Why You Need IR Protection

About a month ago at the launch for Christie Brinkley’s new skincare line, I heard something I’ve never heard mentioned in the beauty industry before and knew it was important.  As a seasoned beauty writer, it’s fair to say that I’m a bit jaded when it comes to “breakthroughs,” so it takes something major to truly pique my interest. Whenever I hear of new skincare technology, I immediately turn to NYC Dermatologist, Dr. Neal Schultz, for the raw, unedited truth as he’s always up on the latest advances and may just be the smartest man I know.  This one in sunscreen is going to blow your mind. 

Photo by Andy Sotiriou/Photodisc / Getty Images

Photo by Andy Sotiriou/Photodisc / Getty Images

Infared rays can do much more damage to the skin than ultraviolet rays and this cannot be ignored.
— Dr. Schultz

By now we’re all conditioned to make sure we’re wearing at least a SPF of 15 and with UVA/UVB coverage.  What if I told you that’s only half the battle?  You can reapply all you want, but you’re still not as protected as you think you are.  A 2014 study proves that our skin is just as affected by another type of wavelength that’s been ignored – infrared rays (IR).  

The Problem

The sun produces many different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.  UVA and UVB rays are the shortest, making them most powerful and the reason skincare brands and the FDA requires protection agains them.  However, even though IR wavelengths are less powerful because they're longer wavelengths, there's much more of them and just like UV rays, IR rays can cause photo aging and skin cancer.  How has this been overlooked for so long?

The Recognition

In partnership with NYC Dermatologist, Dr. Doris Day, Christie Brinkley's new skincare line, Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare, is much more innovative than anything I've seen in a while.  They actually have a real beauty breakthrough.  Their NewRecapture Day + IR Defense Anti-Aging Treatment contains SPF 30 and offers UVA and UVB protection, plus the ingredient Elix IR, which is a knotgrass extract enriched with flavonoids that's formulated to help defend against IR rays and helps protect the skin from sun damage. This is the way of the future.

I know of another skincare company launching an SPF with IR protection in July, but the product is under embargo right now, so I'll fill you in once it launches.  I'm curious to see the ingredient combination they use to protect against IR and excited to see that the beauty industry is catching on.

The Solution

According to Dr. Schultz, it may be a good three to five years before IR protection becomes mainstream and is a requirement for sun protection.  Who's to blame for the wait?  The FDA.  In the meantime, start using SPF's that also have iron oxide in them as they're great physical blockers from the sun.