March 12, 2021
Does Blue Light from a phone or computer really age your skin?
We are all taught to apply sunscreen to our face before we go outside and expose ourselves to harmful UVA and UVB rays from sunlight. But most of us don’t know, our skin is also aging just by looking at our phones.
What is Blue Light?
High-energy visible light (HEV), sometimes referred to as blue light, is emitted from things like LED lighting, computer screens, flat-screen televisions, tablets and even our smartphones. How does blue light hurt us? The light emitted from these devices are causing oxidative stress, which is breaking down our collagen. The thinner our collagen layer is, the more likely you are going to see fine lines and wrinkles.
Dangers of the Blue Light
HEVs can penetrate much deeper into the skin compared to sunlight, and most sunscreens don’t protect against visible light, which is why we have to take this seriously. Visible light can cause erythema, transient and long-lasting hyper-pigmentation, thermal damage, free radical production, and premature photo-aging. It also can stimulate the production of reactive oxygen species that can damage DNA. Recent studies show that exposure to light emitted from electronic devices, even for as little as one hour, can cause reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, apoptosis, and necrosis.
Aging is not our only concern when it comes to Visible Light exposure. Skin disorders such as post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation and melasma affect millions of people all over the world.
There are many factors which lead to these conditions such as female sex hormones, genetic predisposition and exposure to UV light. However, we now know that Visible Light does, in fact, play a role in the development of melasma. We also know from a study conducted in 2015 by The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology that sunscreen with iron oxides prevented melasma relapse during summer months. So not only do we know that iron oxides can prevent aging, but it also helps with stubborn skin conditions.
Blue Light is more harmful than UVA & UVB rays
What can we do about this?
We need to incorporate iron oxides into our sun protection. Dr. Elaine Kaye of Harvard University mentioned in an article back in 1991 in The Journal of the American Medical Association that transmittance of light can be lowered just by adding iron oxide to our skin regimen. We knew this 30 years ago! To be fair, it probably wasn’t so alarming back then because people weren’t glued to a device for eight hours per day.
The bottom line is that the most popular and effective mineral based sunscreens on the market contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, but it’s not so easy to find those that include iron oxides, as well. Realm Skincare’s Reflect 42 Sunscreen now includes iron oxides in its formula because we ALWAYS thrive to deliver the most complete skincare to our customers.