When it comes to skincare our focus is often on stopping the clock on the signs of ageing, however we are now becoming more aware of the impact of environmental toxins on our skin and their impact on the ageing process.
High Energy Visible (HEV) light or blue light comes from sun exposure but also our digital devices such as our phones, ipads and television screens. With many of us now spending more time in front of these devices, the impact of these rays on the skin is starting to become a concern. Long term exposure to blue light been shown to not only cause serious skin damage including pigmentation, it can also promote the breakdown of collagen and can exacerbate existing skin conditions including dry and dull skin or acne or hypersensitive skin and fine lines and wrinkles.
When combined with UVA and UVB sun damage, long term exposure to blue light can have a cumulative effect on the skin, ultimately presenting itself as premature ageing. Research on the impact of this light is scary! One peer-reviewed study of the effects of blue light on the skin, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, found that exposing skin to the amount of blue light we get from the sun caused more pigment, redness, and swelling than when the same person's skin was exposed to comparable levels of UVA rays!
So what can be done to protect ourselves from the damaging impact of blue light?
- Apply a sunscreen that provides physical protection.
Using a mineral or “physical” sunscreen such as Basking Beauty Natural Sunscreen, can protect the skin from the damaging impact of blue light along with UVA and UVB light. Physical sunscreens unlike chemical sunscreens sit on the skin surface which means they effectively block blue-light. Our natural sunscreen contains a blend of zinc oxide along with Rosehip and Kakadu Plum Seed to protect against UV rays, pollution, blue (HEV) light and minimise the damage caused by light radiation.
- Load up on antioxidants - inside and out.
Antioxidants are the key to defending the skin from blue light damage, this is because they are rapidly depleted the more we are exposed to damaging blue light. By giving the skin a healthy dose of antioxidants you create a “bank” or store of them so they continue to work to reduce skin damage, even when you have removed your sunscreen.
A few of my favourite ingredients for providing this antioxidant protection include Broccoli Extract, Kale and St Mary's Thistle. Broccoli, when topically applied has been shown to work inside cells by boosting the production of a network of protective enzymes that defend cells against many aspects of damage, including UV and blue light damage. Powerful antioxidants found in Kale and St Mary’s Thistle extracts are also effective at neutralising free radical and environmental damage. These superfoods when applied topically on the skin (and consumed) are known to be potent detoxifiers and repair system stimulants to help damaged tissue and rejuvenate the skin from within. You will find these ingredients in our Glowing Skin Smoothie Serum, our key booster serum designed to protect and shield the skin.
Vitamin C is also a key nutrient when it comes to defending the skin from the effects of pollution by blocking the formation of free radicals. Look for a Vitamin C serum which is plant-based vs synthetic such as No.3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum. The Vitamin C found in this serum is trapped in the plant cells of native Australian extracts such as Kakadu Plum, Riberry and Davidson Plum. This ensures that the vitamin C does not oxidise before being applied on the skin and does not increase skin UV sensitivity.
Loading up on vitamin C internally can also be an effective way to protect our skin and bodies from inflammation. A colourful diet rich in antioxidants including vitamin C neutralises free radical and ensures that skin is kept firm and elastic, withstanding the effects of damaging air and pollutants.
- Provide a physical net.
Providing a film/barrier across the skin is a wonderful way to protect it from external aggressors including blue light and pollution. Ingredients such as polysaccharides form a net on the skin surface and stop pollutants from sticking, which therefore protects the cells from damage. Xanthan gum and Pumpkin Seed Oil extract found in our Glowing Skin Smoothie are rich in polysaccharides which act like a film across the skin, providing a protective barrier to prevent the penetration of micro-particles into the skin.
In addition to taking the above precautions when it comes to protecting your skin, an obvious way to reduce damage being caused by blue-light is simply to reduce your screen time and use shields to reduce the blue light being emitted on your phone and computer screen.