When it comes to sun damage, UVA and UVB rays used to get all of the attention.
But it’s a fact that UV light only represents 7% of the damaging energy that reaches the skin. In recent years, research has been focusing more on the effects that other wavelengths of light can have on the skin, and there is solid evidence that infrared radiation (IRA) and visible or blue light (such as the rays emitted by computer, smartphone, and tablet screens) can have an impact on the health and appearance of the skin both short and long term.
IRA causes the skin to feel the sensation of heat and causes free radicals formation. The accumulation of these free radicals decreases antioxidants, cause cellular damage, and has been linked to premature aging. The good news is, the mineral-based UV filters in your sunscreen shield the skin from the damaging effects of IRA and using an antioxidant-enhanced SPF offers extra protection.
Visible light (and blue light) have been linked to wrinkle formation and premature aging, and research has shown that these specific wavelengths worsen hyperpigmentation (especially in People of Color). High-energy visible light in particular has been linked to worsening melasma (a condition where individuals are prone to dark patches on your cheeks, forehead, or upper lip), so it’s important to protect your skin to maintain even skin tone. Unfortunately, standard UV filters do not block visible light, but a sunscreen with iron oxide (such as our Golden Rays Active Suncreen) can. This is big news for anyone who struggles with melasma, as it can be one of the most stubborn skin conditions to treat, particularly for those with melanin-rich skin.