We are constantly reminded about protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Day after day, as a part of our morning skin care regime, we put on a moisturizer or make up with SPF protection in hopes of keeping our skin flawless. But, what we may not have realized is that our SPF is doing exactly what it is supposed to do- blocking UV rays and only blocking UV rays.
You’re thinking, “What do you mean? Isn’t that a good thing?”
New research suggests that blocking only UV rays is not enough. We need a sunscreen that blocks Infrared Radiation or IR for short. UV rays make up only 6.8% of solar light, whereas IR makes up 54.3% of solar light. Think IR isn’t harmful? Think again. Infrared Radiation can actually increase free radical production in your skin and accelerate aging. Thus, IR is an evil beast when it comes to looking as young as you feel!
Here are some things you need to know about the sun’s harmful rays:
1. UV VERSUS IR? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Solar light comes to us in three forms: Ultraviolet Radiation, Infrared Radiation, and Visible Light. UV rays are the cause of sunburn, skin cancer and photo-ageing or brown spots and wrinkles. Infrared Radiation is what we experience when we actually feel the heat of the sun. UV radiation only reaches the top layers of the skin which causes the sunburn, brown spots, etc. Infrared Radiation A (IRA), however, penetrates much deeper, reaching past the epidermis and the dermis, penetrating the subcutaneous layer.
2. BIG DEAL! IF INFRARED RADIATION CAN’T BURN ME OR CAUSE SKIN CANCER THEN WHY SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?!
When IR penetrates the subcutaneous layer, it is reaching all the way down to where the cells are formed. It can then generate the production of free radicals and alter the collagen, elastin and protein structures in the skin. And “ta-da”, like magic, fine lines, age spots and dryness began to appear! And when over half of the solar energy that reaches the skin is Infrared there is something to be concerned about!
3. WHAT IS MY BEST DEFENSE?
All sunscreens are not created equal! Finding a sunscreen that specifically protects against IRA and that is packed full of antioxidants to combat the release of free radicals in the skin is going to be your best defense!
4. WHAT PRODUCT DOES SPA MEDICAL RECOMMEND?
Revision Intellishade. This is, by far, one of our favorite products at Spa Medical. It offers multiple types of Infrared protection so you can be confident you are getting the coverage you need. Intellishade contains Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide and Iron Oxides which help protect the skin against IR energy. In addition, it contains Boron Nitride which actually absorbs IR energy. On top of those protectants it is packed full of antioxidants like THD Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Standardized Green Tea Extract and CoEnzyme Q10 to fight free radicals.
Don’t just wear sunscreen. Wear it intelligently.