Morsani College of Medicine

Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery

Summer is Coming…So Don’t Forget to Refresh and Protect your Skin with Total Defense and Repair SPF with Infrared Protection!

For years now you have probably been told that wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen is necessary in protecting your skin from the cancer-causing UVA and UVB rays. But has anyone ever told you about the importance of infrared protection as well?


Infrared rays (IR) come from the sun and have a longer wavelength than the cancer-causing UVA and UVB rays. Having a longer wavelength means that IR can penetrate even deeper into the skin. Approximately 50% of the sun’s rays that hit the Earth are IR. Every time you feel that heat sensation beating down on your skin from the sun… that is also IR. And sunlight isn’t the only source…electronic devices like computers and hair dryers can also emit these harmful rays.


So… what’s so bad about IR? Exposure to these rays lead to the formation of free radicals within the skin, which are “chaos-causing” molecules that lead to increased inflammation.  This inflammatory response in the deeper layers of the skin leads to the breakdown of collagen that results in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. This process of “bulk heating” in the skin also leads to an increase in hyperpigmentation, melasma, and an overall uneven or “blotchy” complexion. All of these are signs of photoaging within the skin (which pretty much means accelerated signs of skin aging due to sun exposure over time).


So, by now you might be thinking, “How can I protect my skin from these harmful rays?”.  Potent antioxidants, when added into a sunscreen, provide quality IR defense. This is because antioxidants work to neutralize and remove the free radicals from the skin. Without free radicals we have less inflammation…leading to a smoother, even, and more youthful appearing complexion overall!
SkinMedica’s Total Defense and Repair SPF with Infrared Protection is not just a sunscreen but a “superscreen”. By adding in their patented antioxidant-rich SOL-IR complex, every application leaves your skin with broad spectrum protection from UVA, UVB, and IR…while simultaneously assisting your skin to restore itself.  This product will not only renew your skin but protect it from multiple aspects of sun damage, including but not limited to brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles, other signs of photoaging.


These before and afters are from a patient that applied nothing but Total Defense and Repair SPF once daily for 4 weeks!


Come visit us at USF Health Cosmetic and Laser Center to get your own Total Defense and Repair Superscreen!

Written By: Carli Himelman, MSN, ARNP-C

Advanced Cosmetic Nurse Practitioner at USF Health Cosmetic & Laser Center