Nowadays, pollution is a major environmental and health concern, but did you realise that it is also very harmful to your skin?
Your skin is the biggest organ in the body, and it is susceptible to environmental stress and damage that you may not even be aware of. Air Pollution is an invisible enemy, so how do you defend your skin against the harmful assaults, it must deal with on a daily basis?
Pollution wreaks havoc on your skin, let’s look at the how’s and why’s.
Air pollution is a mixture of natural and man-made substances in the air we breathe.
Air Pollution consist of;
Fine particles produced by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum used in energy production
Ground level ozone, which is a highly reactive form of oxygen. At ground level, ozone is a harmful air pollutant and a primary constituent of urban smog. Ozone is produced when air pollutants from vehicle emissions and manufacturing operations interact with sunlight
Noxious gases such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and chemical vapours
Government regulations has resulted in decreased emissions over the past few decades, but the air surrounding us is still far from pristine.
All forms of pollution cause free-radical damage to skin. Air pollutants damage the skin by inducing oxidative stress. When pollution comes into contact with your skin, it doesn’t just sit on the surface, tiny sized particles which can be 20 times smaller than pores, infiltrate deeper layers of the epidermis, causing not only inflammation and dehydration but also a cellular-level reaction that leads to lost elasticity and firmness. Pollution breaks down collagen and the lipid layer in the skin, which impairs the skins barrier functions.
In short pollution is one of the main causes of;
Dilated pores and appearance of blackheads or pimples. This happens when dirt and excel oil production cased by pollution builds up and blocks your pores resulting in break outs and uneven skin tone.
Premature skin aging. This is because air pollution causes free radicals to attack and damage parts of your skin such as collagen and elastin which are the building blocks of youthful, resilient skin. When they break down that the signs of aging can occur. Other physical signs of aging that can be triggered by pollution are fine lines, wrinkles, even hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
Skin dehydration and dryness. This is due to the tiny size particles infiltrating deep layers of the epidermis.
Skin conditions such as acne & Eczema – This happens when small airborne pollutants get stuck in pores, causing acne-like breakouts
This does sound rather worrying but fear not as there are ways you can protect your skin against the effects of Pollution and reverse the damage its already caused.
How to protect your skin from pollution the natural way
We know the best way to aide your skin is the natural way as nature has given us everything that we need to renew, protect and care for our skin.
Protect your skin from the sun. Applying sun cream daily is essential. Not only are UV rays harmful to the skin, but they also heighten the effects of pollutants. So, make sure to apply sunscreen every day, come rain or shine.
Drink Plenty of water. This will keep your skin hydrated.
Remove your makeup. Cleanse or wash your skin morning and night. By doing this you are removing dirt and pollutants which have built up and are sitting on the surface of your skin, by removing them stops them penetrating your skin any further.
Moisturise your skin morning and night. Start off with a serum then a cream, try using natural skincare products that are packed full of antioxidants.
Moisturising will re balance your skins moisture level and will reinforce your skins protective barrier.
Eat foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. Not only are they delicious but they are good for you and your skin. Blueberries, garlic, almonds, eggplant, broccoli, avocado, whole grains, oily fish and eggs help restore the skin’s hydrolipidic film and promote healthy tissues.
Exfoliate your skin. We Know this is the most essential aspect of your skin care regime. Exfoliating removes dirt, debris, oil, pollutants and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and deep into the pores. Leaving skin smoothed and without the crevices dead skin cells create, polluting particles have nowhere to hide.
We recommend exfoliating with a deep cleansing, anti-aging exfoliator such as our award winning all-natural Sublime Enzyme Exfoliate and Resurface Mask. Our face mask works effectively and gently on your skin. It is suitable for all skin types and works well for those suffering with dry & problematic skin. It will leave your skin feeling refreshed and with a radiant glowing complexion.