Fact or Fiction: Skin damage caused by HEV light may be as harmful as the damage caused by UVA and UVB light combined.

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High energy visible (HEV) light is high-frequency and high-energy light ranging from approximately 380 to 500 nanometers in the blue band of the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and is also referred to as blue light or near ultraviolet light. Sources of blue light include the sun, full spectrum lighting, flat screen monitors, cell phones, and tablets. Additionally, reflective surfaces, including sand, snow, water, glass, and even concrete, are sources of HEV light.

Most people are all aware of the dangers of ultraviolet rays, which range from 100 to 400 nanometers. For example, UVA rays cause aging and UVB contribute to burning.

HEV light penetrates from 380 to 500 nanometers, reaching the hypodermis and making it potentially more damaging to the skin than ultraviolet rays! Blue/violet HEV light ranges from 380 to 450 nanometers and blue/turquoise HEV light ranging from 450 to 500 nanometers.

Recent research has indicated that HEV light generates similar amounts of reactive oxygen species, as UVA and UVB rays combined. HEV light exposure can lead to inflammation, impaired healing, compromised melanogenesis, sensitivity, dryness, wrinkles, uneven tone and texture, and sagging skin.

Lipo Chemicals conducted a study to analyze the skin's cellular changes when exposed to HEV light. The study concluded that the inflammatory cascade was significantly affected, in turn affecting skin healing, barrier recovery, cellular cycles, and melanogenesis. Future research must occur to fully understand the cycle and the full impacts, however, this research raises cause for concern.

Use daily care products that include ingredients that block HEV light. An HEV light blocker is different from an SPF ingredient as a SPF only protect against UVB rays. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB radiation. Look for ingredients such as melanin, topical lutein, and Liposhield® HEV Melanin in skin care products. Micronized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can reflect HEV light in upper levels near the UVA portion of the light spectrum. Consider blue light filters for all digital devices, use contact lenses or computer glasses designed to block blue light and do not work on tablets or mobile devices while in bed.

HEV light or blue light is not completely bad; it has beneficial effects on the body by regulating the body's circadian rhythm when subjected to exposure during the day, boosting alertness, improving memory and cognitive function, and elevating moods.

The key to living safely with HEV light exposure is to find a healthy balance and protecting the skin from unnecessary exposure.

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