Beauty / Feature

What is blue light skin damage and which products can protect against it

blue light

Skin is largely affected by our internal health. But it is also at the mercy of external aggressors. From the sun, air pollution and toxins as well as blue light damage. Whilst we have had protection from the sun for some time. In recent years beauty brands have branched out to formulate products specifically to protect against blue light damage. 

What is blue light?

Blue light is emitted from our devices; such as computers, smart phones, TVs and fluorescent lighting. Whilst sunlight is the main source of light waves that our skin is exposed to, our blue light exposure from digital devices is up close and personal. As our usage of digital devices increases as does the potential for damage to our skin. 

On the electromagnetic spectrum blue light straddles both harmful light and harmless light rating. We are exposed to blue light everyday. And whilst UV light is always damaging, blue light sits within the wavelength range of 350nm to 500nm. It is the short but high-energy waves on the blue light spectrum. Meaning that on the lower side we are at risk of harmful exposure but closer to 500nm there are some positive benefits. On the harmless side, it can aid in melatonin production and a healthy sleep cycle (though artificial blue light can disrupt the natural sleep cycle). However, on the harmful side it can lead to eye fatigue and retina damage. As well as inflammation, photo-ageing, discolouration of the skin and an overall weakening of the skin’s barrier functions. 

How does it affect the skin?

Blue light promotes stress responses in the skin. Over time this can lead to skin damage, early ageing and weakening of the skin’s natural defence mechanisms. Blue light can have the ability to penetrate the skin's surface. This can lead to the generation of free radicals, quicken the loss of collagen found in the skin and increase visible damage on the skin’s surface. 

An overall sallowness to the skin, increased discolouration and general inflammation can all be side effects of harmful blue light exposure. 

The best products to protect against blue light?

A high SPF sunscreen is a must for daily use to protect against UV rays. But there are now beauty products that target and protect against blue light specifically. 

Chantecaille Blue Light Protection Hyaluronic serum is an ultra hydrating serum suitable for all skin types. A botanical based serum, it can be used both morning and night to protect and repair the skin. 

An active blend of ginkgo biloba, pea extracts, buckwheat seed and vitamin E comprise the SisleYouth Anti-Pollution Blue Light Shield to form an antioxidant and anti free radical protector. Both hydrating and energising this works on multiple levels to maintain the quality of the skin. 

The Endota Blue Light Defence HydroCream is formulated using Lutein Carotenoid, an ingredient found in cold pressed red bell peppers to form a shield against blue light damage. This cream offers 72 hours of hydration and protection. 

A sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, the Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF15 also protects against blue light damage, pollution and infrared radiation. A lightweight, mineral formulation it contains vitamin C to also brighten dull skin. 

Formulated from German aesthetics doctor the famous Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Pollution Drops is a blend of antioxidants naturally derived from cocoa beans. The drops can be used underneath your creams or mixed through for an added boost. 

A bio-active mushroom complex and green tea blend, the Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 is an ultra lightweight, sheer sunscreen that simultaneously soothes and defends the skin.