Living in modern times means many things, one of them being that generally we are being exposed to unprecedented levels of air pollution. This is true for people who live in cities and rural areas. However, those living in urban areas are exposed to increased pollution due to increased human activity. We understand that these pollutants affect our internal health, but recent studies have shown that air pollution impairs skin health. We will discuss ways you can support your skin to minimize damage from air pollution.
What Is Air Pollution?
Air pollution is a major environmental issue that affects the health of humans and other living organisms. It is caused by the release of harmful substances such as smog, dust, and fine particles into the atmosphere. Particulate matter is especially insidious as it not only is invisible to the naked eye, it can sink into the pores to cause damage.
The most common pollutants include soot, dust, smog and particulate matter. They originate from road traffic, industrial activity, heating and plastics.
What Is The Effect Of Air Pollution On Skin?
Multiple studies have shown that air pollution affects skin health adversely. Primarily, it impairs skin barrier function through oxidative stress which opens the skin to a host of other problems including redness, irritation, eczema, rosacea and itching etc. Impaired barrier function also weakens the skin’s ability to prevent the penetration of pollutants. Air pollutants in large quantities can also cause the skin to develop problems with pigmentation, uneven complexion, dull skin and even premature ageing.
Furthermore, air pollutants may also lead to contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction of the skin. This is because all components of air pollution are common allergens. Air pollutants may also trigger breakouts which can be difficult to manage especially when the particular pollutant triggering the skin is unclear.
How to Minimize the Effects of Air Pollution On Your Skin
Air pollution is a major environmental issue that is quite pervasive. Unfortunately, it is impossible to protect the skin completely from its effects but there are ways to minimize damage.
The first step is to include antioxidants in your skincare routine. Antioxidants include Vitamins C, E and B (also known as niacinamide) which protect the skin from free radical damage from pollutants.
It is also important to support the skin with barrier-firming ingredients like humectants and occlusives. Products which contain hyaluronic acid, peptides and omega fatty acids are perfect for this.
Resurfacing your skin is also very important to unclog pores which have any pollutants in them. Products with salicylic acid like our Clear Fight Serum or retinol are right for the job.
Additionally, you can also take steps to protect yourself from air pollution, such as wearing protective clothing when going outdoors and avoiding outdoor activities in heavily polluted areas. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your skin healthy and reduce the risk of developing skin problems due to air pollution.