There are two problems with bomb blasts. The first is the sheer concussive force of the explosion. It’s literally a wave of energy passing through you, rattling every internal organ you have and putting your systems under extreme stress.
The other is a flash of heat so intense it takes two seconds to cook your skin. Fortunately for soldiers, firemen, and guys who never grew out of their pyro phase, that part can be protected against with heatproof face paint.
Here’s a pretty dramatic demonstration of how the face paint works:
It’s so effective, you can apply it to hands and feet and you won’t get any sort of burn for nearly fifteen seconds.
So how does this even work? Essentially it’s because you’re covering your skin with silicone. Yes, the stuff that used to be in fake boobs. Silicone, in addition to being squishy, has a lot of other useful properties, like being able to absorb heat. Carbon, the usual base for military facepaint, doesn’t. In fact it’s usually made out of oil and wax, noted for doing pretty much the exact opposite.
In short, firemen, soldiers, and people who deal with intense heat will be less likely to be severely injured, thanks to science. This is why science is awesome.
Heat-Proof Face Paint [Gizmodo]