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Blue Light Actives: Protection from Digital Pollution

Belinda Carli – Oct 17, 2019

TAGS:  Skin Care 

Blue Light Actives: Protection from Digital PollutionThere was a time when bad habits such as lying in the sun were the major cause of skin damage. The dangers of UVA and UVB light have been known now for a couple of decades, and tanning oils have long since been replaced with high sun protection factor (SPF) creams and lotions. But now there is a new demon aging our skin, and what’s worse, it’s risen from our contemporary lifestyles.

The new danger that impacts us on a daily basis is blue light: a high energy visible light (HEV) that is present in sunlight, but also from the exposure to screens of our:

  • Smartphones
  • Computers
  • Tablets
  • Television, and even
  • LED lamps

While you can apply sunscreen and stay indoors to avoid UVA and UVB, our daily work lives put us in front of the blue light in a way that is much harder to avoid.

So, what can we do? Thankfully there are raw materials to the rescue; here is a sum up of what you can use to provide protection from the screens we face for many hours each day

What is blue light?

Blue light has a wavelength of 390 – 500nm, penetrating deeper into the dermal layers of the skin, where it generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can cause oxidative damage and photo-aging of the skin.

Dubbed ‘digital pollution’, it is also essential for our natural circadian rhythms, which balance our sleep cycles. Where our circadian rhythms are disturbed, this can also impact on our skin’s well-being and hydration flux.

ROS in the skin can have a big impact on visible signs of aging: they not only upregulate MMP-1, which damage collagen type 1, they also downregulate collagen type 1. So, they not only damage the collagen in the skin but also inhibit any restorative production – this leads to a significant reduction in structural integrity.

Without this support, skin sags. The result is the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity; all significant indicators of aging skin.

Exciting Launches and how they Differ

  • Synastol® TC (Sytheon) – As a highly standardized bioactive enriched fruit extract, this active provides holistic solution to pollution- and blue light-induced skin damage with anti-aging benefits
  • Ectoin® (Bitop) – A 100% natural stress-protection active with proven efficacy at UVA / UVB, IR-A and visible light protection on cellular level as well as helps to repair and reinforce broken skin barrier
  • Celltice™ (Renmatix) – An anti-inflammatory and antioxidant shield for the skin when subjected to environmental pressures. It is proven to significantly shield against free radical formation induced by blue light
  • Ciste’M® (BASF) – A rockrose extract to protect the DNA of skin cells from the effects of UVB exposure and prevent the deleterious effects of blue light.
  • Carotolino (Lipoid Kosmetik) – A botanical active incorporating the best of carrots including stabilized carotenoids to reduce blue light-induced skin damage while at the same time it adds a vivid look.
  • MicNo® (Entekno Materials) – A single ingredient technology for broad spectrum protection from harmful UVA & UVB sun rays in addition to high energy visible light/blue light.
  • Arctalis™ (Lipotrue) – Sourced from deep in the oceans, this extract provides blue light protection as well as a skin firming and smoothing effect
  • B-Circadin™ (Clariant) – Protects against blue light oxidation while resynchronizing beneficial circadian effects on skin cells
  • Bluemidin™ (Clariant) – A blue light active that also targets puffiness and dark circles around the eye area
  • BLUE Oléoactif® (Hallstar) – Sourced from rice, protects against blue light, pollution and hyperpigmentation from digital sources
  • InfraGuard (Mibelle Biochemistry) – Offers a ‘3-in-1’ protection against infrared, blue light and pollution. It is not only effective against blue light but infra-red light as well!
  • PEPHA® -AGE (DSM) – Sourced from micro-algae, it stimulates the skin’s own natural defenses against UV and blue light
  • PHYTOTISS™ BLF (Dermalab) – Protects from blue light damage and strengthens the skin barrier
  • SAKADIKIUM™ (Seppic) – Protection from blue light, UV and pollution whilst enhancing radiance and luminosity of the skin
  • ScreenLight™ Block (Lonza) – Sourced from Fruits extracts, Biotechnology & Fermentation technology products, it protects the skin against the visible effects of blue light and environmental stressors by reducing the negative impact on cellular antioxidant potential.

Our modern lifestyles rely on the use of computers, smartphones and tablets for at least a few hours every day. For some of us, even more! While we could limit and avoid our exposure to sunlight for part of our day, the time spent indoors is often spent exposed to other, more concentrated forms of blue light.

Since there seems a limit to escaping the damaging effects of blue light on our skin, the least we can do is apply products that will help protect it.

Here’s to feeling less blue about the light we’re exposed to!

This article was originally published on July 13, 2018 and updated on October 17, 2019.

Happy formulating!

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