Is it just me, or is everyone else staring at their screens on hours at end now that there’s literally nowhere to go in quarantine? I’m not even talking work — I’m talking the time spent with our eyes glued to our phones chuckling at silly TikTok videos late in the night, Netflix-ing till wee hours of the morning, etc. Honey, four words: all that blue light!
For the unacquainted, blue light is light that emitted from digital devices; computers, smartphones, television, fluorescent light bulbs (it’s a non-exhaustive list). Essentially, exposure to blue light is inevitable — and that’s not even the worst bit. Evolving research has shown that blue light is able to penetrate deeper into the skin than UVA/B rays to cause pigmentation, wrinkles, and other signs of ageing (and now, flashback to how closely you were holding your phone to your face). While sunscreen should already be an integral part of your skincare routine to keep the UV rays away, protecting your skin against blue light just isn’t as straightforward. Your skincare products need to be formulated with ingredients that can reflect or scatter it, in order to properly and effectively shield your skin from blue light.
Here’s a little skincare tip, should you be one of those that wake and sleep to screen time: include a blue light-blocking product to your routine. I know, I know, it’s an extra step (which can put off the lazy ones), so most of these products are formulated to be double-duty ones. Ahead, some favourites.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen, $52
There is red algae extract in this everyday sunscreen that helps protect skin against blue light pollution. The plant lives in deeper parts of the ocean, where only blue and UV light can reach them. This caused them to adapt a survival mechanism where they absorb blue light as food at those depths. In the sunscreen, the red algae extract absorbs and scatters blue light, leaving a natural glow on the skin.Source: Courtesy of Brands
SisleYouth Anti-Pollution Energizing Super Hydrating Youth Protector, $240
I’ve been using this for more than half a year now, daily in the morning, to prep my skin for incoming screen time. It’s a blue light protecting cream-gel that doubles up as a hydrating serum — great for those with slightly drier skin. The powerful protective complex has buckwheat seed, ginkgo biloba, pea, and vitamin E — all of which come together to help shield the skin from blue light pollution.Source: Courtesy of Brands
Crystal Tomato Beyond Sun Protection, $78.80
At this whopping price, this sunscreen might possibly be the most expensive one you’d ever use. But it is formulated with stringent research — and is the only sunscreen that’s clinically proven to offer 54.1 per cent protection against blue light. According to the brand, the protection percentage has to be above 50 per cent for the product to be effective in blocking blue light. The sunscreen has a “skincare” texture — it’s creamy, yet sinks into the skin immediately for an instantly rosy complexion. A little goes a long way, so if you’re planning to get yourself one, see this as an investment piece.Source: Courtesy of Brands
Cover FX Water Cloud Primer, $62
This cooling mousse-like primer not only serves to smooth skin texture out, it also acts as a layer of hydration on the skin, feeding it moisture throughout the day. I find that its effects are most prominently experienced when you have dry skin but want to work a matte foundation — in keeping the skin sufficiently hydrated, I noticed that those foundations don’t peel off anymore (especially when working long hours in dry, air-conditioned environments). Plankton extract in the formula absorbs blue light, shielding it from the skin.Source: Courtesy of Brands
Chantecaille Blue Light Protection Hyaluronic Serum, $250
This is an ultra lightweight gel that “breaks” into a watery texture on the skin upon massaging it in. It’s formulated with a fermented extract, taken from radiation-resistant microorganism found in a waterfall in the Spanish Pyrenees. These microorganisms are forced to adapt to the magnified light radiation that hits them, as water accumulates in the rocky crags. In skincare, it helps the skin “get used” to the light, thereby preventing and slowing the development of age spots and wrinkles caused by blue light. The product’s other use? A fast-absorbing hydrating serum. I’ve mixed this into foundations to sheer them out and it’s always given my skin a pretty sheen.Source: Courtesy of Brands