What you need to know about blue light and how it affects your skin


Biologi’s Bg Defense Anti-Pollution Serum. Image supplied.

You may have heard the term blue light before, but do you really know what it means and how it might be affecting your skin? If the answer was ‘no’ or ‘not really’, read on as Biologi’s Dermal Specialist Lucy Macdougald explains it all.

What is blue light?

Put simply, blue light is a type of light that is emitted with blue wavelengths (as the name might suggest)!  It is a portion of the visible light spectrum (380 to 500 nanometres) that is contained in sunlight, but it is also given off by indoor lighting and common electronic devices, like computer screens and smartphones.

We are exposed to blue light in many ways, with one of the biggest culprits being the blue light that is coming from a smart phone screen. The current state of the world means many of us are transitioning to working from home or relying more on technology to communicate and interact for our daily lives. This also means we are now exposed to more blue light from technology, such as a smart phone or screen or monitor from our computers. For the average person, blue light exposure is a sign of our modern times, and many people don’t realise that this type of light can also affect our skin in negative ways.

How does blue light affect our skin?

Unfortunately, light in its various forms can affect the skin in many ways. Blue light (which can emitted from many sources ranging from the sun, computers, laptops, smart phones, fluorescent lighting and LED lighting), has been shown to produce oxidative stress in live skin. Oxidative stress can dehydrate cells, cause inflammation and chronic skin complaints, and even lead to skin cancer. Blue light can also contribute to brown spots on the skin, hyperpigmentation, photoaging and the breakdown of collagen which can increase the visible signs of ageing such as fine lines. As collagen production naturally slows with age, blue light exposure can be worse for those wishing to preserve their youthful skin.

While blue light can be beneficial during the daytime because it boosts attention, reaction times, and mood, it unfortunately seems to be the most disruptive at night. The proliferation of electronics with screens, as well as energy-efficient lighting, is increasing our exposure to blue wavelengths (especially after sundown). Essentially, blue light exposure at night can impact the natural circadian rhythm of skin cells because it tricks our bodies into thinking it is daytime. Therefore, you might not get the regenerative sleep your skin requires. Sleep is the time when your body repairs itself including the skin – your skin’s blood flow increases, and the organ rebuilds its collagen and repairs damage from UV exposure (reducing fine lines and age spots). If your circadian rhythm is out of balance it can lead to skin ageing, increasing free radicals, changes in cell DNA and even cell death.

How we can treat the effects of blue light

Treating skin damage caused by blue light needs to start with counteracting the free radical damage. This can be done by increasing the antioxidant levels in the body. Foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and meat are all excellent sources of antioxidants and regular consumption will balance free radical production in the body and help to reduce the damage to your skin. The more you can build up antioxidant protection through nutrition, the more you’ll counteract free radical damage leading to healthier cells. While building up antioxidant levels in the body will help, you can support it future by what you put on the skin.

For the average person, there’s no way to completely avoid blue light exposure so I recommend strengthening and protecting skin cells to minimise the damage that can lead to premature ageing and dehydrated skin. To do this, I recommend introducing a protective serum into your regime like Biologi’s Bg Defence Anti-Pollution Serum. This is a really unique ingredient that has extracted the goodness from the leaf of Strawberry Gum to provide a 100% active serum that provides protective shield from environmental pollution, aims to shield skin from blue light, fights free radical damage and assists with increased hydration. What’s more, Biologi’s Bg Defence Anti-Pollution Serum contains the unique phyto-active combination of Vitamin C, B3 Niacinamide & Salicylic Acid – an unheard-of TRIO combination in traditional skincare, but found in nature that boosts skin glow, improves the texture of skin all while protecting and shielding your skin from environmental aggressors.

How to prevent further damage

The most obvious solution to prevent any further damage from blue light is to stop your exposure to it! Of course, it is impossible to stop all exposure to blue light, however limiting or stripping it back a little can certainly help. Start by limiting things like screen time. Most smartphones have an inbuilt app which identifies how much time you’re spending online, and where. Awareness of internet habits can help reduce time spent scrolling and therefore exposure to blue light. You can also help by adding a filter to your screen – Blue light screen filters are available for most mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Whilst they may only filter a maximum of 60% of blue light rays, a filter can significantly reduce exposure for those who spend their days in front of a computer or laptop.

Next, implement some antioxidants into your daily routine, both internally and externally. Antioxidants protect the skin from damaging free radicals, as discussed above.

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