How good are you at remembering to wear sunscreen? Turns out, there might be another wavelength of light you should be concerned about. "Consumers mostly know only about UVA and UVB light, but HEV (blue light) also exists," says Dr. Sameer Bashey, a board-certified dermatologist at the ZO Skin Centre. "This light comes from the sun but can also be emitted from phones, tablets and computer screens."
Though he notes that the evidence is still unclear on the exact effects HEV light has on skin (not to mention, your vision), he says that it's likely similar to what UVA and UVB do — namely, causing inflammation and free radical damage, as well as hyperpigmentation and brown spots. "It may potentially be worse than UVA and UVB, as it can penetrate deeper into the hypodermis," he adds.
So, what's your best bet for protecting yourself? Well, as Dr. Bashey explains, not all sunscreens include blue light in their standard broad-spectrum UVA/UVB coverage. "Zinc- and titanium dioxide-based sunscreens can reflect some portions of HEV light, but not all," he says. Your best bet is to look for products specifically designed to block blue light — like the ones rounded up here. Keep reading for our top picks.
Image via Imaxtree
BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Defense Radiant Protective Veil, $30
Is there anything this product doesn't do? In addition to protecting you from pollution and UV and HEV light, it also primes and hydrates skin, adding a gorgeous glow (courtesy of the natural pearl in the formula). It makes for a great base and it also looks great alone, if you're going foundation-free for the day.
ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30, $65
Thanks to the fractionated melanin in the formula, this handy sunscreen effectively blocks blue light. It also doubles as a primer, with a slight blurring tint and a silky texture that leaves your skin oh-so-smooth.
Coola Organic SPF 30 Full Spectrum 360 Sun Silk Drops, $46
With a silky, lightweight texture and a convenient dropper, this sunscreen is so easy to use. Add in the fact that it protects your skin from both regular UV and HEV light? We're completely sold.
Paula's Choice Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30, $29
Armed with mineral SPF, this lightweight, illuminating moisturizer also helps to guard the skin against air pollution and blue light exposure with a blend of potent antioxidants.