Let’s start with the good news for a change: Many things are good for your skin. Aloe, hyaluronic acid, algae extract, sweet little kisses… So that’s great. Sadly though, many other things that are pretty great otherwise are quite bad for your skin. Bagels, coffee, alcohol, snowball fights and then the big bad, the sun—great at sustaining life and at doing terrible things to our dermis, even when we stay inside. Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise then that yet another life staple, that thing you’re reading this on right now, could also be punishing your skin. Yep, the high-energy visible (HEV) light from our phones, tablets and computers—commonly known as blue light—not only screws with our sleep cycles, threatens our eye health and, you know, rots our brains, but may actually be blasting our skin with harmful radiation not too dissimilar from what the sun is dishing out. It seems all’s fair in true love and skin damage.
The question, though, is just how harmful all that blue light we bathe ourselves in really is. Of course, skincare companies are shooting first and asking questions later, already peppering the market with creams, gels and serums that block HEV light before there’s much scientific consensus as to whether it needs any blocking. One such company, Dr. Loretta, co-founded by Miami-based dermatologist Dr. Loretta Ciraldo MD FAAD, warns on their website that HEV light leads to “significant photo damage and skin aging.” There are a handful of recent studies, some notably commissioned by skin-in-the-game companies like Lipo Chemicals and Johnson & Johnson, that offer compelling findings about the damage blue light can do. Hyperpigmentation and DNA damage caused by the production of free radicals were among the most notable consequences of concentrated blue light exposure found in these studies, with the damage said to become increasingly powerful with prolonged doses, perhaps enough to make you think twice before binging another completely random show on Netflix.