens nowadays. We are spoilt for choices!
Lastly, extra tip: it is important to know that blue light’s harm is not only to our skin but also has a huge role in damaging our eyes as well. For these you can take precautions by either reducing your screen time (especially before bedtime, because it disturbs your circadian rhythm and can prevent you from falling asleep- and sleep deprivation speeds up your aging!), or putting on screen protectors with blue light filters.
Fancy taking a short digital break?