Blue Light Blocking Skincare
We all know the importance of using SPF when outside to protect our skin from harmful UV rays, but it’s less known that the sun emits visible light called blue light that can also damage the skin and eyes. The sun used to be the only source of blue light, but with advances in technology, everyday devices like computers and cell phones, and indoor lighting are also exposing us to blue light. These devices, of course, emit much less radiation through blue light than we get from the sun. However, some research suggests that these small bits of daily exposure may cause skin damage with prolonged use. That’s why one of the newest trends in skincare is for blue light blocking products.
What is blue light?
Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum. It’s the highest-energy light in the visible spectrum with a wavelength range between 380 to 500 nanometers. Studies suggest that prolonged and repeated radiation from blue light can be detrimental to our skin and eyes, but blue light also has many benefits. It helps regulate our circadian rhythm (our natural sleep and wake cycle) and is thought to elevate our mood and increase cognitive function. Blue light is also used as an acne treatment for its ability to kill P. acnes bacteria. So, like many things in life, blue light appears to be beneficial in moderation, but excess exposure from screens could potentially be accelerating skin and eye damage.
Products that can block blue light
Blue light is believed to contribute to skin aging through the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), photo-aging, and the disruption of melanocyte activity, which leads to hyperpigmentation. The best way to avoid blue light exposure would be to avoid the sun and limit screen time, but that’s not always an option. If screens are a part of your everyday life, then incorporating a broad-spectrum SPF with zinc or iron oxide and antioxidants into your skincare routine could be beneficial.
Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense - $45
This sunscreen combines a non-nano form of zinc oxide to increase absorption and penetration for UVA/UVB and blue light protection. It also contains antioxidants like green tea extract to fight photo-aging.
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 - $36
This sunscreen contains zinc oxide, niacinamide, vitamin E, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and various antioxidants. This power-packed formula blocks UVA/UVB and blue light while protecting against oxidation, providing anti-acne benefits.
FARMACY Green Defense daily mineral sunscreen - $36
This broad-spectrum SPF contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB and blue light protection, as well as black chokeberry extract and marigold extract to provide antioxidant benefits and protection against environmental pollutants.
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