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Blue Light 101

 blue light 101

There is growing evidence that blue light can improve your mood, increase your alertness and increase your attention span. However, too much blue light can harm your health.

What is Blue Light?

You've probably heard of blue light and maybe associate it with electronic devices, but what exactly is it? Blue light makes up about 1/3 of the visible light spectrum. When you think of visible light spectrum, think of a rainbow - it is something that is always there but we don't often actually see the colours emitted by light energy yet visible light is what makes us able to see things.

Each layer of colour in that rainbow of visible light has a different wavelength and different energy. Each wavelength also has different effects on our body positive and sometimes negative. The chart below will show different wavelengths of energy from VISIBLE Light as well as UV, microwave, infrared etc. 

wave length spectrum

Blue light has shorter wavelengths and higher energy than any other colour of visible light. 

What are the sources of Blue Light?

The sun is the main natural source of blue light.  Also, most electronic devices emit blue light such as laptops, cell phones, tablets, televisions and even LED bulbs. These sources generate blue light at a much lower intensity than the sun, but we expose ourselves to it much more frequently and for longer periods of time.

Research has shown that shortwave blue light with wavelengths between 415 and 455 nanometers is linked to eye damage. Most blue lights emitted by smartphones, tablets, televisions and laptops emit between 400 and 490 nanometers. This means that long periods of time spent in front of screens can be harmful to your eyes.

What are the Negative Effects of Blue Light?

Besides the known damaging effect to your eyes, it can also effect your sleep and your skin.

blue light at night

Blue light helps regulate your circadian rhythm, but scrolling your phone at night can have the opposite effect. This is because blue light stimulates your brain, stopping or slowing down the natural release of melatonin in our body. Melatonin is mainly known as the sleep hormone, because it regulates chrono-biological rhythms and is produced mainly at night. Therefore, exposure to blue light in the evening delays when you'll feel sleep washing over you. 

Also be aware that blue light can damage your skin as well as your eyes. It is therefore advisable, as far as possible, to limit your exposure. There are also solutions to help you prevent the harmful effects of blue light. 

Can blue light cause skin damage?

The amount of blue light emitted by screens is quite small compared to the amount you get from the sun's rays. However, exposure to blue light can have long-term effects.

More research is needed to solidify the facts about the damage blue light can cause to your skin. In the studies that have come out so far, they are creating a link between blue light and hyperpigmentation. 

Blue light from electronic devices can cause changes in your skin cells. And in particular shrinkage, which accelerates the aging process and the breakdown of collagen in your skin.

Another study showed that people with darker skin increased redness and swelling (as well as pigmentation).

For now, researchers have not determined a threshold at which the effects of blue light exposure begin to manifest themselves on your skin. That said, it's always a good idea to add blue light protection to your skincare routine!

How can we protect the health of our eyes, skin and overall well-being from increased screen time?

  1. Protect your eyes when outside with sunglasses.
  2. Protect your eyes when inside and on devices with blue light blocking glasses and experience:
  • Improved eye health
  • Better sleep
  • Optimal circadian rhythm
  • Less Eye Strain
  • May reduce headaches
  • Increased melatonin levels
  • Improved mood
  • Boosted productivity
  1. Protect your eyes, skin and overall health by activating the settings on your devices for their eye comfort shields. These are available on most phones, etc. They reduce blue light. You can also activate the night mode function on your laptop, smartphone or tablet. This way, your screen will be adjusted to warmer colours also reducing your exposure to blue lightas well as eye strain.
  2. Protect your sleep by not being on your devices at night to help insure a better quality of sleep. Sleeping is your time of regeneration for your body. Protect it.
  3. Protect your skin by reducing exposure and taking regular screen breaks.
  4. Protect your skin by using a sunscreen even when you are indoors! 
  5. Protect your skin by using an antioxidant-rich serum to strengthen your skin barrier. 

Here are our 3 favourites: GM Collin Vital C15 SerumYonka C20 Serum and any Skinceuticals Vitamin C Serum - CE Ferulic, Serum 10, Phloretin CF, Silymarin CF

  1. Protect your skin throughout the day with Yonka's blue light protection mist - Vital Defense Multi Protection Mist! Use it as the final stem in your skin care routine or after your makeup or throughout the day including over makeup to refresh, hydrate and protect. 
Protecting yourself from blue light is easy!
We hoped we have answered your questions about blue light and have given you some simple steps to improve your health and well being in both the long and short term!