When choosing suncare products, the majority of people go for sunblock creams and lotions that protect against the UV light from the sun.

However, the truth is that blue light or high energy visible light (HEV light) can also negatively affect the skin, meaning that you’ll need sunscreen protection to specifically combat risks associated with this type of light.

Now, I know this could be quite confusing for some, especially if you’re not that experienced and familiar with different types of light and how they can impact your skin.

But don’t you worry. As usual, I will be shedding light on this topic (pun intended).

What does blue light do to the skin?

Blue light is characterized by short wavelengths and a lot of energy.

It’s mostly produced by the sun, but it can also be emitted by certain types of light bulbs and electronic devices (however, not in any significant amounts).

It can impact the skin by causing pigmentation and can deepen existing pigmentation conditions like melasma or post-inflammatory pigmentation.

You may be wondering why.

In short, the effects of blue light on the skin are related to the opsin-3 protein in your skin, which is simply a photoreceptor. When triggered by a substantial amount of blue light, opsin-3 sends a message to the melanocytes in your skin, which are responsible for producing extra amounts of pigment, ultimately causing pigmentation.

What about blue light from screens?

I mentioned that blue light is also emitted by electrical devices like laptops and phone screens.

Does this mean that you can suffer from pigmentation when using them?

Although there are such myths, the reality is that devices produce far too little blue light to have a significant effect on the skin.

While the majority of people don’t have to worry about this, darker skin people, who are prone to pigmentation, can notice the difference after regular exposure to blue light from electrical devices such as LED masks, for example.

However, there are no detailed studies supporting this statement, so I’d generally say that the damage won’t come from your devices.

What is blue light sunscreen?

So, does sunscreen block blue light no matter what type of sun care product we’re talking about?

Well, not really.

You might wrongfully assume that if you’re using a standard sunscreen it should protect your skin against all types of light.

Sadly, that’s not the case.

Even if you use a standard sunscreen with extra zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and you layer it thickly, the protection is still not enough to protect your skin from the effects of blue light.

To achieve the desired level of protection, you need physical sunscreen with pigment in it.

Tinted physical sunscreens, or tinted mineral sunscreens, are created using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, with a tint made from iron oxides.

Unlike other sunscreens, tinted physical sunscreens provide more robust protection against blue light as they’re designed to reflect UV and blue light from the skin.

But what in their ingredient list makes them so effective?

Which sunscreen ingredients protect against blue light?

If you’re wondering what sunscreen protects from blue light, it’s always best to start by understanding the ingredients that block blue light.

In the case of tinted physical sunscreens, everything is centered around the fact that they’re created using titanium dioxide as a dominant active ingredient. At the same time, the tint comes from three different types of iron oxides, including:

  • Yellow iron oxide,
  • Red iron oxide,
  • Black iron oxide.

The iron oxide not only provides the specific skin shade of the product or its tint, but it also absorbs part of the blue light, providing protection. This is why most experts recommend using tinted physical sunscreens for maximum protection against blue light.

But why is tinted physical sunscreen recommended for blue light protection as opposed to tinted chemical sunscreen?

Both options soak up UV light and transform it into heat. However, the key difference is the use of titanium dioxide as I explained in the previous paragraphs.

Titanium dioxide is associated with the undesired white cast that you get from some sunscreens. One way to prevent this problem is to separate it into tiny, nano-sized particles. Chopping up the titanium dioxide ensures that it reflects less visible light and reduces the white look that you typically get by using the product. At the same time, the UV absorption increases, making it more effective as a sunscreen filter.

Larger titanium dioxide particles, also called pigmentary titanium dioxide, usually mean a worse white cast but a higher reflection of white light.

They’re not as effective at protecting against UV and are rarely used in sunscreen. However, visible light scattering is very useful for visible light protection as it’s related to changing the light’s path, where rather than going through the sunscreen film in a straight line it bounces, creating a longer path. This increases the chance of the light being absorbed by iron oxide before penetrating the skin.

In a nutshell, when it comes to sunscreens protecting against blue light, it’s not only about their sun protection factor but also about the pigment cover they give.

A higher SPF isn’t related to better blue light protection but the tint is. If you want to enjoy maximum protection, it’s best to opt for high UVA protection and a tinted product with heavy coverage.

5 of the best blue light sunscreens

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, it’s time for my favorite part – my list of best sunscreens with blue light protection.

I’ve done a fair share of digging into the topic to uncover a range of products, both high-end and affordable blue light sunscreens that I’m excited to introduce to you!

ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF50+

ISDIN - best blue light sunscreen

The first suggestion from my list is a rather pricey one.

This ISDIN tinted mineral sunscreen comes in a bottle of 100ml and costs around $70. It’s an ultra-light, tinted sunscreen designed to protect, repair, and correct signs of photoaging and pigmentation while stimulating collagen production at the same time.

With an SPF of 50 and some of the blue light sunscreen ingredients packed in it, it captures harmful light.

It’s also infused with antioxidants, peptides, vitamin E, and DNA Repairsomes – all skin-loving ingredients for an extra boost to your skincare routine. This sunscreen claims to help reduce fine lines with consistent use, and I can see that with the ingredients included in it.

