Blue Light Sunscreen: Sunscreen With Blue Light Protection

Blue Light Sunscreen: Sunscreen With Blue Light Protection

Sunscreen is a staple in any great skincare regimen, but is your sunscreen providing all of the coverage you need? 

Whether you’re plugged in from sun up to sun down or would rather disconnect from all of your devices, the reality is, blue light has become a big part of our lives. From working on your laptop to browsing social media and even reading this post, a lot of your day is spent behind a screen.

You’ve likely heard the harrowed tales of blue light’s effect on your eyes and sleep cycle, but you may not have considered its impact on your skin. In this post, we’re looking at blue light under the lens of skincare and offering some insight on how you can protect your complexion with blue light sunscreen.

What is blue light/HEV light?

Blue light, also known as high-energy visible light (HEV light), is one of the seven colors in the visible light spectrum — put simply, the colors our eyes can see. Like all colors on the visible light spectrum, blue light operates on a specific wavelength, in this case, 380-500 nanometers. This light range can help inspire productivity, boost mood, and improve alertness. However, the positive elements of blue/HEV light come with some adverse effects. 

Woman looking at blue light emitting device with facts about blue light below

What damage can blue light cause?

In recent years, researchers have uncovered some of the potential damage blue light can inflict on your body, including:

Blue light can affect sleep, vision and cell structure
  • Disruptions in sleep: Blue light limits the body’s natural production of melatonin, which can result in changes to the circadian rhythm.
    • Vision damage: Blue light’s effect on the eyes is still being studied, but early evidence demonstrates a connection between blue light, retina damage, and eye diseases, such as macular degeneration.
    • Changes to skin cells: A recent study revealed that exposure to blue light can cause changes in skin cell structure, causing cell shrinkage and cell death. Over time, these changes can accelerate the aging process, revealing wrinkles and other skin damage.

    The good news is, as we learn more and more about how blue light affects our bodies, we’ve also discovered ways to minimize exposure. From blue light-blocking glasses and screen covers, to blue light sunscreen, there are plenty of things you can do to protect your vision, skin, and general wellness.

    Does sunscreen protect against blue light?

    Protecting your skin from blue light damage comes down to a single product you should already be including in your skincare routine: sunscreen. Unfortunately, not all sunscreens protect against blue light.

    There are two main types of sunscreen, physical and chemical formulas:

    1. Physical sunscreens use physical, active ingredients that sit on top of the skin after application. The formula is designed to reflect UV and blue light away from skin, so physical sunscreens do offer blue light protection.
    2. Chemical sunscreens are constructed with a variety of chemical ingredients that actually absorb UV light and may even irritate the skin. Chemical sunscreens do not offer blue light protection.

      In addition to their differing approach to blue light, physical (also known as mineral) and chemical sunscreens have several other qualities to consider before investing in a new product. Check out our post on the difference between physical and chemical sunscreen to learn more.

      Bottom line: if you, like so many of us, spend a lot of time looking at a screen all day, you may want to invest in a physical blue light sunscreen to prevent photoaging and skin damage.

      How can I protect my skin against blue light?

      Whether you’re on your computer or phone most of the day or are minimally exposed to blue light, there are several things you can do to protect your complexion, even under those bright blue lights. 

      1. Wear blue light glasses to protect your eyes and the sensitive skin surrounding them.
      2. Apply a blue-light-blocking shield to your computer, phone, and tablet screens to reduce exposure.
      3. Change your device settings by activating night mode to neutralize blue light and minimize its impact.
      4. Wear blue light sunscreen with physical ingredients, such as iron oxides, which prevent photoaging caused by blue light

        Should I add blue light sunscreen to my skincare routine?

        Absolutely! Any effective skincare routine starts with prevention, so adding sunscreen with blue light protection to your arsenal is a great place to start. If you’re ready to add blue light/HEV sunscreen to your skincare essentials but don’t know where to begin, we’ve got you covered. 

        In this section, we’ll parse out which ingredients to look for (and avoid), share tips for application, and more.

        Woman applying blue light sunscreen to her face

        Blue light sunscreen: what ingredients to look for

        Physical sunscreen formulas are ideal for protecting your skin against blue light emissions because they sit on top of your complexion, rather being absorbed.

        Here are a few ingredients to look for when adding a blue light sunscreen to your collection:

        • Iron oxides: These micronized pigments, most widely used as cosmetic dyes, help protect the skin from damage caused by blue (HEV) light.
        • Zinc oxide: This mineral has several applications in cosmetics and personal care products. It’s used to speed up wound healing and prevent diaper rash by creating a protective barrier on the skin. It is also used in mineral sunscreen formulas as it reflects blue light and UV light away from the skin, preventing damage.
        • Antioxidants: Antioxidants nourish the skin and prevent free radicals and pollutants from causing damage, keeping your skin looking and feeling fresh.
        • Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid restores your skin’s moisture, preventing signs of aging and helping you achieve a dewy and hydrated complexion. 

        SUNFORGETTABLE® TOTAL PROTECTION™ BRUSH-ON SUNSCREEN features nourishing ingredients designed to reveal your inner radiance while guarding your skin from UV and HEV light.

        Top ingredients in blue light sunscreen

        Blue light sunscreen: what ingredients to avoid

        Now that you know what to look for in a blue light sunscreen, let’s talk about which sunscreen ingredients to avoid:

        • Oxybenzone: A chemical that is easily absorbed by the skin and may adversely affect many bodily processes when it enters the bloodstream. Oxybenzone also threatens the environment as it melts off our skin and finds its way into water sources.
        • Octinoxate: According to the FDA, octinoxate is a chemical that acts as a UV protector, but may pose toxicity concerns that outweigh the benefits.
        • Homosalate: Chemical that is commonly used in sunscreens to enhance skin absorption. May pose environmental threats as well as endocrine disruption.
        • Octocrylene: Poses environmental concerns, especially for fish in downstream rivers.
        • Cinoxate: Chemical that is limited in many cosmetics for concerns over potentially damaging DNA.

        How to apply blue light sunscreen

        You can apply blue light sunscreen just as you would normal sunscreen, just before exposure. Incorporate sunscreen with blue light protection into your morning skincare routine to minimize potential for blue light damage throughout the day.

        To apply your SUNFORGETTABLE® TOTAL PROTECTION™ BRUSH-ON SUNSCREEN with blue light protection, follow these easy steps:

        1. Apply your standard skincare routine and makeup (if you wear it) before brushing on your sunscreen.
        2. Turn your application brush upside down and tap to release mineral powder onto the brush and remove the cap.
        3. Swipe your finger across the brush to make sure it’s ready to use. A small cloud of powder should appear when the powder is activated.
        4. Use small circular motions to brush onto bare skin, moisturized skin, or over your makeup. Apply using this method for at least 60 seconds to ensure full-coverage, and don’t forget about your ears, neck, and other exposed areas!

          Takeaways for using sunscreen with blue light protection

          Daily exposure to blue light can not only threaten your vision, sleep, and general wellness, but it can also wreak havoc on your skin. As you learned in this post, blue light’s effect on skin can accelerate signs of aging, cause changes in skin cell structure, and more.

          Take control of your complexion with mineral blue light sunscreen from ColoreScience. Our total protection collection nourishes your skin while creating a non-toxic, protective barrier against UV and HEV light for coverage you can count on.