Have you been spending too much time staring at blue screens lately? It could affect your skin, and here’s what you need to know all about blue light damage.
We live in a digital era where we spend time in front of all kinds of digital devices – smartphones, laptops, or even just your Apple watch. Whilst excessive screen time is known to affect our mental health, it could also be taking a toll on our skin. The ray of light that emits from our screens is called High Energy Visible (HEV) light or is often also termed as blue light. Blue light penetrates even more deeply than ultraviolet radiation and can also be found in sunlight, which leads to hyperpigmentation on the skin. Whether you are outdoor or indoors, there’s no escaping.
Nowadays, we are seeing a lot of optical glasses with blue light lenses emerging in the market, concerning bad eyesight and disrupting sleep cycles. But did you know that blue light could also lead to premature skin ageing, skin discolouration, or even wrinkle formation? Unfortunately, for most of us, our work requires us to be in front of a computer screen all the time. So to minimize blue light damage, luckily, there are beauty and skincare products in the market that combat its effect and helps our skin breathe better.
But first, what exactly is blue light damage?
“Blue light or high energy visible (HEV) is part of the visible spectrum of light. Each wave ‘packet’ of blue light contains large amounts of energy (compared to other visible light). While the blue light from the sun gets scattered by the time it reaches earth, our devices such as laptops, smartphones, kindle, iPads, etc. emit are short wave enriched – which means it is at a higher concentration than we see outside.
Depending on our skin’s resilience, it can cause increased acne frequency, inflammation in the facial area, dark circles, and premature ageing. With increased exposure to digital devices, we spend most of our lives on these devices exposed to blue light,” explains Prashanthy Gurugubelli, the founder of Daughter Earth, a High-Performance Ayurvedic label that came out with the first blue light serum, the Serum Absolut. It is loaded with Vitamin A / carotenoid-rich ingredients and Bakuchiol at potent concentrations. Serum Absolut uses clinically proven actives that act against blue light damage.
It’s essentially emitted from tech screens and that means only one thing: photo-aging. As we spend more and more time on our gadgets, our skin is likely to experience its own issues. According to Allure magazine, “sales of blue light protecting skin care increased by 170 percent in the first half of this year, as per NPD report”.
How to take care of skin when it comes to protecting it from blue light?
Though the research on a blue light in skincare is still ongoing. It’s also evident that blue light helps maintain good health while regulating our body’s circadian rhythm. In several studies, it is also shown that there is cumulative skin damage, in the long run, that could include redness and pigmentation, and ageing. So even if it is anti-oxidant serums alone, it’s still important to use protective skincare.
Apart from Serum Absolut from Daughter’s Earth, Colorbar has also launched their own ‘Blue-Light Defense’, a powerful, gender-neutral skincare collection that is known to fight the effects of the high energy blue-light rays. It also keeps your skin’s defences strong and takes care of skin ageing. Another skincare label, Good Habit is also known for its exclusive Blue Light skincare via marine extracts.
Research on exactly how bad blue light could be for your skin is still very much ongoing, and it’s worth noting that the consensus among dermatologists into its seriousness is murky. That said, with more knowledge coming to light and virtual life still very much present, 2021 is bound to bring more blue-light-blocking options for our skin and screens.
There are a few good rules one needs to follow. “Taking short breaks from your laptops/phones is an obvious thing to do. A good skincare routine includes powerful ingredients that are proven to work against blue light damage, a rich diet in antioxidants, and a good night’s sleep to recuperate and replenish. Our skin (and body in general) is a miracle machine, and our objective should be to support/equip it with everything it needs so it can take care of itself and not to intervene in its natural healing process as much as possible. Fatigue due to exposure to digital devices, eye strain and dullness of skin are all real, new-age problems. The first step is to accept that this is reality. Solving it is the next step,” adds Gurugubelli.
In addition to this, you can also lower the brightness level on your screens to 50 per cent or go even dimmer as long as you are not straining your eyes. Going hands-free and taking a break often from your devices can also help.
In short, we need more research on blue light damage but the simple truth is that, there is evidence that it has the potential to be damaging. And the market is now filled with blue-light-specific products, some have not yet reached India yet but are available for shipping through Cult Beauty, Sephora and Instagram shops. Though some are just antioxidant serums, they double up as blue-light protection. In truth, it’s all about protection.
We’ve rounded up some skincare products that will guard your skin like an angel against the blue light, and that can easily be slipped into your daily routine.
Images: Getty Images; Hero & Feature Image credit: Facebook/Supergoop!
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok.
For a lightweight, pearlescent makeup-gripping primer, opt for Supergoop! This formula comes with SPF 40 and blue light protection which makes it quite ideal for your daily makeup routine. It does not only make for a perfect dewy and luminous canvas to apply makeup, but it protects you from UV rays, too. The best part? It doubles as a highlighter wherever you want to add that extra glow.
Price: Rs 3,000 approx.
This cushion-style BB cream is designed to hydrate pore control, and it comes with SPF 50 UV protection. The water-resistant cream features a semi-matte yet lightweight formula that gives a bright complexion for your everyday look. Given that it contains Exclusive Optimal Mineral Water, it offers instant moisture that cools your skin and shields you from UV rays. Apply the product with the anti-bacterial puff and smoothly glide on for a no-shine finish, a great way to keep your makeup on and stay protected.
Price: Rs 2,900 approx.
If you want something light and simple, then you can go ahead and use this mist before makeup to primer, and prep the skin for a refreshing day ahead. This Cover Fx rose quartz is an infused alcohol-free mist that’s been designed to defend against pollution and blue light. Remember to shake it well before use and mist two-four times.
Price: Rs 1,500 approx.
This French brand is known for using high concentrations of natural botanicals, and luckily, they also have the perfect solution to blue light damage. The formula replenishes the skin’s hydration and wards off any harmful effects of exposure to blue light emissions. It comes with a combination of botanicals that blesses us with long-lasting hydration and visible plumping power. Think about all the radiance-boosting power packs such as extracts from Tamarind, Alga, Red Sage Root, and more. Apply it as a booster under your usual moisturisers and let your skin glow.
Price: Rs 13,000 approx.
If you’ve been noticing those tired eyes in the morning, then This Works Morning Expert Open Eyes will ensure that you feel those wide-awake eyes again. Consider this eye cream an antidote to tired eyes in the morning. The natural giant kelp extracts tighten the look of your skin, and the Persian silk tree extracts reduce the appearance of any dark circles. Not to mention, the cocoa seed peptides limit the effects of blue light.
Price: Rs 2,200 approx.
Goodbye to those old sunscreens. This feather-light barely-there formula protects you from blue light and feels just like a second skin —it’s light. The ultra-sheer fluid blends in perfectly with your complexion and offers a shield against UVA/UVB rays as well leaving behind all those greases or white streaks. Forget about ageing or skin damage, because this bio-active mushroom complex and green tea calms and soothes your skin while protecting against all the environmental aggressors.
Price: Rs 4,000 approx.
The first in India, this powerful facial treatment serum comes with a host of amazing ingredients- right from, plant-based retinol alternative to blue-light rescue actives with clinically proven ingredients that not just combat signs of ageing but also make sure they tackle pigmentation and dryness. Filled with antioxidants, this is one that will see you through your WFH days.
Price: Rs 2,195