Feeling Blue

by Celia Shatzman

Turns out the sun isn’t the only dangerous light around. Just when we all got used to wearing protective SPF sunscreens, there’s another type to worry about: blue light. And the problem is, it’s everywhere.

“Blue light, also called High Energy Visible or HEV, is a spectrum of light that we can see,” says Loretta Ciraldo, MD, FAAD, a Miami-based, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr Loretta skincare. “The sun actually emits more blue light than UVA and UVB combined. Blue light is also the main form of light emitted by digital devices.” That includes smartphones, tablets, laptops and some types of televisions.

Blue light from LED-based devices and nature can do major damage to your skin by harming healthy cells and causing cell death. It can travel deep into the dermis, affecting collagen and elastin, leading to fine lines, wrinkles and loss of skin tone. “In people who are susceptible to hyperpigmentation, blue light causes more redness, swelling and hyperpigmentation than UV,” Dr. Ciraldo says.

It’s impossible to avoid screens forever, but there are ways to minimize blue light exposure. Step away from your cell phone, computer and TV. Use the settings on your smartphone to reduce blue light and brightness. “If you use other devices, you can purchase a screen to go over your monitor to lessen the blue light that will reach your skin,” Dr. Ciraldo says. You can also buy blue light glasses. If you wear prescription glasses, add a blue light coating to the lenses.

“Skincare products can incorporate ingredients that help protect from blue light damage,” Dr. Ciraldo says. “We use Indian Ginseng, which also protects skin from damage to collagen and elastic fibers.”

If you’re looking for a little color, too, try ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40. The lightweight, tinted SPF 40 serum delivers coverage with a non- nano zinc oxide that fights UVA, UVB, UVC and blue light damage.

Hopefully, you are already wearing SPF daily, so take it up a notch by looking for one that also guards against blue light. “Only sunscreens that specifically have blue light protection ingredients will help,” Dr. Ciraldo says. “At this time there are no requirements for SPF products to protect from blue light, only UVA and UVB.”

Ava Isa Sun-e-Serum Drops SPF 35 contain micah, an antioxidant that has been clinically proven to reduce the negative effects of blue light and reverse the signs of aging. Reef-safe, Kinship Self Reflect Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 32 protects from UVA, UVB and blue light while boosting the microbiome with plant-based probiotics.

Just a few steps can save your skin from blue light damage. Talk about seeing the light!

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