As the need for sun protection continues to gain ground, people are becoming more conscious of sunlight exposure and the havoc it can wreak on the skin- from skin cancer to sunburn and skin darkening to sunspots. But there’s a silent enemy that continues to fly under the radar. What’s more? This element, known as blue light, is right in front of us.
Spending hours clicking away on our gadgets is fast becoming a hobby, but this habit leaves telltale signs on our bodies, from physical to mental health. Recently, surveys have shown that the light from our electronic devices penetrates our skin deeper than sunlight.
If you’re obsessed with your smart devices, you should continue scrolling through this post as we throw more light on the dangers of blue light.
What is Blue Light?
Blue light is a form of electromagnetic light that the naked eye can see. It belongs to the class of light waves with short wavelength, high energy, and potent penetration power. It is popularly known as High Energy Visible (HEV) light.
“HEV light is primarily from the sun, but it’s also emitted by smartphones, tablets, televisions and computer screens,” says Dr. Harley King, a board certified dermatologist based in New York.
This form of light emission is almost as vicious as the light rays from the sun, going deeper into the dermis of the skin to cause damage over time.
Regular exposure to this light, which travels at a short wavelength, may result in many skincare issues such as premature aging.
Does Sunscreen Protect Against Blue Light?
Sunscreen can protect your skin from photo damage, but not all sunscreens are equal to the task.
Physical sunscreens (which contain ingredients that form a protective film on the skin’s surface to reflect rays of light) are best suited to combat blue light damage. A perfect example of the Make It Hybrid ™ SPF 50 which contains Zinc Oxide.
Is Blue Light Aging Your Skin?
You’ve been told to defend your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, but you should also shield your skin from the damage in front of you – blue light.
This powerful light is a “silent aging agent” that attacks skin cells by creating free radicals (reactive oxygen species). The attack by the oxygen species results in oxidative stress, which breaks down vital proteins in the skin, such as collagen and elastin. When these proteins are broken down, the skin’s structure is compromised, and you’ll start noticing signs of aging such as wrinkles, sagging skin, fine lines, dark circles, and eye bags.
Since this form of light penetrates the skin deeper than ultraviolet light, it affects the skin barrier, resulting in skin irritation and inflammation.
In addition, this colored light can affect our sleep cycles by disrupting our circadian rhythm. When light rays from our devices penetrate our eyes, they disrupt melatonin, a hormone responsible for sleep.
The more you look into your screen, the more your body produces less melatonin which results in shorter sleep time.
With lack of sleep comes an array of skin issues such as dark circles, puffy eyes, wrinkling skin, and fine lines. You may have heard to turn off your smart devices before bedtime to get your beauty sleep- now you know why.
How To Protect Skin From Blue Light
According to research, spending as much as 1 hour staring at your device’s screen can affect your skin. It is no news that, on average, an American spends 11 hours on their gadgets daily– this spells disaster if preventive steps are not taken.
So, how can you remedy the situation? Halting the use of your gadgets is near impossible, so the best way to keep this challenge under control is to modify your lifestyle habits.
The following lifestyle modification habits will help;
- Use tinted eyewear to block off the sharp light rays.
- Use eyeglasses with a blue light filter.
- Turn off your phone hours before bedtime.
- Reducing the brightness of your screens and turning your phone to night mode helps a great deal with controlling light exposure.
These steps are great but to maximize your efforts against the illumination, you need to stick to a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more every day.
Which Ingredients Protect Against Blue Light?
Mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and iron oxides play an essential role in deflecting light rays by forming a protective barrier on the skin. It is essential to go for products that combine different sun-blocking botanical ingredients for more protection.
These are elements that protect against light-induced damage;
The presence of antioxidants in the form of natural extracts and vitamins enhances the ability of sun care products to ward off visible light.
Also, antioxidants are known to prevent oxidative stress. Common antioxidants to look out for are Vitamins B3, C, and E. Vitamin C boosts collagen formation and brightens the skin. Vitamin B3 strengthens the skin barrier and slows down melanin formation. Vitamin E prevents oxidation in cells.
Natural oils and butter
Plant-based oils such as Green tea oil, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and sunflower oil play pivotal roles in preventing damages caused by high energy visible light. The polyphenol in green tea oil prevents photo-damage and free radical damage, while olive oil, which has a natural SPF of 8, scatters approximately 20% of the light rays from the sun that hits the skin.
Sunflower oil has natural sun protection abilities, soothes the skin, and reduces signs of aging.
Shea butter is an excellent natural ingredient used in sun moisturizers because it has SPF 3 – 4.
Should You Wear Sunscreen Indoors To Protect Against Internal Light Bulbs?
Yes, you should apply a suncare product everywhere. While there’s no escape from blue light – whether you’re indoors or outdoors, the great news is that you can stay protected even while you’re within the confines of your home.
Apply sunscreen every two to three hours when you’re having some screen time – TV, smartphone, laptop, or tablets.
Best Sunscreens for Blue Light Protection
People with melanin are more prone to developing concerns from light exposure, so getting a sun care product suited for dark skin is highly recommended.
These are our choice products:
Black Girl Sunscreen Make it Hybrid™ SPF 50
This sunscreen should be your top pick if you’re looking for a formula that absorbs quickly without leaving a white cast.
The mineral product with ingredients such as zinc oxide wards off indoor and outdoor stressors. The Make It Hybrid™ sunscreen with SPF 50 bounces off HEV light and UV rays from penetrating the skin.
Formulated with natural ingredients such as shea butter, lavender oil, carrot oil, avocado oil, and aloe vera, this sunscreen nourishes and soothes the skin while dealing with discoloration and premature aging.
Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30
Opt for this moisturizing formula to shield your skin, thanks to its skin protection complex, which contains avocado oil, jojoba oil, cacao, carrot juice, and sunflower oil.
Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 is free of hormone-disrupting chemicals like, Oxybenzone and Octinoxate.
Black Girl Sunscreen Kids SPF 50
Since children are exposed to sunlight and illumination from certain gadgets, it is essential to introduce a kid-friendly sunscreen such as the BGS Kids SPF 50 for their daily use.
This formula is enriched with natural extracts such as chamomile, shea butter, carrot seed oil, and avocado oil which promise to combat free radicals, hydrate, soothe, and protect against outdoor and indoor elements at same time. In addition to shielding your skin from digital and environmental pollution, the formula is designed to help heal your child’s skin and ease redness.
Now that we’ve spotlighted blue light and its impact, you can see that blue-light protection is not just another marketing hype to spread fear and worry but something that should be taken seriously.
As remote jobs become more popular, everyone must take precautionary steps to ensure that their skin is well protected from digital pollution.
Want to win the battle against blue light? Grab any of the above-mentioned Black Girl Sunscreen products by shopping on our site.