Whether you are typing on a computer all day long, scrolling through social media on your phone, or watching your favorite show on your tablet, you are exposing your skin to blue light. The harmful effects of excess blue light on our eyes are well known, but can blue light damage skin? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
We all know UV light from the sun can cause premature aging and damaged skin. It turns out that blue light is a short-wavelength light adjacent to UV light on the light spectrum. Blue light is a high energy so that it can penetrate the skin’s surface after prolonged exposure. You can see it, but you cannot feel it. Blue light therapy can treat certain cancers, wounds, acne, and other skin conditions through carefully measured administration, but treatment typically occurs in a controlled environment. The constant screen time we face for work, entertainment, and even social interaction, is far from controlled.
Blue Light Damage on Skin
While you cannot get a sunburn from blue light, you can experience direct and indirect adverse effects. First, exposure to blue light can mess up our circadian rhythms, thus disrupting our sleep patterns. Poor sleep leads to dark circles under the skin. Poor sleep health equals poor skin health. This is one way blue light exposure indirectly causes damage to our skin.
Blue light contributes to premature skin aging and can cause fine lines and wrinkles. This is because blue light can inhibit the skin’s collagen and elastin production. It can cause oxidative stress on the skin and contribute to photo-aging, skin aging due to light. Blue light may also weaken your skin’s outermost layer, making it more susceptible to free radicals.
Discoloration of the skin, known as melanogenesis, can also happen after extensive blue light exposure. This causes the skin to produce excess melanin resulting in an unbalanced complexion. Blue light may also shrink your skin cells, even causing some to die off.
Blue light may also contribute to redness, swelling, and inflammation.
How Much is Too Much?
Research is still being conducted on the adverse effects of blue light on the skin. However, your skin may experience some of the damage in as little as one hour of exposure. The damage is gradual, but when you think about how often you have a screen in front of your face, you can see those hours quickly add up. Granted, many of us require computers and tablets as part of our working jobs. This means a few hours in front of your computer could contribute to blue light damage on your skin.
The key is to take frequent breaks by looking away from the screen when possible. Take a quick walk, stretch, or turn your desk chair around for a few moments to break up the constant skin penetration of blue light.
How to Reverse Blue Light Damage on Skin
If you’re worried you have already damaged your skin through extensive blue light exposure, do not worry. You can do a few things to reverse blue light damage on your skin while protecting your skin from further damage.
The first step may be to determine how badly your skin is already damaged. From there, you can develop a comprehensive treatment plan to meet your skincare goals. Skin treatments are designed to support skin integrity, enhance appearance, and relieve skin conditions. They consist of cleansing, deep exfoliation, massage, and customized masks and serums to best treat your skin. You can choose between a 1-hour or 30-minute treatment specifically tailored for you.
Another option is microdermabrasion. If you’re concerned about wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, sun-damaged skin, or even acne scarring, then this minimally invasive exfoliating procedure may be a good fit for you. It renews overall skin tone and texture, improving your appearance. Combine this deep exfoliation with customized masks and serums for best results.
Dermal Infusion is a non-invasive 3-in-1- skin treatment that simultaneously exfoliates, extracts, and infuses skin with condition-specific serums for an all-inclusive treatment in one step. The next generation of microdermabrasion dermal infusion goes further by infusing the skin with skin-specific serums immediately after exfoliation for deeper product penetration.
Products containing niacinamide (Vitamin B) can protect against blue light hyperpigmentation while preserving smooth and supple skin.
Preventing Blue Light Damage on Skin
One of the best things you can do to protect your skin is to wear sunscreen. Many moisturizers and cosmetics come with a built-in SPF component to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. These products can also offer protection from blue light. Be sure to reapply liberally. Remember, you can get a sunburn even on a cloudy day.
Take a break from your screens and encourage your family to do the same. Even just a 10–15-minute break is like a reward for your skin.
Most devices that emit blue light have settings you can use to reduce the amount of blue light emitting through the screen. Check your phone, laptop, and other screened devices to determine what settings put less strain on both your eyes and your skin. Most devices offer a “night mode” option, which can reduce the amount of blue light your device is putting out. You can also purchase blue-light-blocking screen covers to place on your devices. You may also want to consider wearing blue-light-blocking glasses. If the lens is large enough, these glasses can help protect the thin and delicate skin around your eyes, thus preventing fine lines and wrinkles caused by blue light exposure.
Consider the role stress plays in your skin’s overall health. Often, we get stressed when we’re tackling work emails or reading things on social media. Stress can weaken our immune system and boost inflammation when we need it the least.
Many skin care products on the market hydrate, nourish, and protect your skin. More and more products claiming to protect against blue light damage on the skin are showing up. While these products contain beneficial ingredients such as Vitamin C, you just need to use sunscreen in addition to your existing skincare routine. But if you are curious, products with antioxidants and iron oxides can help block blue light from the skin.
Be Proactive in Protecting Your Skin
Not sure where to start? The expert practitioners at First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic are always eager to answer any questions or concerns you may have. First Impressions has a Smart Mirror Skin Scanner, a highly advanced skin detection system. It adopts RGB, UV, and PL spectral imaging technology, artificial intelligence, and image analysis, to achieve an efficient skin analysis, analyzing the deeper layers of the skin where the naked eye can’t see. The skin scanner detects skin issues such as pore size, moisture content, textural issues, wrinkles, UV damage, and more. According to the scanner’s results, Smart Mirror recommends products for a customized skin management program and can track your progress when investing in professional skin care and treatments. Talk about a purely unique and individual experience!
Consider booking a consultation at First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic when you’re ready. Our practitioners can recommend products to help protect your skin from blue light and allow you to live your best and most vibrant life.
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