Nature & Environment

Can We Protect Ourselves From Infrared Light?

Can We Protect Ourselves From Infrared Light?

The negative effects of exposure to the sun rays are well known, and the primary goal of sunscreens is to protect against ultraviolet radiation (UV): the most dangerous part! However, it is not the only type that can penetrate deeply into the skin, infrared (IR) can as well. Even if they are less dangerous, skin care research is beginning to get a closer look at the effects of this type of radiation.

What makes up sunlight?

The electromagnetic radiation from the sun that reaches the Earth’s surface can be classed into three broad types:

  • UV: the most dangerous, responsible for sun burns and potentially carcinogenic. About 5 to 10% of the irradiation is of this type.
  • Visible light: the part that our eyes can see. 40% of the energy arrives in this form.
  • IR: felt as heat. It makes up the most part of solar radiation, just about 50%.

The energy transferred by photons is inversely correlated to their wavelength. This means that much more energy is transported at UV wavelength than by IR. However, as we have just seen, we are exposed to much more IR that UV radiation. If you do not spend much time in the sun, there is no need to worry, but at high doses several recent studies showed that IR can also lead to the generation of free radicals. We know that free radicals are dangerous for skin cells, with build-up leading to accelerated skin aging: the appearance of fine wrinkles and loss of elasticity among others. Similarly, IR can potentiate the effect of UV on your skin cells.

Do solutions exist to protect against IR?

As opposed to UV, to this day there are no anti-IR filters to block or reflect this type of radiation. What we can do however is to act against their effects. The strategy of Laboratoires de Biarritz to do, and by far the most widely recommended, is to include antioxidants in our sunscreen products.

In our ALGA MARIS ® range, we use most notably our exclusive ingredient Alga-Gorria®. It has an antioxidant capacity that was measured to be 5 times that of the reference vitamin C (as evaluated by ORAC). We strive to stay at the forefront of skincare through our research, in able to offer the very best for your skin.

As always do not forget to wear a hat and sunglasses, it is the the best way to stay protected!