You have probably heard about the dangers of blue light (the light emanating from your smart phone or tablet). Some say it causes an increase in cancer rates, some say it causes insomnia, and now, who knew, the blue light from LED lights as well as from technology can damage your skin.

Never fear, the global cosmetics industry is coming to the rescue! The May 14, 2018 issue of C & EN (Chemical & Engineering News) has a very interesting article, “Fighting Modern Stresses: Personal Care Formulators look for ways to safeguard skin from blue light and other perceived environmental assaults,” by Marc S. Reich. In the article, Karl Lintner, former CEO of Sederma, who now leads consulting firm KAL’ideés in Paris, was quoted as saying, “yes, we want to protect skin, but to single out one wavelength of light or another seems arbitrary and too simple.” The demand for protection from blue spectrum light may be fueled by fears and innuendos, but research has not actually proven the fears justified. Mr. Lintner continued, “we create a story and then sell it. That’s cosmetics. It’s all about business, and it’s all fun. As long as you don’t cheat and don’t lead consumers into danger by saying things that are absurd [wrong!], you are all right.”

The cosmetics industry may seem like a superficial endeavor to begin with, but if an industry leader admits that it’s all for fun, while selling their overpriced products as if they are a result of scientific breakthroughs, they are producing skepticism more than fun. Mr. Lintner also said, “we do need science to tell a story, but cosmetics are all about the guilty pleasure of splurging on something that smells and feels good.” They know that the industry success is based on what smells and feels good to gullible humans, it is not really based on science.

There is some scientific evidence that blue light does have an effect on our circadian rhythm. If you are interested in avoiding the sleep deprivation that may be caused by blue light, you may want to check out Rhode Island based Lighting Science, whose scientists come mostly from NASA. These scientists worked on helping astronauts sleep on the space shuttle, despite the short time span sunrise/sunset cycles. They recommend utilizing a warm color light for 2 hours before your bedtime to get your body ready for sleep, and they sell a bedside lamp that can do just that.

In our industry of architecture and design, we often talk about “smoke and mirrors.” We refer to making a space look great on a small budget – we are not referring to deception, but rather to our creativity. Like the cosmetics industry, we are providing spaces that “feel good,” but it is so much more. We believe that pre-project planning defines the right project for the client – the right scope of work, the right budget, the right schedule, the right quality level, and the right impact on the community and the planet. Our designs are not based on whims, trends or on pie-in-the-sky wishes. If our client and site research are done well and our group consensus building/visioning session are successful, our projects will be successful. And that feels good.

If you want help with you next architecture or interior design project, please call us. We’ll have fun together – even without cosmetics!​

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