We all know the damage that UV rays have on our skin, so we lather on SPF face moisturizers every day. New studies have shown, however, that the blue light that emits from our screens (TVs, phones, computers, tablets)—also known as high-energy visible or HEV light—can also cause damage to your skin. With that knowledge, it’s important to know how to prevent the effects of HEV light on our skin.
Blue light is emitted from any electronic you look at. Those who work in an office setting might be looking at screens for upwards of 10 hours a day! Even if you don’t work in an office, between browsing Instagram, watching Netflix, and shopping online, most of us look at our phones for hours every day.
HEV light has been proven to strain or damage eyes, which is why many optometrists recommend wearing yellow-tinted glasses when using the computer. This research somewhat complements the new research coming out to support HEV light’s damage to skin—at the very least, it shows that we should take preventative measures to avoid any potential damage.
Research on this is spotty. There isn’t any absolutely definitive evidence that it’s causing skin damage, but the few studies that have been conducted have shown that it’s affecting our skin negatively.
Blue light is beginning to be at least recognized by dermatologists as something to be aware of. It’s often compared to UVA and UVB light, both of which we come into contact with from the sun and have proven to damage skin. Some dermatologists have cited that it penetrates the skin on a deeper level than UVA and UVB light, making it potentially more damaging.
From hyperpigmentation to inflammation to wrinkling and sagging, HEV light can have a wide array of effects on your skin—most of them negative. Think of it as having the same effect as too much tanning can have on your skin, except at a deeper level. And, because most people are exposed to blue light far more than they’re exposed to direct sunlight, the damage is compounded.
This kind of damage won’t appear instantaneously—you won’t see a sunburn or tan, for example—but the bigger danger is how the damage manifests over time.
The Preventative Measures
An easy way to prevent blue light from damaging your skin is to limit your exposure to blue light. Set aside a couple hours a day where you don’t look at any screen—maybe while you work out, eat dinner, or in the last hour before bed.
Many smartphones have a night shift or night mode option, which lowers the blue light emission and changes it to yellow instead, which is a less harsh option that doesn’t have the same effects as HEV light. Consider using this mode all the time, not just at night! For an even more dramatic shift, you can change the color of your phone screen to grayscale in your settings.
You can also add a moisturizer into your skincare routine that will protect your skin similar to an SPF moisturizer. Your moisturizer should have plenty of antioxidants, as well as zinc oxide (yes, the white cream on lifeguards’ noses) which physically blocks rays from entering your skin.
The Thom Elzner Total Defense moisturizer is formulated to be an HEV light filter and pollution shield. The HydroTech Complex™ will protect your skin from blue light and provide intense moisturization to replenish and rejuvenate your skin.
The Corrective Measures
If you are looking to reverse the effects of HEV light on your skin, facials are a great option to combat the visible appearance of blue light damage. A general anti-aging microdermabrasion will reduce the appearance of fine lines. A facial packed with vitamins and antioxidants—like our Oxytrio Oxygen Facial—will fight free radicals and revive your skin.
It’s important to be conscious of the effect that blue light can have on your skin and take measures to prevent and correct the daily damage we receive. If you’re in Boston or New York City, stop by one of our spa locations to learn more about how you can prevent blue light from damaging your skin.