Did you know that the blue light from your smartphone, tablet, or computer screen can cause inflammatory hyperpigmentation? Understanding how and why blue light hyperpigmentation occurs may help you to achieve more even-looking skin, especially if you use our medical-grade skincare products as part of your daily regimen.
While it’s probably not possible to avoid screens entirely, there are steps you can take to reduce their negative impact on your skin, and in turn, your life. Let’s take a look at blue light and how it may be affecting your skin health.
What is Blue Light?
Blue light, also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light, is a short-wave, high-frequency light that’s emitted by the sun, electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers, as well as LED and fluorescent lighting. Exposure to blue light isn’t guaranteed to cause inflammatory hyperpigmentation, but it can certainly be a contributing cause. Here’s why.
Oxidative stress is a health condition that may occur if your body is lacking the essential antioxidants needed to combat free radicals (unstable atoms that can cause cell damage in the body). This imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals can harm skin cells and tissue. Blue light has been shown to induce oxidative stress, potentially causing blue light hyperpigmentation, as well as a myriad of other health conditions, including hypertension, cancer, heart disease, and neurological disease, among others.
Disruption of Melanocytes
Blue light may disrupt the function of melanocytes, leading to inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Melanocytes are special cells that produce melanin, which is the natural pigment that gives skin its color. Melanin also acts as a defense mechanism, protecting inner skin cells from damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays and other stressors. Disrupting the production of melanin can lead to skin discoloration due to a lack of adequate protection.
As we age, it’s normal for skin to have fine lines and wrinkles, as well as discoloration—that’s just a fact of life. However, premature signs of aging can occur when skin is exposed to light waves, most often from the sun. This is called photoaging. Blue light makes up approximately 50% of the sun’s spectrum, so it’s no surprise that blue light from screens and bulbs may also cause inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It’s the same process, only on a smaller scale.
Poor Sleep Habits
Blue light hyperpigmentation doesn’t always happen directly. Blue light can actually interfere with your circadian rhythm, which disrupts your sleep. Getting a good night’s rest is essential to your overall health and that includes your skin health. Besides reducing the function of your immune system, poor sleep habits may reduce collagen production, leading to poor skin health, including discoloration.
How to Reduce Blue Light Exposure
In today’s digital world, avoiding blue light entirely is virtually impossible. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take some simple steps to reduce its impact on your health and work to avoid inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Here are some helpful habits that can reduce the amount of blue light you interact with on a day-to-day basis:
- Cut down on screen time. This is an obvious one, but even stepping away from your screen for five minutes every half hour or so can make a big difference, especially if you’re going to be in front of a screen for a long period of time.
- Don’t use your phone as a cure for boredom. While it can be tough to break that habit, setting limits and being mindful about your phone use can make a major difference in preventing inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
- Use blue light filters. When you’re using devices with screens, check the settings for blue light filters. If your device doesn’t have a filter setting, there are plenty of apps available.
- Enable night mode. When possible, put your devices and apps on their darker settings. This reduces the emission of blue light.
- Use sunscreen. Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen before spending time in the sun is one of the most effective ways to prevent blue light hyperpigmentation.
- Use warm-toned light bulbs. When buying light bulbs, check the packaging. Avoid bulbs on the cooler end of the spectrum, as they produce more blue light than their warmer counterparts.
Senté Products for Blue Light Defense
If you’re experiencing inflammatory hyperpigmentation, there are medical-grade solutions available here at Senté. Our powerful, easy-to-use skincare products are infused with our patented HSA technology—a revolutionary formula that targets inflammation and helps your skin to renew itself from within.
Heparan sulfate is a natural molecule that hydrates the skin, helps boost the skin's immune response to inflammation, and activates signals that support the production of elastin and collagen. As we age, the body produces less of it, naturally leading to signs of aging. Because heparan sulfate has a negative charge and a high molecular weight, it cannot be absorbed topically. That’s why we modified our own heparan sulfate analog: HSA.
If you’re looking for a solution to inflammatory hyperpigmentation, we highly recommend the Senté Cysteamine HSA Pigment & Tone Corrector. In addition to HSA, this cysteamine cream contains non-hydroquinone pigment correctors, antioxidants, and other medical-grade ingredients that help you to achieve a more even skin tone.
Our Even Tone Mineral Sunscreens are the perfect preventative option for blue light hyperpigmentation. Chemical sunscreens are known to irritate sensitive skin, often triggering inflammation, acne breakouts, rosacea flare-ups, and other conditions. Our chemical-free sunscreens are formulated with 100% mineral UV filters and powerful antioxidants, ensuring that you get the protection from the sun and pollutants you require.
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Senté skincare products are tested and approved by dermatologists and endorsed by 500+ physicians from acclaimed institutions. Regain control of your skin with medical-grade products for inflammatory hyperpigmentation.