While the cosmetics industry recently focused on fighting the stress induced by the light emitted by the screens of our computers or smartphones, which has been identified as a circadian cycles disruptor and a factor of skin ageing, the scientific evidences substantiating the some claims were hardly abundant. However, a series of recent publications are progressively shedding the light on involved mechanisms and the best strategies to protect the skin from these insidious damages.

In a research paper recently published in The Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology [1], a team of scientists at the Amorepacific R&D Center has presented a clinical evaluation method for blue light skin protection, a world first according to the Korean group.

Blue light is a blue wavelength portion of the visible light spectrum ranging from 380-500 nanometres (nm). “Blue light has the shortest wavelength and the strongest energy among all types of visible light, and prolonged exposure to this type of light is known to have harmful effects, such as sleep disturbance and damage to vision. Blue light can have detrimental effects on the skin as well, including skin pigmentation and reductions in skin elasticity and moisture,” explains Amorepacific.

However, while the potential impact of blue light and its mechanisms were well known, prior to Amorepacific’s research there had not been any clinical research that had concretely measured the impact of everyday blue light exposure to the skin.

“Protection grade” measurement

Cho Hong-ri, a senior researcher of the Anti-Pollution Research Center in Amorepacific R&D Center, developed a blue light emitting clinical device that allowed the company to measure the effect of these waves on skin pigmentation and to assess the ability of various materials to protect the skin. Based on the minimal persistent pigment darkening dose (MPPD) determined from visual evaluation and melanin index measurements, Amorepacific developed a “protection grade of blue light (PB)” guideline.

The Amorepacific’s device produces blue light wavelengths similar to those modern people are often exposed to. By finely adjusting the intensity and time of light, the device makes it easier to conduct clinical evaluations mimicking the average exposure in daily lives.

TiO2-based inorganic filter

Using the clinical device, Amorepacific R&D Center showed that exposure to blue light with a wavelength of 456 nm causes skin pigmentation. Based on the finding, Amorepacific tested whether a blue light blocker developed and released by the company can actually prevent skin pigmentation. The assessment was based on the measurement of changes in melanin index values, and other data. The company was therefore able to demonstrate that an inorganic filter with titanium dioxide (TiO2) was efficient to prevent blue-light induced stress on the skin.

Moving forward, Amorepacific plans to conduct further research on environmental effects and the resulting changes in skin.