Although Infrared rays are at the opposite end of the rainbow
UV shielding is not enough
Photo-aging and skin damage caused by solar radiation is well-known,
Lately, scientists have learned that this damage comes from UVA and UVB (ultraviolet) and longer wavelengths such as infrared radiation.
Studies show that more than 50% of all light that hits the earth is infrared rays.
In this series, we look at UVC and Infrared waves and how they can affect our skin.
UVC is 280nm and shorter, these rays are hazardous to the skin, and yet not many people are aware of them, this is because when it comes to the sun, most of these are filtered out by the biosphere.
However, we are subjected to them from most office lighting!
- UVA Rays, these are the longest rays which you can read about here.
- UVB Rays you can read all about here.
Before you read this, it is recommended to read the article on electromagnetic waves.
Infrared waves emit wavelengths that are shorter than microwaves, and longer than visible wavelengths.
Infrared waves are referred to as infrared radiation (IR), they consist of wavelengths ranging from 760 nm to 1 mm,
They can be subdivided into 3 types of increasing wavelengths:
- IR-A (760–1400 nm)
- IR-B (1400–3000 nm)
- IR-C (3000 nm–1 mm)
Interestingly half of the solar energy that reaches the earth’s surface is in the infrared radiation range; these solar rays significantly affect our skin.
IR radiation transmits heat in the form of energy, which leads to raised temperature in the skin; under direct radiation, the skin can heat up to more than 40°C, erythema of the skin or redness is often caused by chronic exposure to heat.
Whilst they have failed to reveal themselves for decades, recent studies have shown that infrared can have the following devastating effects on the skin.
Infrared light is dangerous.
These poisonous rays are underestimated; clinical evidence has found that skin exposed to chronic heat can break down in the dermis.
It is now thought that they have similar sun poisoning effects as ultraviolet light rays – they can destroy collagen, creating solar elastosis deep in the dermis, which is similar to photo-ageing.
Infrared rays can create a clinical condition known as reticular pigmentation, which is an unusual pattern of pigmentation on the skin.
They can also cause oxidation, creating free radicals and causes the release of heat shock proteins, these break down the connective tissue, leading to an increased risk of skin cancer.
Here at the Naked Chemist, our approach is always holistic.
To help protect from infrared rays and environmental stressors like pollution, we have created Fortify barrier repair cream, which stops oxidative damage and stimulates collagen synthesis while boosting the skin’s defence system.
Antioxidant-rich botanicals found in Bio lipid complex help to quench free radicals and tackle the premature signs of ageing, which can manifest in our complexion as hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and sagging from overexposure.
This article is an interesting read, on the affects of infrared and premature ageing.