Five Things You Should Know About the Effects of Air Pollution
The effects of air pollution can have a huge impact on your skin. Pollution can increase the body’s production of free radicals, which are molecules that can cause skin damage and aging. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways you can re-energize your skin and make it more resistant to busy city life.
Air Pollution Effects: How to Protect Your Skin
We’re always taking care of our faces. When our faces grow prickly, it’s time to shave. And if our skin feels oily, we wash with water and pat dry. That’s all you need to know… right?
As it turns out, our skin needs a little more care than that. Living in an urban environment exposes your skin to pollutants that clog your pores, causing greasiness and even acne breakouts. The effects of environmental pollution can penetrate your skin deep inside, making skin look dull and tired on the outside. When taking care of skin, there are five main things to remember.
1. The skin renews itself
Your skin undergoes a renewal process every few weeks where the dead skin cells on your face are replenished with newer cells. This process slows down with age, but it is what keeps your skin looking vibrant and energized.
Younger skin uses a defense system to protect itself and absorb free radicals, which are one of the effects of pollution on your skin. Unfortunately, your skin’s defenses get weaker with age so environmental factors can damage skin and cause wrinkles.
Your skin’s natural cell renewal process keeps it looking vibrant and energized.
2. The Effects of Environmental Pollution on Your Skin
External factors from the environment— like an urban lifestyle that exposes you to dust, pollution and UV rays— can impact your skin’s natural renewal process. When environmental factors cause your body to create too many free radicals that damage skin, cells and tissue this is known as oxidative stress.
Your skin faces seven billion pollution particles from the urban environment every day. These pollution particles can clog pores and cause damage within the cells. They accumulate inside and cause dark spots, excess oil, acne breakouts and premature signs of aging on the outside.
Some antioxidants found in foods like vitamins E and C, have shown they can reduce the effect of damaging free radicals and oxidative stress.
Pollution can cause dark spots, greasiness and even inhibit the skin renewal process.
3. Cleansing Optimizes the Skin’s Renewal Process
City life can be hectic, but it’s important to stick to a cleansing regime to boost resistance against the effects of air pollution.
Cleansing can help optimize the skin renewal process from within. Healthy skin is a mark of strength within the skin’s internal support structure— this is why using the right cleanser is important. Cleansers keep skin healthy by revitalizing it, and protecting your skin cells from damage wrought by dirt and pollution particles.
Urban lifestyles have also been linked to more severe acne. But, cleansing with a product that uses salicylic acid has been proven to remove the layer of dead skin cells that can clog your pores and lead to acne.
4. Cleansing removes what doesn’t belong
Cleansers also remove what doesn’t belong in your skin, like dead skin cells, excess oil and pollution particles.
Bars of soap can often contain harsher ingredients. If your skin’s already exposed to a tough city environment and the effects of pollution, wash with a facial cleanser using lukewarm water – make sure it’s not too hot, as hot water can dry out the skin.
Cleansing removes what doesn’t belong inside, for clear, energized skin outside
5. Lifestyle Changes to Fight the Effects of Pollution
With a few simple changes to your skin care regime and your lifestyle, you can help protect your skin from pollution to keep it looking its best.
Add Antioxidants to Your Diet
Antioxidants are substances or nutrients that can prevent or slow oxidative damage to the body. They have been shown to block free-radical activity in the body, which can be caused by pollution.
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is a great line of defense against the damaging effects of pollution. Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables, but most often those that are brightly colored. Consider including antioxidant-rich foods in your diet such as tomatoes, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and leafy greens.
Drinking plenty of water helps to flush toxins through your system and keep your skin (and entire body) healthy.
Boost your skin care regime
Choose skin care products that contain protective ingredients such as vitamins A, C and E. These antioxidants help defend against free radicals and have lots of different properties:
- Vitamin A or retinol, a vitamin A compound, is often used in wrinkle creams.
- Vitamin C is also found in wrinkle creams and can help protect the skin from UV damage.
- Tocopherol, or vitamin E, is useful in sunscreen to protect against cell damage.
Chemicals in pollution can cause the ozone layer – which helps to filter out harmful UV radiation – to deplete. More UV exposure means more sunburn and a higher risk of melanoma. UV exposure also increases free radical activity and can cause the skin to wrinkle. Protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun and ozone with a broad spectrum sunscreen.
Opt for a Cleanser That Fights the Effects of Pollution
Fitting a skin care routine into a busy urban lifestyle is easy. Pond’s Men Pollution Out cleanser is specially designed to remove all traces of pollution effectively. Its Coffee Bean Icy Scrub formula exfoliates away dead skin cells to reveal brighter, smoother and energized skin.
Activated carbon works like a natural magnet to absorb and lift away even the toughest pollution particles from skin’s deepest layers. Together, these ingredients remove impurities and pollution from deep within, to reveal visibly clear, bright and energized skin. With every wash, skin becomes stronger from the inside, and more equipped to deal with pollution outside.
Exposure to pollution is almost inevitable due to the urban environment we live in. Fortunately, keeping these five things in mind can help you to better equip your skin, and protect it from the damage caused.