Blue Light Skin Damage Prevention

Blue light, also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light, has a bad reputation. These wavelengths commonly emitted from smartphones and computers don’t just harm our vision, they disrupt our circadian rhythm and deplete melatonin too, making it harder to sleep.

What’s news to most of us is that blue light can also lead to premature skin aging—a fresh kind of hell.

blue light skin damageSource

How blue light causes skin damage

When blue light penetrates the skin, reactive oxygen species are generated. This causes DNA damage, which triggers inflammation as it breaks down healthy collagen. A study revealed that long-term blue light exposure can lead to redness, swelling, and hyperpigmentation.

blue light skin damageSkin sites after exposure to blue light

Sunlight is the main source of HEV light to which we’re exposed, while digital devices emit only a fraction of the sun’s radiation. However, the amount of time we spend glued to our screens is significantly higher, so here are a few steps you can take to minimise daily blue light exposure.

Ways to reduce blue light exposure

Use blue light filtering apps

blue light skin damage

F.lux, a blue light filtering app, decreases blue light brightness and intensity within each pixel. It uses geolocation to calibrate your display’s colour temperature to the time of day. You can customise your screen’s colour or pick from one of their recommended filters.

blue light skin damage

If you’re an iPhone user, try activating your ‘Night Shift’ mode, Apple’s solution to counteract the effects of blue light. You can input your preferred start and end times for the app to take effect. There’s also an option to manually enable and disable the feature.

blue light skin damageSource

Try ‘Twilight’ if you’re on Android. Just like F.lux, the app adjusts your screen’s colour temperature based on the time of day. It filters blue light and protects your eyes and skin with a soft, pleasant red hue.

Purchase blue light screen shields

blue light skin damageSource

Blue light screen protectors from RetinaGuard can block up to 90% of harmful blue light. The brand offers screen shields for iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, as well as Android devices from Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG, ASUS, and Xiaomi.

Use an antioxidant-rich sunscreen

Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30 ($55)


This day moisturiser hydrates, strengthens, and brightens skin. It’s loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and niacinamide to protect against air pollution and blue light exposure.

Supergoop! Mineral Mattescreen SPF 40 PA+++ ($62)


Supergoop!’s 100% mineral sunscreen is ideal for any skin type. The mousse-like texture leaves a matte finish that blurs pores and controls shine. In addition, the formula contains Iron Oxides and Titanium Dioxide to protect against blue light damage.

Suntegrity Impeccable Skin Moisturizing Face Sunscreen SPF 30 ($94)

blue light skin damage

A moisturiser, sunscreen, and medium coverage foundation in one, Suntegrity’s rich formula is made without oils and silicones. It’s packed with vitamins, peptides, and melanin to provide blue light protection, reducing the signs of aging.

How To Prevent Damage From Blue Light

Blue light can cause an awful lot of damage to your skin, which is why we’ve hunted down products and steps to take on the fight against tech aging.

Screen shields and filtering apps are easier on the eyes and skin, but consider blue light protection when shopping for your next skincare purchase too.

This article was first published on 14 January 2019 and last updated on 9 May 2024. 

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10 Best Sunscreens To Buy From Sephora From $19 Like Supergoop!, Fenty Skin & Glow Recipe