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These days, nothing can come between me and my screen. But if you’re like me and your screen time is the result of scrolling through your timeline, attending virtual meetings, and reading on your tablet before bed, experts warn that overexposure to blue light, which is the ultraviolet ray that is emitted from our favorite digital devices, can have a negative impact on the skin and contribute to concerns like dark spots, dullness, and even cause premature aging.
To get more information about this growing concern, I chatted with Celeste Hilling, CEO and founder of Skin Authority, who assured me that our blue light exposure is definitely something that we all need to be conscious of. “30 minutes of blue light exposure is shown to increase the level of inflammation in skin cells by 40%,” she tells The Quality Edit. “The skin responds to inflammation in many visible ways, starting with occasional rashes, skin itching, and redness to chronic conditions such as dermatitis, rosacea, breakouts, and psoriasis. Yet, we don’t think of protecting ourselves indoors as we do when we go out.”
As awareness of the effects of blue light increases, more skincare brands have begun implementing blue light-blocking technology into their product lineup. While some may find it to be a fad, blue light-blocking skincare ensures that the skin is protected at every level—starting at your cleanser and ending with your moisturizer and sunscreen—and that it’s getting the ingredients it needs to repair itself after a long day in front of a screen. I’ll admit I was a little skeptical at first and didn’t know if I believed that I’d see a difference in my skin. But according to Jeniece Trizzino, who is the vice president of product development at blue light-blocking brand Goodhabit, the results of using a blue light-blocking skincare product are basically what all of our skin goals are made of.
“It’s super important that people are protecting themselves from some of the damaging ways technology can impact their skin,” she says. “Even short exposure can damage our skin. You will see a visible difference in your complexion: Dullness will begin to fade as skin appears brighter and more radiant, fine lines and wrinkles will be visibly less noticeable, and the skin will appear soft, supple, plump and youthful-looking.”
Thinking about taking your skincare routine’s blue light defense up a notch? Here are some of the best blue light-blocking skincare products that I’ve tried:
Like with all UV rays, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen is the best way to keep the skin protected. Skin Authority’s SkinSuit Face is a sheer mineral sunscreen that boasts SPF 50 protection and intercepts blue light, infrared radiation, activity heat, and pollution to prevent damage to the skin. It’s also formulated with vitamins A, B3, C, and E to offer some antioxidant protection as well.
With all of that skin-protecting goodness, it’s not uncommon for mineral sunscreens to feel a little bit heavy on the skin or leave some sort of filmy white cast behind, but I was pleasantly surprised by how lightweight its formula was; it had the look and feel of a sheer foundation rather than the traditional grainy, thick sunscreen. It took some effort to blend it all in, but instead of making me look chalky, SkinSuit Face melted into my skin and made it feel instantly smoother and softer. I noticed that it even gave me a little glow as well, which is always welcomed. It played nice with my acne-prone skin and even nicer with my makeup; no pilling or patches!
I’m always down for a product that simplifies my routine. Superscreen offers SPF 40 broad-spectrum protection coupled with long-lasting hydration benefits, ensuring that the skin is safe against UVA and UVB rays and getting the moisture it needs to stay healthy. I started using Superscreen after noticing that my favorite moisturizer and sunscreen weren’t mixing together well and thought that this would be an easy solution to the unwanted piling they were causing under my makeup and prevent any unnecessary pore clogging action. This moisturizer is super lightweight and absorbs into the skin nicely, even with all of its SPF. Its texture has a lovely bounce to it, which leaves the skin looking dewy and refreshed while still delivering enough moisture to keep the skin hydrated. I’m also happy to report that it does wear really well under makeup and makes for a great base; you might not even need a primer anymore if you use this product.
I will say, the formula can look a little greasy if you apply too much. So, if your skin lands on the oilier side, I’d recommend taking a less is more approach and avoid applying it to areas that you don’t want to attract shine.
Goodhabit is one of the first skincare brands to exclusively cater to blocking blue light. Since coming onto the scene, Goodhabit has launched an entire skincare routine that not only prevents blue light from penetrating the skin, but also reverses the damage that it’s already caused. Among their bestsellers is the Rescue Me Glow Potion Oil Serum, which is described as a skin-strengthening serum that nourishes and repairs with a blend of antioxidant-rich oils. It’s a great solution for inflammation in the skin and helps improve skin tone while also promoting cell turnover.
My first impression was that the serum’s texture was way more watery than I was expecting, especially compared to other formulas with the same ingredients and anti-aging benefits. Luckily, I love it when my serums have a lot of slip. When applied, it felt like my skin had been given a big glass of water and it instantly felt refreshed. After a couple of more tries, I found that the product was also helping to reduce some redness in my face, leaving the spots that were usually patchy and inflamed visibly dewier and brighter instead.
One of my biggest concerns with blue light-blocking skincare was not being able to tell if the product’s shield effect had worn off midday. With products like TULA’s Signature Glow Mist, you’re able to give your skin a blue light defense refresh whenever and wherever it needed while also boosting hydration and radiance thanks to its hyaluronic acid and probiotic-enriched formula.
Let me say, the glow is REAL; just a couple of sprays and my skin is back to looking as bright and dewy as it was after my morning skincare routine.
I like to keep this at my desk so I can have it handy when I feel like my skin needs a blue light pick-me-up. It feels really light on the skin and distributes nicely and evenly across my entire face. Let me say, the glow is REAL; just a couple of sprays and my skin is back to looking as bright and dewy as it was after my morning skincare routine. Not only is it great for rebalancing the skin, but it’s also designed to boost your mood as well, which comes in handy when I need the motivation to tackle deadlines and hop on Zoom calls.
The skin around the eyes is considered to be one of the most sensitive areas, meaning that it’s more susceptible to the damage caused by UV rays. This is where a blue light-blocking eye cream like Dr. Loretta’s Tightening Eye Gel comes in handy. It’s formulated to reduce the appearance of puffiness, dark circles, and lines while also guarding and repairing this delicate skin area from the harmful effects of blue light exposure.
For me, this eye gel fits well into my morning skincare routine. I find its gel formula to be incredibly soothing and gentle on my under-eyes, giving them the extra T.L.C. they need in the A.M. to look more awake. It’s been a great solution for morning puffiness and brightening up my dark circles, which feel like they’re getting darker from quarantine. It also makes for a great hydrating prep before my concealer and I haven’t noticed any creasing or caking since introducing it to my routine. As for its tightening properties, I’m 26 and don’t really have lines yet but I can say that my eyes look visibly more rejuvenated when I use it.
All in all, I think a little blue light blocking can do the skin some good. It may be too early to tell if all of my blue light skincare woes are gone, but I’ve definitely noticed that my skin is more radiant and even and less stressed and irritated. Even if you’re still on the fence about the role blue light exposure plays in our skin, adjusting your skincare routine to be more antioxidant friendly and neutralize the effects of our environment will ultimately help you achieve healthier, glowier skin—which is what we all want, right?