What is blue light?
For starters, what exactly is blue light? Also known as High Energy Visible Light, or HEV Light, it has a wavelength range of 380 to 500nm, compared to UV rays’ wavelength range of 280nm to 400nm. What this essentially means is that HEV Light is able to penetrate deeper into skin tissue than UV rays to reach the dermis and disrupt collagen production. And while there have been scientific studies to prove that blue light exposure can be linked to an increase in skin sensitivity and pigmentation, these studies did not involve blue light specifically from digital devices. More importantly, the main source of blue light is still the sun. Light bulbs and electronic devices such as television, tablets, computers and our smartphones are just different sources of blue light.
While it remains inconclusive as to how harmful blue light from digital devices are, there have also been concerns raised as a result of how frequent we are exposed to it. If you’re an iPhone user, a quick look at Screen Time tells you how much time you’re spending on your digital device. Factor in the amount of time you spend looking at your computer during work hours and you can a sense of how often your skin is actually exposed to blue light. Besides, these devices are positioned very closely to our skin, which means that intensity of the exposure is much higher than say, watching television.
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So what does this all mean? While more research is required to directly link blue light emitted from digital devices to the cause of skin sensitivity and the acceleration of pigmentation, it couldn’t hurt to err on the safe side. And if you choose to take extra steps to protect your skin just in case, here are the latest products you can get your hands on as a shield against the glare of your digital devices:
IDS Skincare DermaShield Serum, $99 (30 ml)
Touted as a screen protector for your skin, this protective serum contains marigold extract, a powerful antioxidant which also filters out blue light. A blend of specially chosen ingredients also help to prevent pollution particles from adhering onto skin, soothe cellular inflammation and shield the skin against Infrared and UV rays. Layer this under your regular serum for added protection and always finish with sunscreen before heading out during the day.
Heliocare 360° Gel Oil-free SPF 50
Formulated with the brand’s patented Fernblock FC, a powerful antioxidant that’s been extensively researched, it protects skin cells against UV rays, HEV light and Infrared radiation. That’s not all, it is also equipped with antibacterial, anti-microbial and sebum-regulating technology, making it perfect for even those with sensitive and acne-prone skin types. Its quick-dry, non-greasy texture is also well-suited for those living in hot and humid climates.
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Allies of Skin 1A All-Day Pollution Repair Mask, $145 (30 ml)
With an impressive roster of active ingredients, this leave-on day mask forms an invisible protective barrier over skin to fend off environmental aggressors including pollution particles and HEV Light. With powerful antioxidants such as Glutathione and vitamin C, free radicals are neutralised to maintain skin health. At the same time, peptides help stimulate collagen production for optimal cellular rejuvenation. The smart barrier auto-adapts, keeping pollutants out while enabling active ingredients to penetrate. Fatty acids also help rebuild skin’s lipid layer to improve its ability to retain moisture.
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Amly Botanicals Silver Rich Face Mist Digital Detox, about $80 (100 ml)
Developed with digitally-savvy urbanites in mind, this face mist is packed with antioxidant-rich botanicals to strengthen the skin against free radical assault from environmental pollution such as toxic particles, UV rays and blue light emitted from mobile devices. The formula is also rich in minerals and vitamins to help purify and detox the skin while precious essential oils are used to provide an uplifting effect.
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Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Pollution Drops, about $195 (30 ml)
As its name suggests, this serum is formulated to combat the hazardous effects of pollution, and it does so with its high concentration of powerful antioxidants. The combination of marine algae extract and purslane extract strengthens skin’s defences against pollution (including tiny particulate matter and blue light) and neutralises the toxic effects of airborne heavy metals. In addition, skin is also nourished as hyaluronic acid and cocoa seed extract delivers hydration and locks in moisture.
Text: Joyce Cheo / Additional reporting: Arissa Ha
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