Now that summer is here, you may want to spend more time outside enjoying the warm weather. Even though there are many good things about summer activities, spending more time outside can expose you to more air pollution.
This is very important for people who live in the city. Even though the World Health Organization sets standards for air quality, 92% of the world's population lives in cities that don't meet WHO's standards. Longitudinal studies comparing the skin of those living in rural areas to those living in cities discovered that city dwellers had more skin damage than their counterparts in the country.
As an individual, you can only do so much to lower air pollution. However, you can take precautions to reduce the effects of pollution on your skin. How do I get rid of polluted skin? Find out by reading on.
Different kinds of pollution
There are two main air pollution types: soot and smog. They are both caused by burning fossil fuels to power factories, power plants, cars, and other machines. Soot consists of microscopic particles, whereas smog is produced when sunlight reacts with combustion pollutants to form harmful gases.
Soot contains dust, chemicals, Smoking, allergies, and even heavy metals. Most of the time, but only sometimes, these particles are too big to get through your pores and reach the outer layer of your skin. Rather, it can remain on your skin's surface until it is washed away. If you use a light-colored washcloth, you might see it as a residue.
Gaseous pollutants like ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and Sulphur dioxide are found in smog. The molecules of these toxic chemicals are very small, unlike most of the particles in smog. So, they are small enough to get through your pores and into your skin's deeper layers.
Effect of Air Pollution
Skin pollution can cause many dermatological conditions and other skin problems, such as:
- Redness and swelling
- Allergic reactions
- Cancer of the skin
- Dark spots
- Clogged pores
- Dry skin
One of the fundamental tasks of the skin is to build an immunological barrier against infections. Pollution can break down this barrier and make you vulnerable to disease-causing agents that can affect the skin and other body systems.
In addition to diseases affecting the skin, pollution can also speed up aging. Soot and smog are made up of chemicals that include unstable molecules called free radicals. These molecules bind to cellular structures and degrade them gradually. This is called oxidation, the same process that makes metals rust. Wrinkles and other signs of aging can happen when the cells in your skin break down. The hands, neck, and face are often the most exposed body parts, so they are most likely to show signs of aging from pollution.
Tips to protect your skin from pollution
To avoid pollution, it's not practical or smart to stay inside all the time, especially in the summer. There are, however, precautions you may take to protect your skin from pollution.
Modify your behavior
Even though you can't stop going outside, you can change your habits to be less exposed to pollution. If you can, try not to go outside during rush hour, when there are more cars on the roads and more pollution in the air.
Moisturizers have protective properties such as antioxidants and others. Also, they add water to your skin cells, which makes wrinkles look less visible, Hyaluronic acid is a very good moisturizer because it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
To ensure that your skin is fully clean and that all impurities on the surface have been removed, take a double cleanse. This will help you a lot if you live in a place with a lot of pollution. It's important to choose the right cleanser for this to work well. Choose one that is made for your skin type and doesn't have any added sulphates.
You can only do one double cleanse every 24 hours, do it at night after being exposed to pollution all day. You may also get a better clean if you use cleansing brushes instead of just your hands or a washcloth.
Form a barrier
Your skin's glands naturally make substances that make up a protective barrier. Unfortunately, your body makes less of these substances as you age, and pollution can also break down this barrier, letting free radicals and other harmful substances into your body through your skin.
But products like Squalane 100% pure can help rebuild this barrier. This is a more stable form of squalene, a natural emollient that keeps your skin soft, smooth, and protected. Squalane works to keep the skin moist and improve its elasticity and shine.
Antioxidants protect your cells from the damage that free radicals can cause. So, they are a very effective component in your fight against skin pollution. Vitamins C and Vitamin E are examples of antioxidants. Antioxidants can be applied topically or taken internally. Consider including both modes of administration in your schedule to maximize their efficacy.
Vitamin c Serum and other topical treatments containing vitamins C and E should be easy to find for all skin types. On the inside, you can take vitamins or change your diet to include more antioxidant-rich foods. These include whole grains, fish, green tea, orange vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and berries.
Aside from other harmful impacts, pollution can cause your skin to seem drab and dull over time. By deep-cleaning your pores, exfoliating your skin helps stop this buildup. It also removes dead skin cells, letting younger skin show through.
Some of the same dangerous chemicals, like carbon monoxide and nitric oxide, are also found in cigarette smoke. When you smoke, you directly expose your face skin to these hazardous toxins. Smoking quitting not only reduces your exposure to toxins, but it can also improve your general health significantly. If you do not smoke, avoid spending time with individuals who do. This keeps you from breathing in second-hand smoke.
Ways to improve skin health in general
The healthier your skin is overall, the better it will be able to fight pollution. Even though the following tips don't directly deal with skin pollution, they will help your skin.
Maintaining proper hydration is one of the best things you can do for your body and skin. Drinking a lot of water helps strengthen your skin's natural barrier and keep the cells plump, making signs of aging less visible. Furthermore, dehydration can cause significant illness; proper water intake helps prevent this.
You can stay hydrated by drinking water or eating fruits that are high in water, like apples and watermelons. Furthermore, these fruits are high in antioxidants. Coconut water is another good way to stay hydrated because it replaces your electrolytes without the added sugar in sports drinks.
Pollutants made by people aren't the only things that can make your skin age faster than it should. Another cause is ultraviolet light from the sun. Wearing sunscreen whenever you go outside will protect your skin from the sun's rays. For protection, you need an SPF of at least 30. Make sure you choose a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays and reapplies it several times throughout the day.
In addition to antioxidants, there are several nutritional supplements you can take to improve your skin's overall health and boost your body's natural defenses from the inside out. Adaptogens like ginseng or CoQ10 help change stress effects on your body and bring it back into balance. Vitamin B3, also called niacinamide, actively repairs UV-related damage to the skin and helps strengthen the skin's protective barrier.
Get Enough Sleep
As you sleep, your body sends more blood to your skin, which gives it a healthy glow. Your skin also makes more collagen, which prevents wrinkles from forming. Getting enough sleep also boosts your immune system, which can be good for your skin health.