In the world of beauty, the harmful effects of UV rays and the importance of protecting your skin from the sun is universally known. However with UV radiation taking the spotlight, often forgotten are the effects caused as a result of exposure to high energy visible (HEV) light, or more commonly known as short-wave blue light.
Like UV radiation, blue wave light is emitted from the sun, but also from technology and the artificial lights from screens and smart devices.
The average Australian will spend almost 17 years of their life on their phones, equating to roughly 33 percent of our waking hours. With the increased screen time, the sheer number of devices we use and the frequency we are using our devices on the daily, why aren’t we considering blue wave light and its potential effects?
In this article, we’ll explore exactly what blue wave light is, the science behind what it does to our skin, and the products you should look into to protect your skin against it.
So, what exactly is blue wave light?
On the electromagnetic spectrum of visible light that we can see (from 380 nanometres to 700 nanometres), blue light falls into the category of light between ~400 – 450 nanometres. On a comparative scale, blue wave light is shorter in wavelength and higher in energy than other colours on the visible electromagnetic spectrum. However, it is longer in wavelength and slightly less powerful than UV light, which is invisible to the naked eye and can pose negative health impacts like the development of skin cancer, skin ageing and eye degeneration.
What does blue wave light do to your body and skin?
Though extended exposure to blue wave light has shown potential to pose harmful effects on our eyes, another issue of blue wave light is how it can impact the skin through the increased production of free radicals (unstable, highly-reactive atoms that seek other atoms to bond to) which over time damages the skin’s structures and accelerates ageing.
Free radicals can be produced for a number of reasons, not only through exposure to radiation, but even through sources like environmental pollutants and cigarette smoke. While it’s impossible to fully negate these sources from our lives, it might be easier to manage our exposure and minimise any increase in free-radical production over the long-haul.
So what can you do to protect your skin?
One of the ways to reduce oxidative stress (which damages our cells and occurs when there’s an imbalance between the production of free radicals and our body’s defences) is to apply antioxidants topically on the skin and helps to manage the oxidative stress process. On a more general note, this means finding and shopping for products which contain antioxidants, as well as biological active ingredients, like some carotenoids, which have been specifically formulated to protect against blue wave light. Though you will unlikely be able to find these exact scientific terms on beauty packaging or shelves, the key is to find products that offer ‘Blue Light protection’ or include ‘anti blue light ingredients’. These products will have properties that will give you the best protection against blue wave light and its effects.
Whilst it’s comforting to hear that the effects of high energy visible blue wave light has not been shown to cause any long-term negative damage to our health like UV radiation, it’s still worth noting its overall impact on the skin and how it might affect premature skin ageing. If it is something of concern, be sure to be on the lookout for products with ingredients that have been formulated to protect your skin against it.
Products to Try
Products like The KIND Collective’s Natural Mineral Foundation Powder, contains SPF 15 and anti blue light ingredients to shield against both UV and HEV light. Delivering a lightweight and buildable coverage to banish pores and imperfections, this vegan mineral powder will leave every wearer with softer, healthier and luminous looking skin, perfect for the day ahead. RRP $29.95.
If you’re looking for a clean base, The KIND Collective’s Blur Perfection Primer preps your face, colour corrects pigmentation and protects the skin from blue wave light all in one step. Offering sheer coverage and a soft-focus finish, this versatile primer can be worn alone or as the perfect make up base. RRP $16.95.