How To Combat Skin’s Invisible Enemy: Air Pollution
The increase in air pollution over the years has had major effects on our skin. We cannot avoid it, but we can reduce its effect on our skin.
Various air pollutants and ultraviolet radiation affect the skin first, as it is the outermost barrier of our bodies and in direct contact with the pollution.
How Air Pollution Damages Skin
Air pollutants damage the skin by inducing oxidative stress. Pollution creates a layer of chemicals that leads to inflammation. Inflammation causes redness, puffiness, dark spots and faster ageing.
Pollution is also further aggravated by UV rays. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation has been associated with skin aging and skin cancers.
Pollution contributes to premature aging and an increase in the incidence of psoriasis, acne and skin cancers. It is also implicated in allergic skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and eczema.
Although human skin acts as a biological shield against pro oxidative chemicals and physical air pollutants, prolonged or repetitive exposure to high levels of these pollutants may have profound negative effects on the skin.
To fight the effects of environmental pollution follow these simple steps:
- Cleanse – The first obvious step is cleansing your skin with natural organic cleansers as pollutants get stuck on the oily skin barrier and we need to wash them off.
- Hydrate – Water is the medium for any biochemical process in our skin. Lack of hydration will slow down the process of neutralizing harmful chemicals that made it onto our skin. Select the right moisturizer for your skin type and do not forget to drink lots of liquids.
- Antioxidants – Antioxidants to the rescue. Looks for creams that are loaded with antioxidants as they neutralize the harmful effect of oxidative stress caused by pollution. The best way to load up with antioxidants is eating a lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. The topical application of antioxidants had also been proven to be effective as well. Look for probiotic skin care brands as they are loaded with antioxidants from the fermentation process of its ingredients.
- Protect – Limit exposure to direct sun rays and always apply products with SPF. This is an absolute must for your skin’s protection. Unfortunately we cannot do much about the presence of air pollution in our society but we can lessen the effect of pollution on our skin.
Lets all try our best to recycle, use less energy at home and choose public transportation in our cities to reduce air pollution for the health of all of our skin and the planet.