Reality Check #3: We Now Have to Worry About Infrared Light
This light reaches deeper into the layers of our skin than both UVA and UVB rays. Over time it can lead to free radical damage, which has been shown to have a devastating effect on skin-firming collagen. Unlike with UVA and UVB rays, our melanin offers no protection against this type of radiation, nor do traditional sunscreens. Those with acne scars or melasma may notice that the patches seem to get darker even if you go outdoors coated in top-notch SPF. “New research indicates that infrared light which, simply put, is the heat emitted from the sun, plays a major role in the worsening of these skin conditions,” says Lisa R. Ginn, M.D., a dermatologist in Chevy Chase, Maryland. But there is some good news: We may be able to counteract the harmful effects of infrared light by applying an antioxidant serum or a sunscreen infused with a healthy dose of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, advises Ginn.