Different Types of Harmful Lights and How to Protect Yourself Against Them

The electromagnetic spectrum contains a wide range of different types of electromagnetic energy. Radiation is the energy that travels and spreads out as it goes. At our office, we use light therapy devices and lasers to treat the skin for a wide variety of medical to cosmetic procedures. Our staff specializes in understanding the physics of a safely controlled laser to fit your specific needs and care for your best outcome. 'Protect your investment' regarding your skin health outside your in-office treatments. Your skin will thank you in the future. What happens when you leave the office? Chances are you are still exposed to some uncontrolled radiation every day.

UV (Ultraviolet) Radiation: There are three types of ultraviolet radiation caused by the sun. UVA (aging) rays have a longer wavelength meaning they penetrate the skin deep into the dermis causing photodamage and skin cancers. UVB (burning) rays cause sunburns and affect the epidermis. UVC rays are the most harmful. UVC rays are blocked mainly by the ozone layer, which, unfortunately, depletes daily. So how can you protect yourself? Use a Broad-Spectrum SPF daily with at least 5% Zinc Oxide or higher, like skinfo® Vital Tea Protect ($49, 3.6 oz), and reapply every 90 minutes, wear sun protective clothing, and avoid ozone-depleting products.

Infrared (IR) Radiation: A radiation that we cannot necessarily see, but we can feel with heat. Although many things can emit IR radiation, the sun and fire are the most familiar. Damage from IR rays can exacerbate inflammation in the skin. Heat can create an unwanted form of melanocytes that can worsen melasma or any hyperpigmentation issues. Protection: Look for sunscreens that contain mineral filters, like EltaMD® UV Elements ($40.00, 2 oz), skincare products rich in antioxidants, and sun-protective clothing.

HEV (Blue Light) Radiation: We are exposed to this kind of light all day long while we sit in front of any screen. HEV light comes from our smartphones, computer screens, tablets, and even binging that Yellowstone series. HEV damage on our skin can cause premature aging and hyperpigmentation. HEV light also affects our eyes and sleep cycles. Protection: Look for sunscreens containing iron oxides, like Colorescience Sunforgettable® Total Protection Face Shield Flex ($49, 1.8 oz), put down the phone at least 1 hour before bed, and look for HEV protection on your reading glasses/contact lenses.

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