According to New York City–based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, blue light—also known as high-energy visible light—represents the light found specifically within the blue portion of the visible-light spectrum. Its wavelength is slightly longer than ultraviolet light (UV, UVB, and UVA), and it has been shown to penetrate deeper into the skin than ultraviolet does. (Eep!) The good news? While blue-light exposure has been associated with visible signs of aging like dark spots, pigmentation, and the breakdown of collagen, it is not associated with the development of skin cancers (unlike ultraviolet light).
It’s also important to note that while LED lightbulbs and electronic devices carry the worst rep in terms of blue-light emission, sunlight is actually the main source of blue light. Sorry to break it to you, but simply powering down more frequently can help, but it won’t negate your exposure completely. Interestingly, Zeichner tells me that the powers at be don’t actually know how much blue-light exposure is too much exposure, but just like other types of light, even a low exposure level will quickly and easily add up over our lifetimes. Therefore, a combination of prevention and awareness is definitely key.
Luckily, there are specific types of products, treatments, and practices that can help protect your skin from blue light, hence lessening its fast-forward aging effect on the skin—keep scrolling.