Effects of Blue Light: What Is It?

Effects of Blue Light: What Is It?

Screen time takes up much of our days — especially in the age of remote work. Whether you work from home or are stuck at the office all day, most work is done on a laptop or computer. While electronics offer tons of upsides, that's not to say there are no downsides. Blue light exposure from electronics can affect your eyes and skin!

We know you already implement all types of lifestyle choices with your skin's best interest in mind. Nourishing Biologicals is here to tell you how blue light can affect your skin and ways to avoid it. Let's dive in!

What Is Blue Light?

All colors have different wavelengths and energy levels. Blue lights have shorter wavelengths and higher energy levels than other colors, so the effects can be different (or downright damaging).

Shorter wavelengths are between 415 and 455 nanometers and are thought to be more damaging than longer wavelengths. Most blue lights used in televisions, computers, and phone screens are around 400 to 490.

The longest wavelengths are radio waves, microwaves, and infrared. Many wavelengths are entirely invisible to the naked eye, but other wavelengths are known as visible lights. These visible wavelengths are violet lights and red lights.

The shorter the wavelength, the more energy it transmits. Blue lights also have short wavelengths, which is why blue lights may have specific effects on your eyes and skin.

The wavelengths of blue lights are often compared to UV (ultraviolet) rays, and it's no secret that UV rays can affect your eyes and skin in a harmful way.

What Are The Effects of Blue Light?

Blue light can be emitted by the sun, digital screens, and LED lighting. Blue light can affect your eyes in many ways, but it's even thought to make changes to your skin.

Effects of Blue Light On Eyes

While your eyes can seem like the most sensitive part of your body, they come equipped with protection from light. However, blue lights are not one of them. If people are not cautious, an excessive amount of blue light can cause eye damage.

Blue Lights and Digital Eye-Strain

Digital eye strain can occur if digital devices like smartphones, cell phones, and computer screens are used at close range for an extended period.

When using an electronic device, blinking can become less frequent, which leads to less moisture. Less moisture in your eyes can cause irritation and discomfort.

Digital eye strain can be different depending on the person. Symptoms of digital eye strain can be dry eyes, sore or irritated eyes, tired eyes, head and neck tension, facial muscles, and fatigue from squinting.

Blue light scatters easier than other lights, making it more difficult for your eyes to focus.

Protecting Your Eyes From Blue Light Exposure

Nobody wants to feel the damage and discomfort blue light exposure can cause. The good news is that proper eye care from these harmful rays. Here are some of the best ways to protect your eyes from blue light exposure.

Wear Protective Glasses

The best way to avoid blue light exposure emitted by the sun is to wear protected glass. Certain glasses can block 99 to 100 percent UV radiation and 75 to 90 percent visible light.

Use Sunglasses

Sunglasses can block blue light from the sun, but the blue light emitted by electronic screens can be blocked when specially-made blue light filter glasses are worn. These glasses have a thin coat of blue light filter film.

Use A Filter

A blue light filter is also known as blue light blocking. This coating will prevent your eyes from experiencing eye strain.

Follow the 20/20 Rule

Practice the 20/20 rule. Considering eye strain occurs since it's difficult for your eyes to focus on one thing while on your electronics, the 20/20 rule may help soothe your discomfort.

Try to take a break from your screen every 20 minutes and focus on an object in the distance. Keep your eyes on this object for 20 seconds. The 20/20 method may help your eyes refocus, avoiding headaches or eye strain.

Blue Light Effect On Sleep

Everyone's body has a natural sleep-wake schedule. Blue light can affect your body's natural sleep cycle and wake cycle. Your skin and eyes have sensors that can sense the different lights of daylight and evening.

Exposing your eyes to blue light all day and night can disrupt your body's natural sleep cycle.

Blue Light Effect on Skin

Similar to UV light, blue light can affect your skin cells. Blue light can shrink these cells, and cell shrinkage can speed up aging. Too much blue light can even lead to pigmentation issues as well.

Yes, blue light isn't always great for your skin, but sometimes it can offer benefits when used in certain ways. For example, blue light has healing properties, which some people have found helpful with certain skin conditions.

Blue light can help clear up acne flare-ups through blue light therapy. Photodynamic therapy is a treatment used to treat abnormal or dangerous cells in the skin.

Is Blue Light Good or Bad for Your Skin?

The effect of blue light on your skin isn't as broad as the studies done on other light exposures, such as ultraviolet rays.

The burning question is whether blue light is good or bad for your skin, and the answer is both --- bear with us — we'll explain.

Blue light exposure can cause issues to your skin cells when emitted through electronic devices or the sun. However, blue light can be beneficial when emitted through blue light therapy.

Blue light is similar to how the sun offers benefits but can still be harmful if your skin is left unprotected.

What Practices Are Good For Your Skin?

Today, it can be hard to know just what practices and products are suitable for your skin. You have a thousand different blogs and brands telling you something different, right? That's why we're here.

Nourishing Biologicals want to see your skin at its best, and we know just how to get it there. Here are some of our to-go tips to keep your skin clean and clear — no matter the season or your skin type.

Keep a Proper Skincare Routine

Your skincare routine may carry more weight than you realized —- having a good one is pretty essential. However, good doesn't always have to mean complicated.

When it comes to skincare, sometimes less is more. Yes, you want to ensure you're using all your essentials, but sometimes too many of the wrong products can result in clogged pores.

Your skincare routine may look slightly different in the morning than in the evening. However, we recommend a solid skincare routine that consists of a cleanser, essence, toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

Avoid Hot Water When Cleansing Your Face

This may surprise some, but washing your face with hot water is not good for your skin —- even though it feels soothing.

Your water shouldn't be too hot or too cold — channel your inner goldilocks and make your water just right, Aka, lukewarm.

Hot water can damage your skin by stripping away most of its natural oils, leaving your skin dry, flakey, and cracked. When your skin's natural oils are stripped, it causes a surge of sebum production, leaving your skin oily and ultimately clogging the pores.

While we say opt for the cold if you can, we know it's not always the most pleasant way to start your morning, so lukewarm water is a far compromise.

The Takeaway

While blue light can irritate your eyes, and too much exposure can affect your skin, that’s not to say there aren’t pros to blue light. With the correct form of exposure, blue light can help some people's skin.

Blue light exposure can affect eye health, but plenty of simple changes you can make to your daily routine can deter the long-term effects. Like you put on sunscreen before you leave the house, be sure to grab your blue light-blocking computer glasses before you leave for the office.

Sources:

Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology | PMC

The effects of blue-light filtration on sleep and work outcomes | NIH

Blue Light Protection, Part I-Effects of blue light on the skin | PubMed


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