Next time you’re getting ready to binge on your favorite TV show, you might want to add an extra step while you’re getting the popcorn ready.
Board-certified physician assistant Courtney Moseley told Newsweek about the importance of protecting your skin against blue light, something that is emitted from our TV screens and devices.
Moseley, a.k.a. The Plastic PA on Instagram, is an Expert ZO Skin Health provider. She told Newsweek about the skincare step many of us are forgetting—protecting against blue light exposure.
“The visible light spectrum contains all the colors of the rainbow, with blue light making up roughly one-third. It is emitted mainly from the sun, but is also found in electronic devices like smartphones, laptops, TV,” Moseley told Newsweek. “Because the waves from blue light are short and penetrate deeply, they are called high-energy visible light or HEV.”
Comparatively, UV and infrared rays are invisible to the human eye. These light types are responsible for skin cancers, premature ageing and other health concerns.
Dr. Ahmed El Muntasar previously told Newsweek that “any UV exposure causes mutations” that can increase the risk of cancer.
Unlike invisible lights like UV, HEV lights do not carry as many risks.
Causes of Premature Aging
“Although we don’t have to worry about HEV light causing cancer, we do know that it causes premature aging. This can include wrinkles, fine lines, and pigmentation,” explained Moseley.
HEV lights generate what are called free radicals. These put the skin through oxidative stress that can lead to a breakdown in collagen and elastin—the building blocks of youthful skin.
Many sunscreens now have built-in protection for HEV lights, which can prevent damage, but many people aren’t aware of the potential impact of things like blue light that is hiding throughout our daily lives.
“Sunscreens with tints usually contain iron oxides, which are especially good at protecting from blue light. You can also wear clothing that protects against the sun’s rays and limit time in the sun—many of the same things you would do for UV rays,” said Moseley. “Adding antioxidants to your skincare regimen can fight against damage from free radicals caused by blue light exposure.”
While the amount of blue light exposure the skin receives is much higher as a result of the sun than from looking at your laptop, phone or TV, these hidden sources of blue light are often forgotten.
“Apply sunscreen with blue light protection,” suggested Moseley, explaining that this will protect against the HEV waves you might be exposed to both outdoors and when looking at screens.
There are other ways you can prevent negative exposure to blue lights, too. Including applying an antioxidant as part of your skincare routine.
“Another way to avoid unnecessary exposure to blue light is putting blue light blockers on your electronic screens, switching to ‘night mode’ on your phone, and holding your electronics at a further distance from your face,” the skincare expert explained.
While HEV light and blue light can cause some premature ageing, Moseley said that not all blue light is bad light.
“There are also some benefits to blue light,” she said. “Blue light is regularly utilized to kill acne bacteria and decrease sebaceous gland activity in acne patients.”
The post Why You Might Want to Apply Sunscreen Before Your Next TV Binge appeared first on Newsweek.