Unless you live under a rock, you've probably noticed a recent barrage of products designed to protect us from blue light damage—but what exactly does that mean?
“Blue light is a component of visible light—it is not ultraviolet radiation,” explains Kathleen Suozzi, MD, a dermatologic surgeon and direfctor of Aesthetic Dermatology at Yale Medicine. Part of high energy visible light from the solar spectrum, blue light is also emitted from LED screens such as computers, cell phones, and tablets.
Meet the Expert
Kathleen Suozzi, MD, is a dermatologic surgeon and director of Aesthetic Dermatology at Yale Medicine. She attended NYU School of Medicine, completed her residency at Yale School of Medicine.
Historically, blue light hasn’t been a hot topic. However, because the electronic boom has increased our exposure to blue light, it has recently become a hot topic in skin care and eye protection. Dr. Suozzi points out that there’s still a lot of research . to be done about how, and even if, blue light damages the skin. “It is suspected that blue light may induce harmful effects on the skin, specifically pigmentation and photoaging,” she explains. She also points out that dermatologists use blue light to treat certain skin conditions, such as acne, and there have been no reports that these treatments have negative impacts on skin pigmentation.
Also, it’s important to note, according to Dr. Suozzi, that the amount of energy emitted by these sources is minimal compared to the irradiances from the solar spectrum, and their effect on the skin is likely minimal.
In terms of protecting your skin from any potential blue light damage, don’t rely on SPF, as it “does not protect from the visible light spectrum,” explains Nazanin Saedi, MD, director of Jefferson Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Center.
Meet the Expert
Nazanin Saedi, MD, is the director of Jefferson Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Center. She graduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed her residency at the University of California.
Here are some products you can try in order to help protect yourself from blue light damage:
”You can purchase blue light filters for your electronic devices,” suggests Dr. Suozzi. This 3-pack of tempered glass Maxboost screen protectors will not only help block out blue light, but also keep your iPhone screen from cracking.
This web-only brand offers so many chic blue light lenses frames, you might have trouble choosing which one to buy. Starting at just $25 and available in prescription and non-prescription options, EBDBlue lenses are anti-scratch, anti-reflective, and provide blue light as well as UV protection.
This two-step system, made by the pharmaceutical company Allergan, not only works to protect your skin against blue light during the day, but repairs it overnight as well.
“They have great technology for protecting against blue light in their sunscreens, but also in their brush on sunscreen,” Dr. Saedi explains about colorescience.
Another one of Dr. Saedi’s picks to protect against blue light damage, Coola's Sun Silk Drops is formulated with the brand's plant-derived Full Spectrum 360º technology, and promises to keep your skin safe from high energy visible light, infrared light and pollution.
These blue light protecting shades from Pixel Eyewear are super stylish and effectively filter 50 percent of blue light and up to 95 percent at the strongest wavelengths, without the yellow tint. The lenses also contain nanotechnology that reduces smudges and repel water and dust.
Priori Skincare’s adaptive DNA collection is formulated to keep your skin hydrated while providing anti-aging benefits. Their eye cream smoothes the delicate eye contour area with Retinol, while DNA repair enzymes, combined with butterfly bush extract, help battle against environmental damage, including HEV blue light, pollution and infrared.