Are the effects really cause for concern?Posted on January 18, 2022 Written by: 100% PURE®
It’s no secret that in the past decade, we’ve grown a little closer to our electronics. It’s also no secret that the blue light from our screens can have an effect on our eyes – hence the concern about the potential effects of artificial blue light on skin and the rise of blue light-blocking glasses.
On top of that, we’ve spent the past two years relying more on our screens for work, entertainment, and connecting with loved ones. But what are the effects of artificial blue light on skin? Is it having a negative effect? Let’s talk about what we know so far about the effects of artificial blue light on skin.
So, what exactly is artificial blue light? In order to answer this question, it helps to first understand what blue light is in nature. While we often associate it with our screens, most blue light actually comes from the sun.
Blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum, which is the kind of light that we can see. It’s also the form of visible light with the shortest wavelengths and the highest frequency, with vibrations in the 380-500 nanometer range.
Blue light also plays an important role in our daily lives, since it’s been shown to help regulate our circadian rhythm by helping our bodies wake up during the day. Likewise, the absence of blue light helps us sleep at night.
In the digital age, though, we’re exposed to artificial blue light from the screens of our phones, TVs, tablets, and computers. Because of this, humans today experience much more blue light than we did only a few decades ago. That’s led some experts to wonder about the effects of artificial blue light on skin. So, what do these effects of artificial blue light on skin look like?
Before we talk about the potential effects of artificial blue light on skin, let’s talk about what we know about blue light from the sun. It’s well known at this point that sun exposure can cause our skin both short-term and long-term damage. Dermatologists have plenty of evidence showing that it can trigger a few different issues in the skin.
For starters, it’s agreed by experts that visible light can cause hyperpigmentation. One 2012 study showed that UV exposure can trigger the development of melanin, leading to melasma. A more recent 2020 study indicated that blue light in particular can cause hyperpigmentation.
As for the effects of artificial blue light on skin, there is some research indicating that the blue light from electronic devices may lead to changes in our skin cells. For instance, this 2018 study suggested that increased exposure to artificial light may lead to an increased rate of oxidative stress in the skin. As we know, that has a huge impact on premature aging. So, what are the long-term effects of artificial blue light on skin?
In the grand scheme of things, artificial blue light is still a new factor in our society. And because of that, we don’t have a complete picture of its long-term effects. The consensus, though, is that the more time we spend in front of screens, the worse off our skin may be in the long run.
However, with that being said, experts don’t have any exact threshold with this, in terms of hours spent in front of the screen. Experts have yet to measure the direct effect it has on our skin.
And while there aren’t any official studies on the accumulating exposure of blue light, some dermatologists have shared anecdotes from patients, particularly when it comes to hyperpigmentation. Some have suggested that patients appear to have more dark spots on the side of their face that touches their phone during calls.
It’s true that we’re exposed to artificial blue light more than ever. However, this is still a minuscule amount compared to what we’re exposed to from the sun.
Plus, the majority of research citing the dangers of blue light damage stems from natural blue light, which is associated with UVA and UVB rays. Needless to say, we need to prioritize protecting our skin from the sun more than anything.
Still, it’s expected that we’ll see more research on the effects of artificial blue light on skin. With it, we will likely see more products specifically designed to combat blue light damage.
At this point, though, many products claiming to prevent blue light damage are considered gimmicky. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t need to buy more products to protect your skin from your screens.
What you should do for your skin, though, is continue to apply your SPF. It’s also vital to nourish your skin with antioxidants to protect it from the known dangers of our environment. For a more comprehensive guide on skin care for blue light, check out our article here.
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The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.