It’s no secret that many of us spend a little too much time glued to our phones and other devices. And with the onset of Covid-19, many of us are spending more time starring at screen than ever before––be it to work remotely or to catch up on the latest Netflix releases––so it’s time we paid attention to what this could be doing to our skin.
We checked in with the experts to find out what all this extra screen time could be doing, and how to protect ourselves from blue light.
What is blue light?
First things first, what actually is blue light? We know to protect our skin with sunscreen when we’re outside (even on overcast days!), but why do we need protection inside?
“Blue light, sometimes used interchangeably with high-energy visible (HEV) light, spans the shorter wavelengths of the visible light spectrum, from 400 to 450 nanometers. Sources of blue light are all around us, from sunlight to computer and phone screens,” states Dr. Christina Weng, a Harvard trained dermatologist and founder of Mymiel Skincare.
While we’ve been long-warned about UV light, blue light is a whole different beast. Although the sun does produce blue light, we’re also exposed to it through electronic devices.
“When people think about discoloration and the skin they are often focused on UV light and its effects. However, blue lights is garnering more attention these days given the widespread use of portable electronics and reliance on these for work and school. UV light only makes up about 2 to 5% of the spectrum of light emitted by the sun. Although its effects of DNA damage on our cells is well documented, more than half of the spectrum of light emitted by the sun is visible [blue] light,” explains Erum Ilyas, President & Founder of Montgomery Dermatology and CEO & Founder of AmberNoon.