Can Blue Light Harm the Skin?
Aug 31, 2020 06:51 AM EDT
Credit : Im_Jenny on Pixabay
You probably have heard that blue light can harm the eyes. But did you know there is growing concern among experts that blue light might also damage our skin and cause premature aging?
Studies show that getting exposed to blue light for a long time can cause dry eyes, disrupt sleep, and may increase the risk of macular degeneration. However, experts are also now saying that this visible light may also damage the skin or contribute to premature aging.
Not everything about blue light is bad, though. For one, blue light helps us stay alert, elevate our mood, and keeps our wake and sleep cycle regulated. Blue light is also used to treat skin problems such as acne and psoriasis, What makes it worrisome for experts is the prolonged exposure to blue light, especially at nighttime.
What is blue light, anyway?
Blue light is a short wave light that has the highest frequency in the spectrum. That characteristic allows blue light to penetrate the skin. Blue light waves can also create a glaring effect that can cause blurred visions, eye strain, headache, among other effects. Over time, constant exposure to blue light may cause damage to our retinal cells and contribute to age-related macular degeneration.
Blue light is everywhere with a majority of it coming from the sun. That is why we see the sky appear blue. However, we also get exposed to it through our TVs, LED lights, and smartphones, and tablets.
A 2017 study revealed that blue light contributes to the production of free radicals in the body. These free radical damage the collagen and elastin. What's more, it can also induce pigmentation and redness. as well as weaken the outer layer of the skin. While studies about blue light's effect on the skin are still ongoing, experts warn that such a risk should not be disregarded.
Protecting yourself from blue light's harmful effects
Can skincare products help mitigate blue light's potentially harmful effects? Experts agree that there is a lot that research that needs to be done before we can even conclude that blue light does harm the skin. So, using skincare products to protect your skin won't harm you.
Skincare experts believe that as more data becomes available, skincare products will incorporate more of these blue light protecting formulations. While our skin naturally contains antioxidants, the body consumes them to fight free radicals. Sunscreen helps protect our skin from skin damage and premature aging caused by sun exposure. And don't forget, pair your skin regimen with healthy diet and lots of exercises.
Experts also advise that we limit the amount of time that we spend on our electronic devices such as phones, laptops, and LED TVs. By limiting screen times, we limit the chances of straining our eyes, disrupting our sleep cycle, and possibly protect our skin too.
There are also filter apps that you can download that will filter blue light from your devices and reduce glare. And to keep your eyes moist while using your device, you can try blinking your eyes more often.
Read next: 4 Ways to Look Younger