How does blue light affect your skin?
I screen, you screen, we all screen these days! With all the Zoom calls and Netflix specials, most of us have indulged in more screen time than usual lately… and that means our skin’s been getting plenty of blue light exposure. While you probably already know it isn’t great for your eyes or your sleep schedule, did you know this type of light can also affect your skin?
Not to fear! As always, nature’s got us covered with powerful ingredients to keep your skin healthy and protected. Read on to learn how you can fight the blue-light blues!
What exactly is blue light?
Blue light (also called high energy visible light, or HEV) is the closest part of the visible light spectrum to ultraviolet. Operating between the wavelengths of 400nm to 500nm, blue light has a longer wavelength than UV rays and therefore can penetrate deeper into your skin where your collagen and elastin live. Blue light has enough energy to generate free radicals, which damage your skin cells and cause premature skin aging and discoloration.
These days, blue light is all around us—emitted by televisions, computers, cell phones, and LED and fluorescent bulbs—and while these devices obviously emit far less light than the sun, there is growing concern over this type of exposure.
How can I protect my skin?
Luckily, there are lots of ways to stay protected. As a start, your first steps might be to try limiting your screen time, dimming your screen brightness, and using blue-light blockers on your devices. Of course, we don’t always have the luxury of limiting our screen time, especially if we’re working remotely or relying on virtual connections with friends and family. And that’s where skincare comes in!
For those days when you can’t avoid spending some quality time with your devices, there’s a dynamic duo that can protect your skin from HEV light damage: minerals and antioxidants.
- Mineral-based sunscreens, like those with zinc oxide, create a physical barrier to block some of the visible light from reaching your skin (chemical sunscreens block none). Products containing iron oxide, such as many tinted sunscreens, provide additional protection.
- Antioxidants are like the awesome sidekick to those sunscreens. We’re not talking about the kind you get from eating berries—these are topical antioxidants you apply in the form of face oils. They actually prevent the oxidative damage that free radicals cause to your skin—whether those free radicals are created by UV rays, HEL light, air pollution, or other environmental stressors. (Read this other blog post to learn more about the power of antioxidants and how they work.)
Basically, while mineral sunscreens provide a shield to block blue light, antioxidants step in to mitigate free radical damage from light that penetrates your skin. Take that, HEV light.
Your blue-light skincare routine
The good news is, most Badger products (especially our sunscreens and face oils) are rich in naturally occurring antioxidants! Most Badger sunscreen creams contain over 60% organic sunflower oil, which is rich in Vitamin E. These natural antioxidants have a high bioavailability and are very effective at scavenging free radicals, rebuilding cells, and delaying cell aging. Plus, the fatty acid profiles of these oils are deeply moisturizing for your skin.
So what does blue light protection look like on a typical day? We’d recommend applying an antioxidant-rich face oil (and letting it soak in) before following up with a mineral sunscreen—especially one enriched with antioxidants. Here are a few ways you can fight screens with ‘screens.
Before heading out the door (or heading to your WFH desk)
Apply a face oil and give it some time to soak in, allowing your skin to drink up all those wonderful antioxidants! Our Seabuckthorn Face Oil is especially nourishing, rich in carotenoids (beta carotene), fatty acids, tocopherols and tocotrinol, and phytosterols.
Follow the face oil with an antioxidant-rich mineral sunscreen. Not only will it deliver extra antioxidants, but it’ll also create a physical barrier on your skin as you face the day.
For your afternoon Zoom call
Take a well-deserved break and spritz your face with some Rose Balancing Mist. The aloe vera provides an antioxidant boost, and the rose fragrance will give you a revitalizing lift to fight the afternoon slump!
For your evening binge-watch
Cleanse your face with an antioxidant-rich cleansing oil and follow up with Damascus Rose Beauty Balm. This ultra-rich treatment is easily absorbed to keep skin soft, smooth, and happy (and protected with antioxidants!).
Above all, remember to step away from the screens whenever you can. Your body, mind, and soul (and skin!) will all breathe a sigh of relief.
Check out Badger's blue light protecting mineral sunscreens.