What is blue light and what does it do?
By Steph Davies
Blue light, also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light, is a type of light with a short wavelength and high energy. It is emitted by the sun and air pollution as well as electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computer screens. While blue light has some beneficial effects, such as regulating our sleep-wake cycle and boosting mood and cognitive function, prolonged exposure to blue light, particularly from electronic devices, can have certain effects on the skin.
What are the disadvantages of blue light?
In the device heavy world most of us find ourselves in, this means providing extra protection from it. Just like we know to wear sunscreen before being in the sun, we need to protect our faces before hitting the screens for the day. One of the primary concerns associated with blue light exposure is its potential to induce oxidative stress in the skin. Studies have suggested that blue light can generate free radicals, unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and tissues. This oxidative stress may contribute to skin aging, including the development of wrinkles, fine lines, and pigmentation irregularities.
Blue light has also been shown to affect the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep patterns. Prolonged exposure to blue light, especially in the evening or at night, can suppress melatonin production, disrupting the sleep-wake cycle. Poor sleep quality and duration can have indirect effects on the skin, leading to issues like dullness, dark circles, and an overall tired appearance.
Additionally, some research suggests that blue light may exacerbate certain skin conditions, particularly those related to inflammation. For example, blue light has been shown to activate certain enzymes in the skin that can contribute to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to inflammation and potential exacerbation of acne, rosacea, and other inflammatory skin conditions. All nasty things we want to avoid where possible.
How to protect skin from blue light
To protect the skin from the potential effects of blue light, several preventive measures can be taken:
Limit screen time: Reduce the amount of time spent in front of electronic devices, especially in the evening or at night, to minimize blue light exposure.
Use blue light filters: Apply screen protectors, glasses or use software applications that block, filter out or reduce blue light emissions from electronic devices.
Wear sunscreen: While sunscreens primarily protect against ultraviolet (UV) radiation, some newer formulations also offer protection against blue light. Look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that mention protection against blue light or HEV light.
Antioxidant skincare: Use skincare products that contain antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, which can help neutralise free radicals generated by blue light exposure. This is particularly helpful to add into a daily routine since exposure to air pollution is almost unavoidable. The byebyebad™ Blue Light Skin Shield has been specifically designed using key active ingredients to provide antioxidant care and protection. Bioactive Totarol™ is a potent antioxidant seven times more effective than vitamin E, penetrating skin, providing skin protection and fighting off free radicals. The other key active ingredient is called EnergiNius®. It is known to protect skin at a cellular level. After use, the skin is visibly revived, and the signs of fatigue can disappear in favour of a healthy glow.
Another key active is OceanDerMX™ which adds a supreme level of 100% natural anti-aging, moisture binding, antioxidant and pollution protecting elements by suppressing the harmful toxins causing dehydration, hyperpigmentation, and premature ageing of the skin. It is made from a synergistic blend of New Zealand native red seaweed, New Zealand native black fern, New Zealand grown certified organic green tea, and New Zealand grown certified organic blackcurrant.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep is an obvious way you can help support overall skin health and minimise the impact of blue light on the skin.
While this is an emerging area of research on the potential effects of blue light on the skin, more studies are being undertaken to fully understand its long-term impact.
Blue light protection skin care
Get your 100% natural Blue Light Face Shield today and walk through the world knowing you are protected. With a soothing and fragrance-free formulation, a few spritzes before you head out the door or hitting the screens for the day, is all that is needed!