Thanks to Covid, we’re now spending even more time staring at our screens. In fact, one survey found that 59 percent of people are on their smartphones more frequently since the pandemic started, and 55 percent are logging more hours in front of the computer. And it turns out that excessive screen time does more than just cause vision problems and make it harder to fall asleep—it damages skin too. Here’s the download on how to prevent blue light from screens from destroying your skin.
What is blue light, anyway?
Blue light, aka High Energy Visible or HEV light, is emitted primarily from the sun, but also by all our electronic devices. According to Harvard Medical School, it has a wavelength of between 400 and 450 nanometers (nm), and because it contains more energy per photon of light than other colors (red, green, etc.), it can cause more damage to our body cells.
How it harms our skin
Like UVA/UVB rays, blue light emitted from screens can cause melasma and hyperpigmentation (dark spots). But when it comes to wrinkles and sagging, blue light can be even more harmful than the sun’s rays. The reason: It penetrates even deeper into the skin, resulting in more damage to collagen and elastin. The effects are cumulative, meaning that you might not notice changes right now, but eventually all of that screen time will catch up to you, and leave you looking as weathered as a chronic sunbather. Ugh! There isn’t a ton of research explaining the exact mechanisms of how blue light harms the skin, but one study that appeared in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity indicates that chronic blue light exposure generates free radicals, which causes the skin to prematurely age.
Blue light blocking strategies
First and foremost, limit your screen time. But since we know that advice isn’t very helpful there are other, more practical options.
Use a blue light shield.
You can place a blue light shield over your phone and computer to cut down on your exposure. Plus, certain smartphones allow you the option of switching off blue light altogether and using yellow light instead (to check if your phone has this feature, look for “night mode” or “night shift” in the settings of your phone). Also, apply sunscreen everyday (even when you’re not planning to step foot outside) and choose a physical sunscreen that contains iron oxide, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide—all of which protect against both UVA/UVB light, as well as blue light. It’s important to note that chemical sunscreens don’t protect against blue light.
Smooth on an antioxidant-packed skincare regimen.
From a skincare perspective, your best bet is to layer on serums and moisturizers packed with free radical-fighting antioxidants, and other ingredients that reduce the effects of blue light damage. Start with a Pour Moi serum that’s designed for your specific climate; serums contain super-concentrated doses of anti-aging ingredients and antioxidants and also prep the skin to absorb the ingredients in your Day Cream. The rich and silky Black Serum is formulated for dry climates, and contains titanium dioxide to shield your skin from blue light damage, as well as a combo of three potent UVA/UVA protectors (ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, ethylhexyl salicylate, and butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane). The lightweight White Serum (suitable for mild conditions) and the ultra-lightweight Blue Serum (for humid environments) both pack antioxidants like ascorbyl palmitate (aka Vitamin C), tocopherol (Vitamin E), and retinyl palmitate (which contains Vitamin A).
After slathering on a serum, pick a Pour Moi Day Cream that best describes the climate in which you live (Marine, Desert, Tropical, Mountain, Temperate, or Polar). The Day Creams will pick up where the serums left off, infusing your skin with powerful hydrators and antioxidants.
So, while you’re punching the clock sitting at your computer, or spending the day staring at your iPhone, let Pour Moi products turn back the clock on your skin. All you need are simple, targeted treatments that will help deter blue light causing skin aging.