Is Blue Light Emitted from Digital Devices Harmful for Your Skin?
If you own a digital device, chances are you have heard of a term called "blue light" or even own a pair of blue light glasses or screen protectors. Research studies have shown that blue light emitted from digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers can be harmful to our eyes and even wreak havoc on our skin. So what is blue light, how does it directly impact our skin health, and what can we do to protect our skin against this modern aggressor? Read on to find out!
What is Blue Light?
Blue light is a high-energy and short-wavelength light that is part of the spectrum of visible light. The primary source is from the sun, but we also get a significant amount from our digital devices and indoor lighting. According to Nielsen data published in July 2018, the average American spends more than 11 hours per day using digital media; that's almost half the day! Blue light isn't all bad - it helps regulate our body's circadian rhythm and is often used to treat mild to moderate acne - but extended exposure can contribute to eye strain and diseases such as dry eyes, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration.
How does Blue Light Affect the Skin?
Blue light can cause photo-aging, potentially lead to more hyperpigmentation, redness, and swelling, and even cause the production of free radicals and accelerate aging. When visible blue light penetrates the skin, it can cause reactive oxygen species, which are unstable molecules that contain oxygen and react with other molecules. They can damage skin cells and break down collagen and elastin, contributing to wrinkles and skin laxity. According to Dr. Marie Hayag, a medical and cosmetic dermatologist based in New York, here are the ways that blue light can potentially damage the skin:
- Induces oxidative stress, which leads to inflammation and collagen degeneration
- Disrupts the activity of melanocytes, which leads to pigmentation
- Contributes to photo-aging, which is skin aging caused by light waves and what happens when you're out in the sun
- Weakens the outermost layer of your skin and delays its recovery from daily skin stressors
Blue light can also disturb our sleep by inhibiting melatonin production. Have you ever been on your phone too late at night, had trouble falling asleep, and woke up with tired-looking skin? Sleep deprivation can cause changes to the skin, including dullness, puffiness, redness, and dark undereye circles - all things we don't want!
How To Protect Your Skin from Blue Light Damage
If you are experiencing skin changes like pigmentation, irritation, sensitivity, early wrinkling, and redness, these could be signs of damage from blue light. Reducing your screen time is the best way to prevent blue light damage. You can also invest in blue light glasses or get screen protectors for your digital devices. When it comes to skincare, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day (even on those cloudy days) and look for ingredients containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that can help block blue light rays. In addition to sunscreen, look for urban defense skincare with antioxidants that can neutralize free radical damage and brighten the skin.
OKOKO's Blue Light Technology Packs a Punch Against Blue Light Damage
We know that in an increasingly digitized world, it's (very) hard to peel ourselves away from our screens completely. So we have engineered our products with high-performance ingredients known to guard and shield skin against blue light damage. One of them is an antioxidant-rich active oil derived from upcycled blueberries. This sustainably sourced ingredient shields skin from blue light, working as a natural shield for the skin against HEV exposure from the sun and digital devices. In an absorbance study, it was shown to absorb high energy visible light at a 3-5% use level. Rich in essential fatty acids, protective phytosterols, and a standardized level of carotenoids, this eco-luxe oil also protects the skin against environmental stress by neutralizing free radicals and external pollutants. Here are some key benefits of this superpower sustainable ingredient:
- Made from certified upcycled blueberries with zero waste created
- A powerful active ingredient for blue light defense
- A natural source of pro-retinol and helps to visibly improve fine wrinkles, skin smoothness, and hyperpigmentation of photodamaged skin
- Concentrated in carotenoids to prevent mature aging and enhance the skin's resistance against environmental factors
- Moisturizes, hydrates the skin and protects the skin's barrier against environmental pollutants
- High in oleic acid to help defend against free radicals and help other ingredients absorb into the skin more effectively
The new OKOKO 2.0 range is formulated with blue light technology to help defend skin against digital stressors. You will find it in products like:
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