In pursuing healthy and resilient skin, we often prioritise broad-spectrum sunscreens to shield ourselves from the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
However, if you’ve ever wondered why hyperpigmentation and other sun-induced damage seem resistant to sun protection alone, there is another silent assailant: far-infrared (IR) heat.
While our sunscreen is a trusty ally, it’s essential to recognise that going beyond sunscreen with a range of topical skincare ingredients offers additional protection against the often-overlooked effects of far-infrared radiant heat.
Understanding Far-Infrared Radiant Heat
Far-infrared radiation, a component of sunlight, penetrates more deeply into the skin than UV rays. While our sunscreen does an excellent job blocking UV radiation, we need additional measures to address the impact of IR heat.
Sunlight spans various wavelengths:
- UVA (320-400 nm): Penetrates deeper into the dermis, contributing to accelerated ageing without causing sunburn.
- UVB (290-320 nm): Mainly affects the epidermis, causing sunburn and elevating the risk of skin cancer.
- UVC (100-290 nm): Mostly absorbed by the ozone layer, it doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface.
- Visible Light (400-700 nm): Reaches the dermis and can contribute to pigmentation issues.
- Far-Infrared (IR) (700 nm – 1 mm): Penetrates even deeper, reaching the subcutaneous tissue, contributing to a heat response in the skin and, potentially breaking down collagen and triggering hyperpigmentation.
While broad-spectrum sunscreen shields up to 400 nanometers, effectively protecting from harmful UVA and UVB rays, recognising the need for additional protection is crucial.
Incorporating ingredients with documented benefits, such as antioxidants, can prevent the formation of free radicals, dehydration, and oxidative stress.
Far-Infrared Radiant Heat and Pigmentation
Far-infrared radiant heat penetrates the skin, stimulating melanocytes and increasing melanin production. This process can worsen pigmentation issues, including conditions like melasma.
It’s important to protect yourself from the sun and its harmful UV radiation, as well as the heat that comes from far-infrared radiation.
This protection involves broad-spectrum sunscreens, topical antioxidants, and other skincare measures to minimise the impact of radiant heat on skin health.
Fortifying Your Skin with Essential Nutrients
Beyond relying solely on sunscreen, the need for comprehensive protection has long held the recognition of skin care professionals, myself included.
Ingredients like antioxidants play a crucial role in defending the skin against the full spectrum of solar radiation, including IR.
These ingredients contribute to a resilient skin barrier, neutralising free radicals and alleviating the impact of heat, providing a more comprehensive defence against potential long-term damage.
An All-Star Lineup for Super Sun Protection
Embracing a skincare routine enriched with these protective elements becomes an essential proactive measure, ensuring your skin thrives under the sun’s radiant embrace.
Antioxidants: Guarding Against Free Radicals
Antioxidants are the unsung heroes neutralising the free radicals triggered by IR radiation, fighting off oxidative stress. Picture them as your skin’s superheroes, swooping in to save the day. Here’s a closer look at these defenders:
- Vitamin C: A potent antioxidant that brightens the skin, evens out tone, and helps protect against environmental damage.
- Vitamin E: Works synergistically with vitamin C to enhance antioxidant protection and nourishment.
- Copper Tripeptide: Known for its skin-regenerating properties, it promotes collagen production and supports skin healing.
- Resveratrol: Found in red grapes and certain plants, it offers antioxidant benefits and helps combat the visible signs of ageing.
- Green Tea Extract: Packed with polyphenols, it helps soothe the skin and provides antioxidant protection.
Ceramides: Supporting the Skin Barrier
Ceramides help build the skin’s fortress, guarding against moisture loss and dehydration caused by radiant heat. These lipid molecules in moisturisers and barrier repair creams reinforce your skin barrier, maintaining hydration and resilience.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): Multifaceted Defence
Niacinamide is a versatile defender with antioxidant capabilities and barrier-strengthening abilities. It combats oxidative stress and fortifies your skin’s natural defences. Look for it in your skincare arsenal to address the effects of radiant heat caused by far-infrared radiation.
It’s a Holistic Approach to Sun Protection
As we uncover the diverse impact of solar radiation, a comprehensive approach to skincare becomes imperative. Incorporating these skincare ingredients can offer a diverse set of defenders, each playing a pivotal role in safeguarding our skin from the continuous challenges posed by the sun.
Elevating our sun protection involves shielding against UV rays and including skincare products containing ingredients that explicitly combat far-infrared heat. These comprehensive strategies contribute to a holistic approach to skincare, ensuring that our skin thrives under the sun’s radiance.
By embracing this comprehensive skincare ritual, seeking shade and wearing protective clothing in the heat of the day, we empower ourselves to face the sun confidently and bask in its luminous glow, knowing that our skin is well protected against the broad spectrum of solar radiation.
See you next time,
This article was produced in partnership with The Global Beauty Group. To learn more about any of the treatments or skincare mentioned in this article, contact beauty suppliers, The Global Beauty Group, on 1300 006 607 to find a treatment specialist in your area.