With a lot of people still working from home, I’ve seen a big push for glasses with blue light protection. We’ve heard so much about the strain blue light from indoor lighting and screens can place on our eyes, but I’m here to tell you that it also has an effect on the aging process! That’s right- too much screen time could be making you look older.
Blue light, or High Energy Visible (HEV) Light refers to blue wavelengths on the visible light spectrum. The sun does expose us to these wavelengths but so do computer screens, cell phones, and any other digital device. I think it would be safe to say that a lot of us spend half of our lives either on our phones or in front of a computer screen. That is a lot of exposure. According to studies, blue light is linked to photo-aging, collagen breakdown, inflammation, and hyper-pigmentation. A small study conducted in 2015 suggests that blue light might stimulate the production of free radicals in the skin, which would cause premature aging. Some dermatologists also theorize that acne scars tend to be darker on whichever side of the face a person is holding their cell phone.
While there’s really nothing we can do about increased screen time due to work-from-home orders, you can protect your skin from the negative effects of blue light exposure. The answer? Sunscreen! Specifically, sunscreens containing antioxidants. You already know my go-to is EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 but all of their SPF formulas are broad spectrum and provide blue light protection.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about blue-light’s effects on the aging process, for instance, how much screen time is too much? Would certain settings on our devices really make a difference? I have a feeling that as more studies are conducted and we obtain more information, we’ll see a rise in skincare brands rolling out products targeting blue light protection specifically.
I encourage you to do a little study on your own: maybe try a day or two working in front of a computer without sunscreen, snap a pic of your skin at the end of the day, and the next day apply sunscreen and do the same thing. Do you notice a difference in your complexion? Be sure to let us know!