Ahoy sunshines! We all know how important it is to understand how different elements (like sunshine) can affect our skin and our health in general. So, get ready to dive into a little bit of a science refresher to help you better understand how blue light (the light from the sun that makes the sky look so blue) can affect your body. In fact, if you’ve read our recent blog post about Samphire Serum, you’ll know that she is built to protect your skin against the blue light that you’re exposed to on a daily basis. We’ve all heard the words “blue light” when talking about our phones and computer screens, but what exactly is “blue light” and what does it do?
What is Blue Light?
Our world is illuminated by light 24/7. Visible light emitted from the sun helps us to see the beauty all around us. However, the sun emits a range of colored lights—some that we can see and some that we can’t. Different colors of light contain different wavelengths and different levels of energy. Red light has long wavelengths and less energy while blue light has shorter wavelengths and much more energy. Blue light is closer to violet and ultraviolet (UV) light which is not visible to the human eye and can cause skin damage, sunburns on the skin and eyes, and skin cancer (you’ve probably heard all of this before).
Although blue light is visible and makes up about one-third of the visible light that we see, it contains a lot of energy and is often called high-energy visible (HEV) light. According to research, this kind of light may be linked to the cause of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It also stifles the production of melatonin (the hormone that helps us sleep) which can give us energy during the day, but can ultimately lead to sleep issues at night as it interacts with our internal clock also known as our sleep-wake cycle or our circadian rhythm.
How Are We Exposed?
So, if blue light is all around us, where is it coming from? Like other forms of light, blue light mostly comes from the sun, but can also come from manufactured devices that we incorporate into our lifestyle.
Fluorescent and LED lights as well as flat-screen TVs also emit blue light. Beyond that, a lot of the blue light that we are exposed to comes from our computer, tablet, and phone screens. In other words, it’s everywhere so every single one of us is being affected by blue light at any moment on any given day.
In comparison to how much blue light is emitted from the sun, the amount emitted from our devices might seem minuscule, but the issue really lies in the close proximity that we hold our devices to our faces. Doctors and especially optometrists are currently looking into the real negative effects that blue light can have on our eyes, skin, and body as a whole.
Studies show that 43% of adults are required to stare at screens for hours on a daily basis for work. That doesn’t include the time spent scrolling on Instagram or playing phone games once you get home and want to relax. When we factor that in, we each spend about 10 to 11 hours a day connected to digital media.
How Does It Affect the Skin?
Although scientists are still collecting research on blue light’s effects on the skin, studies have suggested that blue light can contribute to redness and swelling. It has also been discovered that overexposure can lead to the destruction of DNA, collagen, and elastin fibers in the skin as blue light seeps through the first two layers of the skin (epidermis and dermis) and rests deeply in the hypodermis. In other words, blue light could very well be affecting the elasticity of your skin, causing it to age quicker. So if you’re experiencing changes to skin pigmentation, early wrinkling, swelling, redness, etc., blue light may be the culprit. (Who knew, right?)
Research points to the fact that blocking blue light can help you to preserve the health and youthful elasticity and glow of your skin.
So How Do I Block Blue Light?
Just like with sunscreen, physical blockers that you apply to your skin can often be more effective than or at least supplement chemical blockers when it comes to keeping your skin safe from lightwaves. Even if chemical blockers can help protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays, they are not particularly effective on their own when it comes to visible light like blue light.
It might seem difficult to find products with skin- and earth-friendly physical blockers, but guess what? We saw this lack and decided to make one ourselves!
In our recent blog post, we introduced you to Samphire Sea-Retinol Digital Serum which contains sea fennel as a natural retinol replacement that improves skin color and texture and doesn’t contain endangered ingredients. What we didn’t get too far into was Samphire’s other superpower—the ability to block blue light.
For a list of Samphire’s ingredients, look at her profile here. In the meantime, let’s explore what exactly gives her the power to protect your skin.
Samphire’s Blue-Light Blocking Super Ingredients
Physicians and herbalists suggest that antioxidants can help keep blue light away from your skin. Samphire contains three powerful ingredients (as deemed effective by botanists and herbalists) including Banana fruit juice, Chinaberry, and methylsulfonylmethane (the name sounds scary, but this ingredient is actually vegan organic sulfur and is also known as MSM) that either naturally contain or increase the production of important antioxidants.
Banana fruit juice contains the antioxidant Vitamin C. Chinaberry, or Persian Lilac also contains antioxidants that fight against blue light and antibacterial elements that block and counteract the possible negative effects of blue light by helping to cleanse the skin from harmful bacteria that can cause irritation and breakouts and increase skin elasticity. MSM also increases antioxidant production, reduces inflammation, and strengthens keratin which is an important structural protein in your skin.
Remember when we talked about effective blue-light blockers needing physical blockers? Well, Samphire contains red algae which thrives in the depths of the ocean where it learns to absorb blue light and UV rays for the sake of survival. What this means is that when red algae is on your skin, it will absorb the blue light into itself rather than allow it to permeate your epidermis.
Beyond these blue-light blocking beauties, Samphire contains several other natural ingredients that work to decrease inflammation and hydrate and tighten the skin so it won’t wrinkle and age prematurely such as hyaluronic acid, vegetable glycerin, and coconut water. In other words, while some ingredients keep blue light away from your skin, others fight the effects that may have already begun to occur! It’s a win-win!
Right now it can be hard to limit screen time because it can seem like using digital media is the only thing you can do while you’re stuck inside, social distancing, and trying to connect. Luckily, Samphire can help save your skin from the damage this might be causing. Trust us, your complexion will thank you!
Check out Samphire here.
Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay true to your natural beauty by taking a stand against overexposure to blue light! We’re in this together!