Is the blue light from your phone affecting your skin?
Most of us have a phone and most of us spend more time looking at the screen as we scroll through our Insta or Facebook feeds, Snapchat, write a text or read the news.
We might make the occasional phone call, but phones are not just for talking on anymore.
While we stare at the screens, is the blue light having an impact on our skin? It’s the same as the light coming from our computers, TVs and tablets – known as high energy visible light (HEV) or blue light.
In its natural form, blue light from the sun regulates sleep – when we get some shut eye and when we wake up. That’s why the experts say we shouldn’t be on our phones too close to bed time as it can disrupt our sleep.
In its artificial form, the blue light flickers without us knowing, affecting our eyes. Our devices are backlit using blue light for clarity and brightness.
So, if staring at screens right before bed affects our sleep, what does sitting in front of a computer all day plus staring at our phones for significant periods of time do to our skin?
A 2013 study rated HEV light as bad as UVA and UVB rays which come from the sun, causing pigmentation, dark spots and cancer.
A 2014 study suggested blue light causes more pigmentation than UVB rays.
Some experts say it’s as bad as damage caused by the sun and the effect on anti-ageing is the same.
I put a lot of effort into protecting my skin from UV rays to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, so don’t want staring at screens to be undoing all my hard work.
On the plus side, blue light doesn’t cause skin cancer, but that means the manufacturers of beauty products are unlikely to add a special ingredient to sunscreens to protect against HEV.
Having said that, some beauty brands have jumped on the blue light bandwagon with HEV blockers.
Skincare expert Jean-Louise Sebagh came up with a supreme day cream that’s about “ageing maintenance” with a moisturiser designed to help “shield skin against High Energy Visible light (HEV/daylight), also emitted by laptops, tablets, mobile phones, LED lights and more.”
Another one I stumbled across with a specific focus on HEV light is Junetics screen tinted HEV protector SPF 15.
It aims to protect your skin from early ageing caused by the blue light as well as the sun.
While these products might not become common on the shelves, it might be an opportunity for skincare companies to get us to buy another product.
While we wait, or if you don’t want to fork out for another product, what can we do to protect our skin because let’s be honest, we’re not going to be putting our phones down, getting away from the computer screen or turning off the TV.
You can add a blue light filter on your phone which reduces emissions.
Beauty product wise, use Vitamin C. It works to tackle pigmentation and brightens the skin.
A physical sunscreen also protects the skin from pigmentation.