Is your skin paying the price for exposure to blue light from electronic devices?
It’s no secret that light throws our body clock, or circadian rhythm, out of whack. Not only does sleep suffer, but research shows it may even contribute to some pretty nasty diseases; think cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease.
However, different coloured light has different effects. Blue light, for example, is beneficial in daylight hours as it boosts our mood, reaction times and our attention. Come night though and it’s a different story.
Blue light is thought to cause more disruption at night than other kinds of light. And energy efficient lighting and extended use of electronic devices, such as smart phones, iPads, and laptops, are increasing our exposure to this seemingly benign light.
Although studies have linked exposure to light by working the night-shift to the diseases listed above, it is not clear why. We do know, however, that light suppresses melatonin, the hormone that influence our circadian rhythm. It is also clear that artificial light deprives people of sleep which can increase the risk of depression, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
Although any coloured light can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue wavelengths at night will suppress the hormone for twice as long as green light and shift circadian rhythms for twice as long.
So how does this have anything to do with skin damage?
High-energy visible light (blue light) from electronic devices is thought to speed up skin ageing, although more research needs to be undertaken for conclusive evidence.
Blue light penetrates right down to the dermis, the second layer of your skin, which is much further than the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Radiation from the blue light therefore reaches our collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid and may produce more hyper-pigmentation than UVB radiation.
Although we are all exposed to blue light from the sun, it is the prolonged exposure to blue light through the proliferation of digital devices that is causing scientists to sit up and take notice of its potential to do damage to our skin.
Immediate protection we can all apply include dimming the screen light, covering the screen with a blue light filter, or using a blue light filter app.
Informed consumers, however, are looking for solutions that offer total skin protection without affecting their activities. Using cutting edge technology, DSM Personal Care has developed an innovative concept to fight against blue light damage which you can add to your skin care formulas.
Parsol Max by DSM is a photostable UV filter that breaks through the boundaries of UVB and UVA to continue into the blue light spectrum. It can be added to your skin care formulation during the water phase or at the end of the emulsion process.
Image courtesy of DSM Personal Care