QDo I need to protect my skin from the blue light emitted by electronic devices?
Concerns about the effects of blue light from electronic devices on the skin are expressed widely on social media.1 Blue light is part of visible light (400-700 nm), which can lead to long-lasting pigmentation in individuals with darker skin phototypes (SPT IV-VI) and erythema in all SPTs.2-4 Exposure at ground level is primarily from sunlight, but lower doses and irradiances can also be emitted from electronic devices.5 While our understanding of the effects of blue light and the skin is developing, there is poor evidence to support that blue light from electronic devices has adverse clinical effects on the skin.6 Visible light photoprotection should be aimed against sunlight, rather than light from electronic devices, using evidence-based methods such as tinted or non-micronized mineral sunscreens, wearing sun-protective clothing, and seeking shade.7
- Ceresnie MS, Patel J, Tvedten EJ et al. Blue light and the skin on social media: An analysis of posts on exposure and photoprotection strategies. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 2023.
- Kohli I, Zubair R, Lyons AB et al. Impact of Long-Wavelength Ultraviolet A1 and Visible Light on Light-Skinned Individuals. Photochem Photobiol 2019;95:1285-7.
- Kohli I, Chaowattanapanit S, Mohammad TF et al. Synergistic effects of long-wavelength ultraviolet A1 and visible light on pigmentation and erythema. Br J Dermatol 2018;178:1173-80.
- Mahmoud BH, Ruvolo E, Hexsel CL et al. Impact of long-wavelength UVA and visible light on melanocompetent skin. J Invest Dermatol 2010;130:2092-7.
- Duteil L, Queille-Roussel C, Lacour JP et al. Short-term exposure to blue light emitted by electronic devices does not worsen melasma. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2020;83:913-4.
- Ceresnie MS, Patel J, Lim HW et al. The cutaneous effects of blue light from electronic devices: a systematic review with health hazard identification. Photochem Photobiol Sci 2022.
- Lyons AB, Trullas C, Kohli I et al. Photoprotection beyond ultraviolet radiation: A review of tinted sunscreens. J Am Acad Dermatol 2021;84:1393-7.