The prospect of an invisible, ever-present threat to our skin’s health is terrifying to consider, but dealing with the effects of airborne pollutants is just a part of daily life which we have come to accept.
When you’re living in a metropolitan area, air pollution can become a serious hazard to the look and feel of your skin since you’re coming into contact with high concentrations of smog, dirt, and dust almost constantly. And, although the effects may not be as drastic, those that live in rural areas aren’t safe from the effects of air pollution either, meaning this is a universal problem that is slowly sapping the youthfulness of your skin the more you are exposed.
Luckily there are several ways to not only combat the negative effects of pollution, but actively reverse the damage it has already caused.
Since, as stated earlier, you are in constant contact with the microscopic dirt and debris in the air on a daily basis, the first step to fighting its negative effects would be to cleanse your face on a daily basis.
Either once or twice daily, depending on how often you are outside, you should use a cleansing scrub that will wash away the debris left over from your active day. Once you have washed away the dirt, apply a moisturizer which will keep your skin’s natural reparative functions running efficiently.
If there is one message that this, or any, skin care blog will beat you over the head with is the importance of using an SPF every day. This is because, just like exposure to air pollution, exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays is unavoidable so you have to earn to protect yourself from it.
On top of protecting you from the sun, using SPF combats damage caused by pollution since when UV rays combine with mono-nitrogen oxides (caused by car exhausts) they form the harmful gas, ozone. So when you apply an SPF you are adding an extra layer of protection from these harmful gases produce by the sun.
When it comes to reversing the effects of pollution, antioxidants are one of the most important ingredients required to turn back the clock. Since exposure to ozone and other pollutants causes free radical damage which essentially triggers a chain reaction of cellular degeneration in affected areas, antioxidants are required to curb and even reverse these reactions.
On a cellular level, free radical damage occurs when a molecule lacking an electron strips an electron from support cells in your skin, which then, in turn, strip one from a neighboring cell and so on and so forth until you have wide-ranging cell damage. Antioxidants come in with an extra electron to lend a hand and stop the constant stripping of electrons from cells that need them, therefore curbing the spread of the damage and regenerating damaged areas.
A fantastic source of these necessary antioxidants can be found in Vitamins C and E. Including these vitamins in your skin care routine is beneficial in more ways than one, but the antioxidants they provide will do wonders for protecting your from and reversing the effects of daily exposure to air pollution.
Just like its important to keep your skin properly moisturized and hydrated, its equally as important to keep your body hydrated. This will flush everything out of your system and keep your skin, and other organs, working at peak efficiency.
Since it doesn’t seem like there is any feasible way to rid ourselves of rampant air pollution in the immediate future, its a good idea to start utilizing these skin care techniques in order to minimize the damage they cause.