Experts say blue light can damage your skin — here's how to protect it.

By Elizabeth Rhodes
May 26, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement

Let’s talk screen time. If you’re like me, you probably spend hours on your computer or checking your phone every day, and now more than ever, we’re reliant on these technologies to stay connected with our friends, family, and coworkers. Did you know that prolonged exposure to the blue light from your devices can actually age your skin and make your skin more prone to issues like pigmentation, dullness, fine lines, and wrinkles? We spoke to Dr. Howard Murad, founder of Murad skincare, and Marta Cammarano, Ph.D., vice president of research and product development at beauty brand Chantecaille, to learn more about blue light’s negative effects on the skin and blue light blocking skincare.

Credit: Tom Werner/Getty Images

Blue light is all around us — emitted from our phones, laptops, flat-screen TVs, and even the sun — and Dr. Murad says “excessive blue light accelerates the oxidation process, which elicits inflammation and damages the skin barrier, making it more prone to signs of aging, increased uneven skin tone, dullness, pigmentation, and fine lines and wrinkles.” Dr. Cammarano echoes that, saying, “research shows that blue light may trigger skin aging by penetrating deeply into its layers, inducing oxidative stress and mitochondrial DNA damage, and leading to hyperpigmentation and collagen breakdown.”

So now that we understand the damaging effects of blue light on our skin, how do we prevent it? Dr. Murad recommends shielding your skin every day with an SPF that offers blue light protection, and he notes that getting enough sleep is also crucial to having healthy skin, so put your phone away so it won’t distract you while you’re resting.

Blue Light Blocking Skincare

Murad City Skin Age Defence SPF 50 PA++++

Credit: Courtesy of Murad

Dr. Murad recommends Murad’s City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++. According to Dr. Murad, it “features a star ingredient known as lutein, a powerful antioxidant that protects blue light from penetrating the skin while simultaneously creating a barrier against atmospheric pollutants like carbon particles, heavy metals, and chemical pollutants.” You can wear it alone — its peach tint will color correct and boost your skin’s radiance — or you can wear it under makeup.

To buy: sephora.com, murad.com, $68

Chantecaille Blue Light Protection Hyaluronic Serum

Credit: Courtesy of Nordstrom

Chantecaille’s research and product development team began looking into blue light’s effect on the skin in the early days of scientific studies on the subject. Dr. Cammarano says, “while we were in the early stages of developing our Blue Light Hyaluronic Serum, science caught up and it was shown that some forms of brown spots may be caused by overexposure to blue light. That's when we found the Fermented Extract and the Nasturtium Flower Extract that have proven results in the reduction of the visible effects of aging caused by blue light in your skin.” This lightweight serum is intensely hydrating, with plumping hyaluronic acid and anti-aging extracts to keep your skin looking smooth while protecting you from blue light’s harmful rays.

To buy: nordstrom.com, $150

Supergoop! Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40

Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Supergoop has a fantastic range of products that offer double-duty protection against UV rays and blue light. Supergoop!’s Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 is a weightless, oil-free option that leaves the skin smooth and matte (and it's loved by celebrities like Shay Mitchell), while the Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40 gives the skin a lovely glow while protecting from harsh light from the sun and screens. That said, the Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40 offers something unique, with its formulation specific to protecting the delicate skin around our eyes from blue light and UV rays. Plus, it brightens up the undereye at the same time, offering several benefits in one.

To buy: sephora.com, $36

Kevyn Aucoin Stripped Nude Skin Tint

Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

If you’re looking for a product that combines skincare with light coverage, the next two products are perfect for you. Kevyn Aucoin’s new Stripped Nude Skin Tint has hyaluronic acid to smooth and plump the skin and Butterfly Bush Flower Extract to protect against free radicals caused by blue light. It’s tinted, so it helps your skin look as good as it feels while you’re in Zoom meetings, but it’s super-sheer and fresh, so you won’t feel like you’re wearing foundation.

To buy: sephora.com, $42

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint

Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Another skincare-makeup hybrid that packs a blue light-blocking punch, the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint is perfect for that your-skin-but-better look. This skin tint has all the good-for-your-skin ingredients that you’d want in a serum, like hyaluronic acid, squalane, and niacinamide. Best of all, this serum has SPF 40 and shields the skin from UVA,UVB, UVC, blue light, and infrared, so you can rest assured knowing that you’re protecting your skin from a wide range of environmental aggressors.

To buy: sephora.com, $46