What is HEV? Is it harmful to your skin?

HEV Blue light spectrum art

HEV stands for High Energy Visible light and it is all around us. Only recently the visible effects of HEV light on the skin have been discovered.

Let’s dissect the Sunlight Spectrum:

  • The sunlight spectrum consists of Ultra-Violet (UV), visible and infrared light. In the sunlight spectrum, 50% of the light is visible and detected by the human eye.
  • UV and Infrared lights are invisible. We are familiar with UV and Infrared Rays (IR) as we know those cause cancer and skin aging.
  • The visible light is seen as colors: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. High Energy Visible Light HEV is a very penetrative light that is all around us day and night, we are subjected to it when we use our computers, smartphones, tablets, lighting and other digital electronics.

HEV sunlight spectrum

What is the difference between UV and HEV in relation to the skin?

  • UVB penetrate the epidermis. UVA and HEV penetrate into the dermis. Some studies concluded that HEV may penetrate even further into the hypodermis.
  • UVB rays cause sunburn. HEV does not cause sunburn.
  • UV can cause DNA damage which can cause skin cancer. There is no association yet between HEV and skin cancers.
  • UV and HEV generate free radicals and free radicals damage.
  • UV and HEV can induce uneven skin and hyperpigmentation (dark spots and Melasma).
  • HEV can cause inflammation, impaired healing, and impacted melanogenesis which causes dark spots.
  • Both UVA and HEV can cause photodamage and cause the skin to age prematurely.
  • HEV Blue light is everywhere. It is emitted in the sun’s ray as well as many digital items and lamps.
  • The buzz is that HEV high energy visible light is causing “screen face” and contributing to “tech-neck” as it accelerates skin aging.

Known Sources of HEV Blue Light:

  • The sun
  • Fluorescent, incandescent, halogen and LED light
  • Computer monitors and laptops
  • Smartphones, tablets, and e-readers
  • TVs

Some of the harmful effects of HEV blue light are:

  • Can disrupt the circadian rhythm and may interfere with your night’s sleep.
  • Premature aging. Fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
  • Increased risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
  • Higher risk of depression.
  • Eye damage such as macular degeneration.
  • Computer Vision Syndrome (or Digital Eyestrain Syndrome) – blurry vision, dry and irritated eyes, difficulty focusing, headaches, neck and back pain.

Is blue light just bad for us?

No. Routine exposure to visible daylight helps regulate our body’s sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm), elevates our mood, keeps us alert and can even help memory and cognitive function.

How can you protect your skin?

  • Apply a daily sunscreen to shield the skin from cell-damaging UVA, UVB, and high energy visible (HEV) light.
  • Also apply antioxidant-rich products to help combat free radicals damage caused by pollution and environmental aggressors.
  • Also apply products with active ingredients to help detoxify, energize and improve the health of your skin.
  • Eat a diet rich in antioxidants to combat oxidation.

What products do we recommend to shield your skin from HEV damage?

  • SkinMedica Lumivive System – This unique system, rich in antioxidants and active ingredients, helps detoxify the skin, recharges the skin’s ability to repair itself, defends your skin against blue light, pollution and environmental aggressors and helps restore a glowing and youthful appearance to your skin.
  • Revision Skincare Intellishade Original, Matte and Intellishade TruPhysical – Tinted moisturizer packed with antioxidants, peptides, broad-spectrum protection against UVA rays, UVB rays, Infrared rays and blue light (HEV light).
  • ZO Skin Health Oclipse Smart Tone Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 – Water resistant, non-greasy, quick-drying sunscreen with a sheer matte finish with broad-spectrum protection against UVA, UVB rays and high-energy visible (HEV) light.

What skin treatments do we recommend for HEV damage?

We suggest Chemical Peels, FotoFacials IPLs, Rejuvapen Microneedling and PRP Facial with SkinBooster. Chemical Peels can exfoliate dead cells, improve fine lines and wrinkles, and improve texture and pigmentation. FotoFacial IPL can reduce red and brown spots, minimize pore size, and stimulate collagen production. Rejuvapen Microneedling helps tighten the skin, minimize pore size, improve the appearance of the skin and boost collagen production. PRP Facial can boost collagen production, tighten, improve pigmentation, texture, and tone.