You already know how important it is to protect your skin from the sun’s age-accelerating (and cancer-causing) UV rays with an SPF. Sunspots, fine lines, and enlarged pores are just a few of the myriad of skin woes courtesy of the sun, but now the skin is facing a new enemy: High Energy Visible Light (HEV Light). As if it wasn’t a hassle enough to protect your complexion from the sun when outdoors and even indoors where natural light is abundant, now you have to be concerned when you’re at the office typing away or scrolling through your Instagram feed too. Hence the onslaught of blue light beauty products on the scene.

Recent research suggests that the blue light emitted from our cell phones, computer screens, and certain light bulbs is also damaging to the health of our skin, prompting the beauty sphere to launch a slew of blue light skincare with HEV defense. There are plenty of commonalities amongst HEV, UVB, and UVA rays when it comes to the harm they incite. All three are associated with causing oxidative stress, which causes our skin to release free radicals, which disrupt and slow down our skin’s natural elastin and collagen production. This is detrimental because collagen and elastin are the key components of youthful-looking skin, influencing firmness, hydration levels, and tone.

Hence, just like outdoor light rays, blue light is also responsible for premature aging (photoaging), and unprotected light exposure can also lead to dark spots and hyperpigmentation. However, HEV rays actually affect (and damage) our skin in different ways than UVB rays, because they’re capable of penetrating into the deeper layers of the skin rather than just the outermost layer. What this means, is that they’re capable of tampering with collagen production and our skin’s natural ability to exfoliate with the help of retinoids and acids.

Now, we’re not suggesting that you quit your phone cold turkey or put in your two weeks notice in the name of avoiding free radical damage from screens, but making sure to keep your skin protected when you’re indoors is evidently, equally as paramount of a consideration when it comes to your skincare routine. Fortunately, brands are catching on to skin’s latest villain, offering plenty of defensive products to help you prevent and reverse existing damage so you can maintain your weekend Netflix binge-watching routine, shameless scroll through the apps, and your career without compromising your pursuit of flawless skin.

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