UVC and Infrared Waves

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 not just from UVA and UVB (ultraviolet), but also from 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 are looking at UVC and Infrared waves and how they can affect our skin.


UVC is 280nm and shorter, these rays are highly dangerous to the skin, and yet not many people are aware of them, this is due to the fact that 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.

Infrared Rays

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, this type of solar is expected to have significant effects on 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 really underestimated, clinical evidence has found, 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 which can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer.

The naked truth

Here at the Naked Chemist, our approach is always holistic.

To help protect from infrared rays as well as environmental stressors like pollution we have created Fortify barrier repair cream, which stops oxidative damage and stimulates collagen synthesis while boosting the skin’s defense 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.



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