How To Protect Your Skin Using Antioxidants

Common SPFs only protect your skin from UVA and UVB (7%) of the sun’s radiation. What about the other 93%?

This is where antioxidants play important role protecting skin from the other 93%.

Here is the science part…

IR and specifically IRA (near infrared) which is characterised by longer wavelengths goes deeper into skins dermis layer causing damage and producing free radicals which are not protected by most SPFs.

Up until recently, UV was considered to be the most damaging radiation of the solar spectrum for our skin while infrared (IR) was thought to be benign due to its relatively low energy.
However, recent studies have shown that IR, especially near IR, induces a significant production of free radicals in the dermis and diminishes the skin’s antioxidant

Besides, sunscreens used in sun products neither filter nor reflect IR radiation and do not prevent the formation of IR-induced free radicals.

This is especially an issue when – despite using sun protection products – we expose our skin for several hours to intense sunlight (i.e. when at the beach). Indeed this type of protection blocks the appearance of the sunburn, which is a signal that the skin has started to experience damage. Sun protection products with a high SPF allow us to prolong our sun exposure by preventing a part of the damage induced by UVB and UVA, however, they also permit the accumulation of damage induced by other radiations such as IR.

Near Infrared (IRA) Penetrates Deep into the Skin The sun radiation that reaches the skin is constituted by only 7 % of UV, 39 % of visible light and 54 % of IR.

IR is invisible to the human eye but we can feel it as heat. Compared to UV, IR is characterized by long wavelengths of low energy. IR is divided into the following three categories: IRA (from 760 nm to 1400 nm), also called near infrared, represents the fraction that is the closest to the red visible light, IRB and IRC (from 1440 nm to 1 mm). Unlike IRB and IRC, IRA penetrates deep into the skin (two-thirds reach the dermis) and does not significantly increase the skin temperature.

So How Do Antioxidants Help?

Antioxidants are able to block IR, they protect mitochondra DNA and inhibit light induced skin ageing.

IRA (Near Infrared) Disturbs the Entire Cell by Impacting Mitochondria. The disturbance of the ETC by the ROS in the mitochondria also affects the performance of this organelle. As a result, this “powerhouse” produces less ATP (energy) and this has an impact on the function of cells and tissues. Therefore, whilst mitochondria are the main target of IRA, the damages it induces (destruction of collagen and reduced energy production) affect the entire cell and tissue.

Blue light / high energy visible (HEV) light 

Harmful radiation from computer screens Strong Blue Light Exposure From Modern Technology Blue light, which is also called high-energy visible light. (HEV), refers to light wavelengths between 390 and500 nm. Therefore, blue light penetrates deeper into the skin than UVA and UVB light, and also has a higher level of energy than IR light which means there is a greater potential for skin damage to occur.

The need for protection from blue light has arisen in recent years given that the source of blue light is not only the sun:
Digital screens from smartphones, computers and televisions, as well as LED lamps, emit a high amount of blue light wavelengths. This is especially an issue as blue light is most efficient at inhibiting melatonin, a hormone that regulates the circadian rhythm, which is the body’s natural clock. Therefore, excessive use of screen devices, especially before bedtime, can lead to changes in sleep patterns and result in less quality sleep.

Damaging Effect of Blue Light on the Skin

In addition to disrupting the sleep cycle, blue light irradiation also negatively affects the skin:

• by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the skin which cause oxidative damage and contribute to photo-aging of the skin

• by delaying skin barrier recovery 

Therefore, it is very important to protect skin from the harmful effects of blue light.

Protect Your Skin Using Antioxidants

There are a large number of antioxidant products available to protect your skin against damage. Browse a selection below or get in touch for advice on which one is right for you.