Digital Aging: Does blue light make us old?
Blue light is a form of visible light that has a high energy density. Hence the abbreviation HEV, which stands for “high energy visible”. Blue light is part of the sun's light spectrum, but is also primarily produced by electronic devices and LED lamps. Since we spend many hours on our smartphones, laptops, etc. every day, we are exposed to higher levels of HEV radiation. Recent studies show that blue light can cause so-called digital aging, i.e. premature aging of the skin due to too much time on digital devices.
How harmful is blue light for the skin?
How harmful is the blue light that flickers at us from our screens every day? As is so often the case, here too it is the dose that makes the poison. The natural blue light emitted by the sun is not a problem, on the contrary: blue light causes the body to release happiness hormones. This can be seen, for example, in the fact that it is much easier for us to get up in the summer, when it gets light early, than in the dark winter. HEV light is responsible for this. But blue light also has its downsides. Similar to UVA rays, blue light also penetrates the deeper layers of the skin. Research shows that it can cause increased skin damage caused by free radicals and pigmentation.
Free radicals are oxygen molecules that destroy the cell structures and thus the collagen and elastin formation in the skin. Since collagen and elastin play a key role in the youthful appearance of the skin, this oxidative stress results in premature skin aging. The result is wrinkles and an overall sagging skin appearance.
But HEV light also has a negative impact on the skin in a roundabout way: if you look at your cell phone display for a long time before going to bed, the blue light wakes up your brain. The result can be a lack of sleep, which in turn is poisonous for the skin. She needs seven to eight hours of sleep every day in order to regenerate sufficiently.
How can you protect yourself from blue light?
Even though only high levels of HEV light have negative effects on the skin, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself from the blue rays. For example, you should permanently switch your smartphone to night mode and generally reduce the brightness of all displays used. This is not only better for the skin, but also protects the eyes. If you want to be on the safe side, use sun protection. But it should be an integral part of your skin care routine anyway, not just if you look at the display a lot.
In addition, the potentially negative effects of HEV radiation can be prevented by using appropriate active ingredients in skin care. For example, vitamin C combats pigmentation disorders, while retinol boosts skin regeneration and thus combats premature skin aging.