Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

Does the light from digital devices affect my Skin?

Short answer, no.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Aug 6, 2020

While WFH, I keep finding myself getting daily headaches. To combat this pain, I’ve placed all devices on a gray scale and have noticed an improvement not only in my headaches but also the bags under my eyes. I wondered if the light had anything to do with dark spots. And to my surprise, my research showed that mobile phones are the silent agers of our generation.

 

Blue light has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin compared to both UVA and UVB light, resulting in dark spots and early wrinkles. Although many sources shared that opinion, there were plenty that stated there are not enough studies to give a concrete answer. It’s a compelling enough topic to dive deeper into, especially since most of us are glued to our phones or computers in this new normal. Ahead we answer all your burning questions about screen time affecting your skin.

 

What is blue light?

High energy light or blue light, is a high-frequency violet and blue light that has wavelengths of 400 to 450 nanometers. It is the only part of light that is visible to the naked eye. The majority of blue light is from the sun but it’s also from our hand held devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets. It’s the reason you get headaches or eye strain after staring at a screen for too long and why experts recommend usage of mobile phones to stop 1-2 hours before bed – as it can stimulate alertness, making it harder to get a good night’s rest.

 

Does blue light damage my skin?

Blue light definitely affects your natural sleep clock but too little research has been done to determine the extent of its effects on your skin. “We are still learning about its cellular effects on the skin, but a couple of small studies appear to show that exposure to blue light can increase the production of free radicals in the skin and result in increased pigment, redness and possibly, premature aging,” explains plastic surgeon and holistic beauty doctor Anthony Youn. Some research however, has evidence that exposure to blue light can delay skin barrier recovery and result in more significant hyperpigmentation when compared to UVB rays.

 

Is all blue light bad?

Natural blue light from the sun is actually good if you’re dealing with acne. “Blue light therapy has been shown to kill acne-causing bacteria. Lightwave is one such blue light therapy that is pain-free and uses high-end LEDs to distribute specific visible wavelengths of light to the problem areas,” explains dermatologist Debra Jaliman“It can help those who have lesions that become inflamed and result in red and/or tender bumps, which can be filled with pus and bacteria.”

 

How can I protect my skin from blue light damages?

  • Limit screen time
  • Wear sunscreen daily
  • Invest in yellow tinted or blue light filtered glasses to block out blue light
  • Grayscale your computer and smart devices
  • Purchase a blue light blocking screen for your computer
  • Switch up your skin care routine and load up on Vitamin C and E as they are great antioxidants

 

How worried should I be?

Short answer: not too much. There really isn’t enough conclusive research to know how detrimental blue light could be towards the skin. So don’t worry, you can still take selfies and binge Netflix shows. For now at least.