Over the last several years, we've observed some new effects of our ever-increasing screen time as a society. One of them is exposure to blue light emitted from our smartphones and computers. You've probably heard that blue light can affect sleep and throw off your circadian rhythm (particularly at night)—but can it also damage your skin?
We went straight to the experts on this one. In particular, Doctor Andrea Suarez (you might know her as "Dr. Dray" from her YouTube channel with more than a million subscribers.) Dr. Dray is a Board Certified Dermatologist.
The answer is slightly nuanced. Yes, "visible light," (as opposed to UV rays which are not visible to the human eye) including blue light can contribute to hyper-pigmentation, particularly in darker skin tones. But even so, our devices are not the real problem.
According to Dr. Dray, the amount of blue light emitted by the sun is 1,000x greater than what we're exposed to through normal device use. She estimates it would take several days and nights of continuous exposure to our smartphones in order to obtain a dose of blue light that could potentially cause hyper-pigmentation.
So in the battle of light vs. skin, UV rays are still the big enemy. UV rays emitted by the sun are a major source of premature skin aging and collagen damage.
Instead of worrying about our smartphones, Dr. Dray recommends making protecting your skin from the sun a top priority, for both exposure to UV rays and visible light.
If you're prone to hyper-pigmentation, two of our favorite Dr. Dray approved sunscreens that include protection from both visible light and UV rays are EltaMD UV Elements and Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield.