Does Blue Light Damage Skin? 6 Surprising Facts

In the modern and digital age, blue light has become as much a part of our lives as sunshine. but how harmful is it? And does blue light damage skin as well?

You probably know how blue light can damage your eyes and affect your daily sleep hours. And then, you have most likely even bought a pair of light blue glasses to care for your eyes1.

Lately, many kinds of skin care stuff have also filled the shops, declaring to safeguard your skin from the harmful effects of blue light. But that raises the question of how necessary that is and whether blue light damages the skin.

Does Blue Light Damage Skin? 6 Illuminating Facts

As you already know, today’s world is primarily based on technology. Most jobs include working hours in front of a computer screen or mobile phone.

All these devices, along with the sun, the most significant light source, emit this blue light.

Does Blue Light Damage Skin?

So avoiding blue light on the screens and the sun is out of the question. Various studies and research are based on the harmful effects of the said light.

With this guide, you will learn all about blue light, its effects, and how you can get protection from it.

1. What is Blue Light?

The light emitting from the device, be it on your mobile phone, laptop, or computer is blue light.

Even the sun, the most significant light source, emits blue light. So do light bulbs, computers, laptop screens, flat-screen televisions, mobile phones, and tablets.

Phone Screen
Image by Erik Lucatero from Pixabay Copyright 2018

2. Some Benefits of Blue Light

There are studies and research that also show the advantages of blue light. Among them, you will find:

  • Increasing alertness
  • Boosting memory
  • Uplifting mood
  • Enhancing attention period and response times

However, these benefits only apply if one is exposed to blue light for a brief time. Blue light can damage your well-being if overexposed, particularly at night.

Blue Light FACTS - The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

3. The Reason Blue Light is Considered to be Harmful

Now that the positive parts have been covered, it’s time to know the negative aspects.

All visible light spectrum colours have unique wavelengths and energy types. Compared to others, blue light has shorter wavelengths and more incredible energy.

Some studies show a connection between eye problems and short-wave blue light, which has wavelengths between 415 and 455 nanometers.

Extensively, all rays from the LEDs utilized in smartphones, TVs, and notepads have wavelengths that range between 400 and 490 nanometers. Therefore they are pretty damaging to eyesight.

Blue light negatively affects multiple areas of health. Among them, the most common issues include the following:

  • Eyesight problems
  • Disruption in sleep patterns
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Skin Damage

So as you can see, the role of blue light in damaging health is pretty immense. But how exactly and why does blue light damage skin?

Eye Problems
Image by Paul Diaconu from Pixabay Copyright 2020

4. Does Blue Light Damage Skin?

Blue light can damage exposed skin similarly, which is affected by ultraviolet rays. Direct exposure to visible blue light on the skin can result in reactive oxygen species, opening the door to DNA damage and deterioration of collagen 2and elastin fibres.

Blue light exposure and the generation of free radicals in the skin have also been linked. This has associated blue light with an increasing image of skin aging.

It is presumed that blue light may cause detrimental influences on the skin, particularly pigmentation and aging, but this has not been substantiated with enough proof.

Unfortunately, studies on the impacts of blue light on the skin are not comprehensive and are lacking in many ways.

Surprisingly, several dermatologists employ blue light to treat specific skin disorders like acne, and there have been no concrete documents that these procedures harm skin pigmentation.

Acne Problem
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay Copyright 2021

5. How Does Blue Light Damage Skin?

So, how does blue light damage skin? The evidence seems pretty inconclusive. However, there is no debate that blue light is harmful to human health.

Studies and research have indicated that even though the complete consequences of continuous and prolonged exposure to blue light are yet to be thoroughly comprehended, findings demonstrate that it can heighten the quantity of DNA damage, cell and tissue loss and damage, eyesight deterioration, skin barrier deterioration, and finally photo-aging.

Blue light, like UVA and UVB rays, can elicit oxidative stress, which occurs when free radicals overpower the cells in a body.

This can accelerate the aging system by harming cells. It can also intensify skin pigmentation and disturb the skin barrier process, triggering harmful skin effects.

How the Blue Light can affect your skin. | Blue light and skin | Dermatologist Dr. Rohit Batra

6. Best Ways to Get Protection Against Blue Light Exposure

In significant quantities, high-energy light from the sun – such as UV rays and blue light – can increase your chance of getting an eye disorder. This has resulted in many worries about how dangerous the blue light from digital screens is.

There are also concerns about whether blue light damages skin and how to get protection from it.

In this modern world, no one can avoid blue light entirely. However, there are some means to limit the amount you are exposed to blue light and protect your eyes and skin from it:

  • Limited use of devices emitting blue light
  • Using screen filters like blue light filter
  • Activate the night mode option on devices

You can also try wearing glasses that filter or block blue light, yellow-tinted computer spectacles, or anti-reflective lenses.

