Spending hours in front of your computer or mobile phone screen? That blue light isn’t just damaging your eyes, it may be damaging your skin as well.

Protecting your skin from solar radiation, specifically UVA and UVB, is no longer enough. We need to protect our skin from visible light as well. As many of us spend extra hours in front of computer screens, which emit blue (HEV) light, we need to be more aware of the risks from this visible light. Blue light, also called high energy visible (HEV) light enters the skin the same way UV radiation does. The energy from this HEV light is absorbed by light absorbing molecules in your skin. These molecules, such as water, melanin, hemoglobin, bilirubin, B carotene and riboflavin, each absorb different wavelengths of light.

While visible light may seem innocuous, it can cause “free radicals” which (1) damage DNA, (2) breakdown collagen and elastin, (3) stimulate hyperpigmentation. Excessive blue light exposure can lead to cell abnormality and cell death.

How frequent is your exposure to blue light? One study estimated that visible light accounted for 33% of free radicals in skin (UV 67%).

So how can you protect your skin from the dangers of visible light? Industry research suggests two ways to reduce free radicals produced by visible light;

  1. Antioxidants – Vitamin C serum – neutralizes free radicals from all causes/sources
  2. Iron Oxide

Conventional board-spectrum sunscreen alone does not protect from visible light. Sunscreen containing Zinc and Titanium provide some protection however the addition of Iron Oxide and/or Antioxidants to our skin care routine can protect from visible light.

Iron Oxide itself is not an approved sunscreen, but it is often added to sunscreens to reduce the white cast from zinc, and to provide a tint or more natural look. It is especially good when combined with zinc oxide, as the combination dramatically reduces the amount of UVA able to penetrate the skin. Notable, is that iron oxide is often found in mineral makeup.

To optimize your photoprotection from UVA, UVB and that blue HEV light, we recommend a two-step process.

  1. Topical Vitamin C serum followed by
  2. Sunscreen that contains Zinc, Titanium and Iron Oxide

This will give the most robust protection. Unfortunately, Vitamin C mixed into some sunscreens is not formulated to maximize its effectiveness. Sunscreens need to be reapplied if there is sweating. Vitamin C does not.

The easiest solution? SkinCeuticals’ Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 (with Zinc, Titanium, and Iron Oxide) layed over SkinCeuticals’ Vitamin C serum.