There’s no denying that pollution has been on the rise all around the world. Countries like the U.S., China, India, Japan and more are experiencing higher levels of pollution than ever before. What you might not know is how this increase in pollution affects the integrity of your skin. Here is how pollution affects your skin and how to combat it in the future.
Most of us underestimate the impact of pollution on our skin. For those of us living in cities, our skin experiences billions of pollution particles each day as a result of the polluted atmosphere above. But how do those particles actually affect our skin?
What is pollution anyway?
Pollution consists particles that are a result of dust, fumes, smog, UV rays, cigarette smoke and the byproduct of many other products from everyday life. The real threat to our skin often doesn’t come from these particles themselves, but rather the toxic chemicals that can attach to them before they come in contact with our skin. For reference, it’s estimated that there are around 5,000-6,000 additional chemicals found in cigarette smoke alone.
Chemicals and pollutants sink deep into skin and can cause premature aging, dark spots, damage, dullness and acne. There is a connection between increases in air pollution and increases in skin problems such as acne, rashes, and diseases like chronic eczema. People living in cities with bad pollution may also experience consistent dry, flaky skin.
Pollution contains free radicals and other contaminants that can cause long-term damage to the innermost layers of the skin. Some research has also shown that certain chemicals and particles can stunt the production of collagen, the protein that produces skin’s elasticity.
How to Protect Your Skin Against Pollution
- Cleanse skin daily: Bring cleansing wipes or makeup remover pads along with you in your purse, car, etc. to have on hand. At night or in the morning (or both) wash your face with a good cleanser to remove anything else on the skin.
- Hydration: Drink up…water that is! Be sure you are getting enough hydration each day both for your skin and your overall health.
- UV Protection: Wear daily moisturizer with SPF and apply generous amounts of sunscreen before spending time outdoors.
- Moisturizers: Find day and night creams with antioxidants that fight free radicals in the skin.
- Find anti-pollution products specifically designed to help your skin battle the everyday and long-term effects of air pollution.
You don’t have to succumb to the damaging results of pollution on your skin. Start fighting back with a proper skincare and health regimen today!