And the best part is that it’s suitable for all skin types thanks to its versatile tint – it gives light coverage and can be used even by Fitzpatrick 5 types, or people with dark brown skin.

This sunscreen is water-resistant and non-comedogenic, meaning that it won’t block your pores and cause irritation, and will stay put for longer periods, ensuring that your skin is protected.

It’s hands down one of the best blue light sunscreens that I’ve personally used.

Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield Glow SPF 50

Colorescience - affordable sunscreen for blue light

A much more affordable blue light sunscreen, the Colorescience Sunforgettable face shield also boasts an SPF of 50. Currently, you can choose from three different shades – the original being the lightest, the glow – a nice peachy one, and bronze – for deeper skin tones.

This mineral sunscreen is waterproof and sweat-resistant and gives a nice natural luminosity to the skin, with a gentle golden peach tone (I use the Glow variant).

It’s extremely hydrating with glycerin, it’s rich in antioxidants, and has an elegant and non-greasy formula.

The product is created with 12% zinc oxide and also contains niacinamide which helps with skin-brightening; tocopherol and tremella fuciformis sporocarp extract protect against oxidative damage. It also has different soothing agents, like allantoin, bisabolol, and others.

It’s very easy to use and doesn’t leave behind a white cast and offers all the sun protection you could need.

I like to pair this one with their brush sunscreen for reapplication throughout the day.

Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield Glow SPF 50 is Available at Amazon and YesStyle.

EltaMD UV Elements Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 44

EltaMD - blue light sunscreen

The EltaMD tinted sunscreen is a slightly different recommendation than the rest on my list. It can effectively replace your moisturizer if you’re oily-prone, because of how hydrating this product is. Moreover, it’s oil-free, meaning that it won’t clog your pores.

It has an SPF of 44 and is specifically designed for dry, combination, and sensitive skin types – it’s fragrance-free.

The moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated all day long thanks to its ingredient list, which includes hyaluronic acid for moisture retention.

The water-resistance properties also mean that you don’t need to worry if the hot days get a bit sweaty or if you want to take a casual swim in the pool.

The transparent zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in this physical sunscreen offer outstanding mineral-based sun protection.

The tint in this is not as universal. Very pale people definitely won’t like this sunscreen because it will give them an orangey look. However, people with dark skin tones will have no problem with it.

Unsun Cosmetics Mineral Tinted Broad Spectrum Face Sunscreen SPF 30

Unsun - blue light sunscreen protection

Next up, I have another tinted mineral sunscreen that is unscented, highly moisturizing, and affordable.

This Unsun product comes with an SPF 30 and can simply be described as a water-resistant lotion, primer, and color corrector all in one. In a nutshell, if you’re looking for sunscreen and makeup in a single product – this is a great choice.

There are two shades to choose from – one for fair skin and one for medium to dark skin types. The consistency of the formula can be used by all skin types, though dry and normal skins will appreciate it the most.

Apart from protecting the skin against blue light, it will also minimize pore size, provide a nice glow to the skin, and will perfectly blend with your skin tone. There’s no white cast, yet maximum UV, UVA, and UVB ray protection. Created with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, it’s another reliable product that I’d highly recommend.

The product’s ingredient list also contains arctic acid (exfoliates the skin), beetroot extract, tocopherol, safflower seed oil, and olive fruit oil, which are all antioxidants, and has some soothing agents like aloe juice and cucumber fruit extract.

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

Skinceuticals - affordable blue light sunscreen

The last tinted sunscreen that works great for protecting against blue light is the SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen.

With SPF 50 and 100% mineral filters, the product offers a broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection yet provides natural radiance and evens out the skin tone with a light coverage similar to a BB cream.

It has a water-resistant formula that can be used by most skin types. I would say that this was great during summertime when my skin was more oily-prone. However, in the colder months, it tends to feel a bit drying on me, so I use a more potent moisturizer underneath.

This is another product based on zinc oxide but it also contains artemia salina, which is a plankton extract that boosts the skin’s resistance to UV and heat-induced stress. Overall, it has some antioxidant properties for your skin.

This sun-protective fluid easily adapts to every skin tone, supports the skin’s natural defense, and is created without fragrances. Plus, it’s also non-comedogenic.

I would say that it’s best for medium to dark skin tones.

Common questions on blue light sunscreens

When dissecting the topic of sunscreens for blue light, there are a few popular questions that people often have. Here are some of the key ones.

Can sunscreen protect against blue light?

Yes, sunscreen can protect against blue light to some extent. However, not all sunscreen will. If you’re looking for a product that will shield your skin against blue light, make sure to choose a tinted physical sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Does zinc sunscreen protect against blue light?

Yes, in a way zinc protects against blue light. Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound created from zinc, which is precisely what delivers an extra layer of protection against blue light or HEV.

Wrap up

I hope you’ll find my discoveries and recommendations interesting and useful.

If you’ve had any experience with sunscreen for blue light protection, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Perhaps you’ve tried the recommended products from my list or there’s something else you’d like to share?

Put your comments in the comments section below and let me know what your feedback is and share your stories.

Tags: sunscreen
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