Age-related macular degeneration are words we have heard associated with exposure to excessive blue light. But another health factor that is now being talked about is the damage it does to your skin. From viral articles in publications like The Daily Mail and India Today, to brands like HUDA Beauty and Paula’s Choice, and lifestyle magazines like Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar and Refinery29 – everyone is talking about the possible skin damage from blue light.
But what is the science behind it?
A study by Unilever Skincare Research claimed that “four days of working in front of a computer screen has the same effect as spending 20 minutes in the sun.” That is a much higher level of blue light exposure than anybody could anticipate from a digital gadget. A 2014 study published in Pigment Cell & Melanoma Researchdemonstrated that while exposure to blue light does not promote cancer growth (UVB), it did show “significantly more pronounced hyperpigmentation lasting up to 3 months”.
Dermatologist Dr. Justine Klukshared that blue light exposure can put people at higher risk for a condition called melasma. Furthermore, a study from 2010 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed that exposure to blue light can cause pigmentation, redness, and swelling, more than someone exposed to comparative levels of UVA. Blue light has the ability to penetrate the skin at the DNA level, resulting in inflammation as well as collagen breakdown, which can cause wrinkles and affect elasticity.
Not to mention, the effect of blue light can have on the circadian rhythm and natural sleep cycle has long term effects. A good night’s sleep is crucial to a lot of bodily functions, including healthy skin.
Indoor lighting in the form of fluorescent and halogen lamps emit low levels of UVA light which can be hazardous for the skin, while most LED lighting has a very high content of high energy wave blue light. These rays can cause damage to the skin and lead to premature aging, long durations of which can become an underlying cause of skin cancer. While the rays emitted from bulbs aren’t nearly as strong as what’s released from the sun, the constant exposure can definitely add up.
Recently, many findings have found that skin protection must be practiced indoors to effectively protect the skin against UV rays. Photodermatoses, such as lupus, actinic prurigo, and xeroderma pigmentosum, are only a few of the skin ailments that are triggered by UV exposure; however, chronic low-dose exposures to UV light, such as those associated with indoor lighting, may also be triggers of such conditions. Melasma, for example, can be triggered by heat or UV light. Chronic exposure to ambient light may darken the skin, necessitating daily UV protection in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Protecting Your Skin from Harmful Blue Light
Similar to how sun-proof factor decides the level of protection from UV, skincare brands are coming out with serums and creams that protect the wearer from blue light damage. Aside from the broad spectrum SPF 50, these products are specifically designed to protect the skin again visible spectrum light that otherwise cannot be palpably seen (like UV) or felt (like IR).
Antioxidants like Vitamin C and E – commonly associated with defeating hyperpigmentation – are known to reverse the oxidation process that our cells go through when exposed to excess light. These can either be put on topically, or consumed in the form of supplements or antioxidant rich diets.
Dr. Lite is made with patented LED that removes all the harmful blue light so it is safe for your health and your skin. Our products are doctor recommended which promote blue light protection and are safe for your health.