How to protect your skin from Blue Light

28 April 2021

April French Furnell

Dr Franco Marinello, Italian Herbalist and Pharmacist, and creator of the Digital Defence Range and the complex Digitect™, tells Citywealth readers how to protect their skin from Blue Light.

Digital Defence aims to block High Energy Visible (HEV) blue light, emitted from digital screens – what risk does this pose to our skin?

The primary source of blue light comes from the sun and also is admitted from artificial light sources. There has been much discussion on the effects on our skin from extended use of our laptops and screens but 2020 was the year that it was proven that blue light from the sun need to be addressed as a serious health concern.

A scientific paper published by Professor March Birch-Machin from Newcastle University found that the skin cells reacted far over and beyond when exposed to UV and Blue Light together. We all know the effects of UV and UVA and we wear SPF to protect our skin but we knew little about the effects of blue light.These studies proved that Blue light penetrates more deeply into the skin and the combined effect of UV and Blue Light created extra damage to the lower levels, deeper into the dermis layers of the skin. The study was both eye opening and will change the way we look at sun care in the future.

Studies are currently being conducted in terms of skin damage created from excessive use of our digital devices and so far it is proven that although the dosage is much less, our skin is reacting in sensitivity and in generating pigmentation.

We use sun creams containing SPF to help protect against skin damage, but these do not protect against HEV blue light from the sun or our digital devices. Prolonged and excessive exposure to both UV and Blue Light radiations cause premature aging of the skin by inducing oxidative stress and toxic effects and increasing free radicals that cause cell damage. This cumulates in visible skin aging such as hyperpigmentation and dullness in skin tone, while the degradation of collagen can result in fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores.


What steps can we take to better protect our skin?

Antioxidants are the key to supporting and protecting our skin from the effects of blue light.

While the effects of blue light are enhanced by UV radiation, even smothering ourselves with SPF to weaken its effects on our dermis cannot guarantee that damage being reduced, so supporting the skin with a clinically proven product range, such as Digital Defence, is the key to protection.


What is your favourite Digital Defence product?

The range is divided into two areas. We have two preparation products, a cleanser and mask that help to prepare the skin for the for the use of the serum, eye cream and moisturiser. If your skin is not prepared properly, the product won’t work to their full potential. You do wash off both the cleanser and mask, so these products won’t protect your skin fully from blue light. But when layered together, the serum, eye cream and moisturiser create the best barrier for skin protection.

Personally, if I were to choose one product it would be the Digital Defence Day & Night Protection Serum, followed closely by the Day & Night Dual Action eye cream. The serum has a super light texture and really hydrates the skin and the eye area is one of the first to show signs of ageing and so concentrating here is quite key. But of course. All are designed for a reason and create a full regime.


Tell us about the process of creating the range.

The idea to create Digital Defence came from the realization that nowadays, many people spend a lot of time in front of a screen or are subjected to LED lights. It is now established that the LEDs give off a powerful blue light with high intensity (between 400 and 500 nm) and that the effect on the skin and on eyes has been noted from university research in various countries. As for the eyes, our body is able to shield the blue radiation thanks to a component that it absorbs during nourishment which is Lutein and concentrates it in the retina of the eyes. This does not happen on the skin which is therefore exposed to an increase in the appearance of spots and an increase in the attack of free radicals equal to 50% more.

During the research approach, we considered many factors and noticed that we had to act in synergy with several elements, because many antioxidants had a limited effect on the visible blue radiation. Hence the discovery that the carotene fraction of some plants (orange fraction) canceled the passage of blue rays to the skin.

Then we isolated various extracts and plants with a good content of carotenoids and tested, first individually, then in synergy with other plants with higher filtering power the blue radiation fraction.

We trialed and tested around sixty different antioxidants, and from these we have selected the four fundamentals that have a complementary effect with each other.

These key antioxidants in the Digitect™ Complex are:

Verbascum petals: they reflect and filter the light, decreasing the energy of the wavelength and therefore weakening the effect on the skin because it reduces its absorption up to the hypodermis, brightening the skin.

Lycopene: it absorbs blue radiation especially on the fraction between 400 and 500 nm (blue light penetrates deeply into the skin).

Xanthrophyll (and lutein): it absorbs the light radiation and cancels its effect on the skin already present in the eyes which helps to preserve the damage from light sources.

Knotgrass: it absorbs light radiation and infrared rays that is up to 780 nm and it protects the dermal fibers from depolymerization caused by light rays.

Gamma oryzanol from Rice Oil: it has a filtering effect on blue rays, also it helps the synergy and absorption of Lycopene and Xanthophyll

Melville Douglas