Blue light on your skin

Our skin ages, and there are two main types of factors that influence skin aging: intrinsic, which have to do with the way our body functions (decrease in hormones, shortening of teleomeres, accumulation of damage by free radicals formed during respiration, etc.), and extrinsic, that have to do with the way the environment affects the skin.

Nowadays we have active ingredients that can help with both sides of the equation.

From the extrinsic factors, ultraviolet light in the sun (and sun beds) are the most important. UV light generates reactive oxygen species (ROS*) when it reaches the skin and a number of biochemical changes result in the breakdown of proteins like collagen and elastin by proteases, polysaccharides like hyaluronic acid, destruction of lipids that are crucial to cell survival and damage to DNA, including permanent damage of our skin stem cells.

Recently there has been more interest in a different part of the light spectrum, blue light, the visible light that has almost as energy as UV light. Blue light can also penetrate as deep as the layer of fat that is so important to the changes in the shape of our face that occur as we age.

Blue light is not only present in the sun but is also emitted by electronic screens like computer monitors, tablets and smart phones. Research shows that the effects of blue light are not too different from those of UV, and it makes sense that we should look at the same solutions to prevent damage by blue light and we have some excellent products.

The main resource to prevent damage by UV light is antioxidants, both low and high molecular weight, because our own antioxidant systems lose power as we age. Topping up our own antioxidant proteins, like superoxide dismutase, glutaredoxin and thioredoxin should be a priority. Advances in biochemistry made it possible to apply these proteins topically, and in conjunction with the usual antioxidant armamentarium (vitamin C, vitamin E, astaxanthin, etc.) they will go a long way in protecting us from the deleterious effects of blue light on our cells.

In my opinion, you should worry first about the effect of the sun on your skin, then the effect of too many hours on the computer on your brain and, lastly, the effect of your screen time on your skin. But that’s just my opinion.

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