Could Blue Light From Your Phone Give You Wrinkles? We Investigate
When it comes to skin care, we are the epitome of rule followers. Never will we ever fall asleep with makeup on or go a day without sunscreen, which, if we’re being honest, is basically the skin-care equivalent of a felony. And while we are largely law-abiding members of the skin-care society, chances are there’s at least one offender that our every day skin-care products don’t protect against: HEV light, more commonly referred to as blue light. Confused? We were, too. That’s why we tapped the expertise of Dr. Barbara Sturm, the founder of the science-first skin-care line Dr. Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics, to get some answers (and product recommendations!) on all things blue light.
So, What Is Blue Light?
According to Dr. Sturm, blue light, or High Energy Visible (HEV) light, is a type of ultra-fine pollutant, emitted from both the sun and our electronic screens, that can be damaging to skin. “It [HEV light] behaves differently than UVA and UVB rays from the sun; most SPFs don’t protect against it,” says Dr. Sturm.
She explains that prolonged exposure to screens (guilty!), and therefore exposure to blue light, can cause premature aging, loss of skin elasticity and, in extreme cases, even hyperpigmentation. “HEV light can also cause dehydration, which results in a dysfunctional skin barrier,” she continues. “In turn, this can cause inflammation, eczema and acne.”
What Can We Do About Damage From Blue Light?
“Given the environmental stressors, it’s especially important to have a strong skin barrier function,” says Dr. Sturm, who specializes in non-invasive, anti-aging treatments. While we can make a conscious decision to stay away from abrasive treatments, it’s damn near impossible to avoid checking our phone (aka Instagram) or scrolling on our computer. Thankfully, there are a handful of products that can help neutralize the visible effects of blue light exposure. Below, find some of our favorites.
“My Anti-Pollution Drops contain a special Skin Protect Complex with extracts derived from marine microorganisms,” says Dr. Sturm. “These extracts strengthen the skin’s defense against urban pollution and signs of atmospheric skin aging by forming a matrix on the surface of the skin.”
If you’re noticing the signs of atmospheric skin aging, which could be a result of light exposure, add this serum to your skin-care regime. With a high concentration of vitamin C, protection against ozone pollution and antioxidant benefits, this product is designed to improve the appearance of discoloration and fine lines.
While the majority of sunscreens have yet to offer blue light protection, this Elta MD pick stands out from the pack. Swapping this in as your daily sunscreen should be a no-brainer. It’s lightweight and oil-free, plus, it safeguards you from UVA/UVB rays, HEV light and infra-red radiation.