Heard the rumour that too much screen time is damaging your skin? We chat with the experts and find out what blue light is and how to keep our skin safe from it.
“We’ve been filtering out UV rays for decades, and filtering out airborne pollution for a few years,” explains Jacob Stanley, national trainer for MECCA Brands. “Now we’re also going to see a range of products that help filter out blue light emitted by our phones, tablets, laptops and TVs.”
So while lotions and potions that protect our skin from blue light might be popping up all over the show, many of us are still wondering what blue light is and how it has an impact on our skin. Blue light is a high energy, short wavelength light; and while the sun is the main source of blue light that we are exposed to, all those screens we’re spending an increasing amount of time in front of – from our smartphones to our desktop computers – emit blue light too.
Research has revealed that blue light has a negative impact on sleep – one Harvard University study revealed that exposure to blue light, when compared to green light, suppressed melatonin for twice as long and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much. In short, blue light – and all that late-night Instagram scrolling – can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
However, when it comes to the impact that blue light has on skin, research is still in its infancy. A handful of studies had shown that exposure to blue light can cause pigmentation and inflammation and could even stimulate the production of free radicals, accelerating the appearance of ageing.
“If you think of how young we are when we start using tech, this is negative to the skin, we need to understand and react to its effect on skin for the long-term,” says Tracy May-Harriott, global director of education for Priori and Elizabeth Arden Professional. She believes new ingredients and technologies that neutralise the skin-damaging effects of modern life will become a key focus for many beauty brands in the years to come.
While the verdict is still out as far as blue light and our skin is concerned, we would rather be safe than sorry. We’ve rounded up some of the best beauty that’s packed with blue-light fighting ingredients.