Fortunately, more and more people are aware of the damage caused by UVA and UVB rays and are protecting themselves from them. Currently, experts also warn of the risk posed by unprotected exposure to another type of radiation, known as visible light, which has also been revealed as a negative agent for skin health. See this report in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
The visible light is the small portion of radiation within the electromagnetic spectrum that the human eye can detect. It is usually related to sunlight, whose damaging effects on the skin are well known to the general public.
However, it is not so common to know that the light bulbs at home or the screens of electronic devices such as smartphones, televisions, computers or tablets, also produce visible light. 40% of this visible radiation emitted by the devices is blue light.
Effects of blue light on the skin
The blue light is able to penetrate the skin causing damage to its deeper layers. Therefore, taking into account the number of hours that most people spend in front of screens, it is convenient to know how it works and its consequences for skin health.
Blue light is a type of light that all people are naturally exposed to. In dermatology, its therapeutic use is common, always in short, low-intensity exposures. The problem with screens is that they emit blue light in a more intense way and the exposures are getting longer and longer. Its rays, capable of penetrating the skin deeper than UV rays, can damage epithelial cells producing the following effects:
Blue light is capable of causing a decrease in aquaporins, molecules that are responsible for maintaining> skin's hydration levels. Therefore, the ability to retain water decreases, accelerating premature aging of the skin.
Wrinkles on the skin
The effects of blue light cause enzymes known as metalloproteinases to get out of control and destroy the extracellular matrix, that is, the network of molecules in the space between cells. The uncontrolled action of these enzymes leads to a breakdown of collagen and elastin. As a consequence, there is a loss of firmness and elasticity favoring the appearance of wrinkles on the skin.
Spots on the skin:
Exposure for hours to blue light stimulates the activation of melanocytes. This alteration increases the amount of melanin in the skin, favoring hyperpigmentation.
The stress that blue light causes in cells is able to last up to 48 hours after exposure.
It has been found that the people most prone to this type of skin blemish are those with higher phototypes, since they tend to produce more melanin. It also affects pregnant women and people who have undergone some type of skin treatment, such as a peel, since their skin is, at that time, more sensitive. The duration of these spots, produced by blue light, is longer than those caused by UV rays.
Blue light stimulates the formation of free radicals, unstable molecules that damage the extracellular matrix. As a consequence, the skin loses firmness and wrinkles appear. In addition, its action is capable of altering the structure of fibroblasts, responsible for stimulating collagen that keeps the skin firm and luminous. The stress that blue light causes in cells is able to last up to 48 hours after exposure.
The continued use of devices causes insomnia due to the overexcitation of light that the brain receives throughout the day. Lack of rest also directly affects the skin, causing dehydration and a decrease in collagen synthesis, with the consequent loss of luminosity and firmness.
Screens are necessary for working, communicating, staying informed, or entertaining. However, it is advisable to protect yourself from the blue light they emit and reduce your exposure to this radiation as much as possible. Just as it is advisable to place a filter on the screens that limits the emission of blue light from the computer or mobile phone , it is important to use products that act to protect the skin.
Exposure for hours to blue light stimulates the activation of melanocytes, which favors the appearance of spots.
Moisturizing products with formulas rich in antioxidants, such as fernblock ®, vitamin C, ferulic acid or vitamin E, capable of fighting free radicals, should not be lacking in your daily personal care routine . In addition, it is necessary to protect yourself by using a broad spectrum cream. For this, you have to resort to those products that not only protect from UVB and UVA radiation, but also from visible and infrared.
And we must not forget that it is important to establish periods of disconnection , away from the blue light of the computer or mobile , so that the skin is not so exposed to its radiation . The body and mind will appreciate it.
A recent study (March 2021) has demonstrated the positive effect that Fernblock has in protecting the skin from blue light.