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Is There a Connection Between Blue Light and Skin Ageing?

Natural light and how us humans and the world around us are truly mesmerizing topics of interest. Research studies have proven that although UV light is invisible, it does take a toll on our skin. The sun also emits visible light, a great portion of which is known as blue light. 


Research suggests that blue light emitted by the sun can pose harm on our skin and eyes, but did you know that digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers also emit blue light? Continue reading if you want to gain understanding about blue light and ways by which you can stop its damage on your skin. 


The Science of Blue Light and UV Light Explained


The sun’s UVA and UBV light are damaging to the skin as their wavelengths range between 280nm and 400nm. Next on the sun’s light spectrum is blue light which wavelengths range between 380nm to 500nm. Blue light is also emitted by digital devices that we use such as tablets, smartphones, flat screen televisions, light bulbs, and computers. Just like UV rays, blue light can have bad impact on the skin and eyes, but research suggests that the damage from the latter is more up close and personal than originally presumed. 


Is Blue Light Bad for your Skin?


Continuing research reveals that blue light can be harmful to the skin. Blue light’s wavelength between 380nm and 400nm is problematic, but it shows that there is reduced risk towards the top end of 500nm. 


Chronic exposure to blue light and concentrated blue light sources can result in skin damage, skin colour or pigmentation changes, inflammation, and reduced integrity of the skin’s outermost layer. In essence, exposure to blue light triggers skin stressors that can lead to photo-aging and premature skin aging signs. 


What is the difference between UV blue light exposure and blue light from digital devices?


Sunlight is undeniably the main source of blue light that we are repeatedly exposed to. On the other hand, digital devices emit a small fraction of blue light radiation. The difference between these two blue light sources is that blue light coming from devices such as phones and tablets are much nearer to us than the sun. The proximity of exposure matters especially when we talk about the risk from blue light exposure. Blue light that comes from UV rays come from a much farther source and is thus less dangerous to us humans. 


According to statistics, the younger population are more exposed to blue light from digital devices. For instance, teenagers alone check their smartphones 157 times on average per day whereas adults only check theirs up to 30 times daily thereby reducing the latter’s risk of blue light exposure. 


Although research into the dangers of blue light exposure are still inconclusive, it still pays to be safe than sorry. As blue light is also being used as treatment for specific skin conditions, excessive exposure to it may still be detrimental to skin health.


Does blue light cause skin aging?


Now that we are aware of the fact that the sun and some digital devices emit blue light, we now focus our attention on its impact on skin health. 


There are studies that suggest blue light facilitates the breakdown of collagen, a protein crucial to maintaining optimal skin integrity. Also, there are studies that reveal blue light can contribute to the rise of skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation and skin colour changes. 


In essence, blue light is linked to free radicals; unstable, unpaired electrons that are highly reactive in nature. They link up with skin cells which then leads to the destruction of the skin’s collagen and elastin matrix. Exposure to blue light may potentially lead to premature development of wrinkles and sagging skin. 


At present, there is not enough research to conclusively say that blue light can cause serious harm on the skin. But as conscientious consumers, protecting the skin from external factors is a must to stay youthful and flawless as you age.


Does blue light cause hyperpigmentation?


If you have pigmentation issues in the form of age spots and melasma, you may want to learn more about the effects of blue light on your skin. According to some research data, visible light, to some extent, is responsible for changes in skin pigmentation. This is especially true among people with darker skin shade but less among those with lighter complexion. 


An excellent way to reduce the effects of blue light on the skin is by way of prevention. Protecting the skin against UV light and digital devices from possible damage through a pollution-based skincare routine must be implemented. 


  • Do not forget to exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells and external pollutants. 
  • Cleanse the skin with a foaming facial wash to remove dirt, dust, and other pollutants that may have accumulated deep in the skin. 
  • Indulge the skin with an anti-ageing serum enriched with Vitamin C. 
  • Finally, seal the skin with a well-formulated moisturising cream. 
  • Before going out, make sure to apply sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. 


Look out for ingredients that fight pollution and get rid of free radicals like Vitamin C, retinol, resveratrol, and ferulic acid to name a few. 


In terms of lifestyle, you may want to use blue blocker glasses to filter out blue light when using digital devices. There are also screen covers that you can install on screens of your television and computer that blocks blue light, hence protecting not only the skin but also your eyes from its possible dangers. 


Indeed, blue light exposure is a possible contributor in the breakdown of collagen in our skin. Extended screen time and exposure to the sun’s UV light can result in skin sagging and accelerate the appearance of skin ageing. Never forget to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays through sunscreen and the use of serums, moisturisers, and skincare solutions that are rich in antioxidants. As studies about the dangers of blue light to our skin are still limited, preventive measures should be implemented so as to maintain healthy skin.