If limiting screen time is not an option for you due to your job and work, using these glasses will somewhat protect your eyes.

Here's What Blue Light Actually Does To Your Body

For skincare and protection from blue light, there are many things that you can try:

6.1. Sunscreen

When it comes to skin protection, sunscreen is always your best choice—for both UV rays and blue light. Anything above SPF 30 should be helpful. For intense light, SPF 50 is recommended.

6.2. Iron Oxides

Iron oxides also block blue light in a very similar way to what sunscreen does. Therefore, they can help protect your skin against harmful blue light.

6.3. Antioxidants

Some serums have antioxidants that can help in the prevention of free radicals which in turn protects your skin against damage due to blue light.

So, using topical and quality serums with such ingredients can also be good products for skin protection.

6.4. Moisturizers

One of the most common and basic kinds of screen care products, surprisingly, moisturizers are pretty effective against blue light. It helps to hydrate the skin3 and restore the skin barrier that can become deteriorated by exposure to blue light.

Moisturizer
Source: Depositphotos

Additionally, dermatologists believe that skin products with zinc oxide, Vitamin C, and titanium dioxide are also effective in fighting against blue light damage.

Moreover, buying blue light-blocking shields can be a solution. These shields can be positioned over your device screens to protect you against the direct glare of the light.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Does blue light damage skin?

While there is no doubt that blue light harms the eyes and overall health, studies on skin damage are lacking and need more concrete proof.

Still, many significant studies have some substantial evidence of how blue light damages the skin. In some instances, blue light is said to result in premature skin aging, wrinkles, and, even in extreme cases, skin cancer due to skin barrier damage.

This is more evident for individuals with darker skin. So, though the data on this matter lacks, blue light most likely damages skin and many other aspects of human health.

2. How does blue light damage skin?

Some findings indicate that blue light emitted from the sun and LED devices can worsen the volume of DNA damage and cell and tissue loss, resulting in poorer eyesight, deterioration of the skin barrier, and, finally, photo-aging.

Blue light can induce oxidative stress, which transpires when free radicals devastate the cell count in a body.

This can quicken the aging process and method by damaging cells and amplifying skin pigmentation. This can lead to a disorder in the skin barrier process.

3. What are the best ways to protect your skin from blue light emitted from electronic devices and the sun?

Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Source: Depositphotos

Undoubtedly, the best way to protect yourself from blue light is to avoid the sun and lessen screen time as much as possible. But that is not a logical choice, as no one can stay in the house during daylight and avoid all electronic devices for the rest of their life.

So, the practical steps to take for blue light protection are to use less screen time, activate night mode in all devices, and utilize the blue light filter option. Blue light-blocking glasses and lenses are also available for eye protection.

Lastly, sunscreen is the best and most common answer to protect skin from blue light damage. Along with UV light damage, the harm from blue light can be obstructed by using some SPF30.

Other options for skin protection from blue light rays include iron oxides, antioxidants, and moisturizers. Screen shields for your devices can also effectively block artificial blue light emitted from the screens from damaging your skin.

Before taking any measures, consult your general physician and a dermatologist.

Endnotes: Shedding Light on Blue Light

As you can see, this guide sheds light on all you need to know about blue light, its effects, and ways to protect yourself. Your job now is to follow the words and use proper protection whenever you are in front of screens for a long time.

Blue Light
Image by Jacek Abramowicz from Pixabay Copyright 2016

In today’s lifestyle, avoiding technology, screens, computers, or mobile phones is virtually impossible. More or less, jobs require you to sit and work in front of a screen. So, avoiding the harmful glow of blue light is not an option for anyone.

The only thing you can do is have proper protection and use the least amount of screen time possible.

Now that you know about this exciting aspect of technology and life, use the information wisely. By finding the answer to “Does blue light damage skin, eyesight, and health?” you can also find ways to protect yourself from this harmful glare of the light and live a healthy and thereby happy life.

  1. Scherrer, S. L. “I Care about Eye Care: Don’t Say Goodbye to Your Eyes.” Australian Journal of Primary Health 6.4 (2000): 190-193. ↩︎
  2. Wess, Tim J., and Joseph P. Orgel. “Changes in collagen structure: drying, dehydrothermal treatment and relation to long term deterioration.” Thermochimica Acta 365.1-2 (2000): 119-128. ↩︎
  3. Verdier‐Sévrain, Sylvie, and Frédéric Bonté. “Skin hydration: a review on its molecular mechanisms.” Journal of cosmetic dermatology 6.2 (2007): 75-82. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Sathi Chakraborty, MSc Biology

Authors

Joshita
Sathi Chakraborty, MSc Biology
  1. An eye opener for everyone. We can’t avoid blue light everytime because of the current lifestyle. But if we know how to minimise the effect then surely we can minimize the damage. Therefore the tips given in this article are worth considering.

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