Air pollution is one of those faceless ghosts we all try to avoid – but do we know HOW to avoid pollutants? Using sunscreen and topical skin care solutions might be your most reliable ally in combating the effects of air pollution on the skin.
But what ingredients should you look for in your skincare and, more importantly, how can you protect your skin from obsessive environmental pollutants? Keep reading to find out!
What is air pollution?
If you’ve ever had a bird’s eye view of a large, populated city with that hazy layer of air floating over it, or better yet, appearing relatively low to the ground as a yellow-brown haze – it’s air pollution. More specifically, it’s smog, which is a mixture of smog and air – so smog – but it’s still air pollution.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is “contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that alters the natural characteristics of the atmosphere”. Whether it comes from human-made sources such as vehicle emissions or natural sources such as smoke from wildfires, air pollution is a global environmental health hazard.
Pollution is a major threat to global health and prosperity. Air pollution, in all its forms, is responsible for more than 6.5 million deaths every year worldwide, a number that has increased over the past two decades. Air pollution doesn’t choose who or what it will terrorize – it can affect everyone’s health.
Short-term exposure to air pollutants can range from minor health problems to coughing and itchy eyes, while long-term exposure – especially for those who are already sick – can lead to heart disease, accident stroke, lung cancer or worse, even death. And since our skin is the largest organ at the threshold of air pollution, it will cause damage to our pretty porous skin.
What is the skin barrier and skin microbiome function of your skin?
Our outermost layer or skin barrier protects our body from environmental stressors. Our skin does more than just protect and, well, keeps everything inside and keeps us from looking like a skeleton. Our skin barrier – which adds to jeepers and creepers – is teeming with invisible life forms called microorganisms or microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, which make up our skin microbiome.
“Micro” means extremely small, and “biome” is a living community of organisms in a habitat. So a “microbiome” is a little world of ghost-friendly fighters that aren’t so scary because they’re integral to your health. Think of our microbiome as the first line of defense against an army of invading bacteria, harmful air pollutants, ultraviolet radiation and infections.
Our skin microbiome with its trillions of microorganisms, which are mostly bacteria and other physical components, is responsible for protecting our skin against pathogens, controlling skin immunity and absorbing nutrients , and support for our skin barrier. Essentially, a healthy barrier and microbiome locks in moisture and keeps potential irritants and pathogens out.
When the skin barrier and skin microbiome are happy and in balance, you have a hydrated, happy and glowing complexion.
What is oxidative stress?
Now that our skin barrier and microbiome are in sync and we have healthy, happy skin, what happens when air pollution and these phantom threats continue to terrorize our skin? Air pollutants damage the skin by inducing oxidative stress. This skin “stress” could be issues ranging from aging to age spots, and it can occur naturally in our bodies as a result of environmental stress.
Think of our skin cells as rowdy stars of reality TV: there’s always a troublemaker in the bunch, spreading rumors and causing quarrels. Free radicals in our skin circulate pairs of electrons, causing drama that stresses out these otherwise happy people. Exposure to pollution and an excess of free radicals leads to oxidative stress which, among other things, causes skin damage.
How do air pollutants affect your skin?
Some of the oxidative stress is part of a normal biological process, but much of it is the direct result of pollution and sun exposure. Frequent exposure to pollution, UV rays, and a buildup of free radicals enters the “reality” family and creates a double trouble, causing even more drama that stresses otherwise happy people who peacefully coexist and care. of their own business.
This daily onslaught of environmental damage leads to skin damage. Oxidative stress contributes to skin damage and can accelerate symptoms of aging, cause cell death and worsen skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and contact dermatitis. Pollutants have also been linked to inflammatory conditions, and reactive skin prone to redness. It can also trigger acne breakouts and clogged pores.
How to protect your skin from the harmful effects of pollution?
Before you spend the money on a hazmat suit to go out, you may (hopefully) already have one or most of the best effective skin protectants in your house – or you’re just a few clicks away (hint , our links) to reinvent skincare a bit with products that help protect your complexion from the effects of pollution.
Wear SPF lotion for the face and sunscreen for the body daily! That’s right – swap your reef-killing chemical formulas for natural, nourishing and protective sunscreens – and find out which sunscreen formula is best for your skin!
Use skincare products packed to the brim with anti-pollution ingredients that interrupt the damage cascade. Look for products formulated with antioxidants that interrupt the process of the effects of pollution on the skin. Many natural ingredients that have powerful antioxidant properties include green tea, aloe, yerba mate, vitamin C, and grapeseed oil, to name a few.
You’ve probably seen all of these star antioxidants on our labels and more because they’re cell damage busters. They fight oxidation by preventing free radicals from coming into contact and disrupting the happily associated electrons and that family of content that we have.
#3. skin regenerators
While you catch your much-needed and deserved Zzzs, it’s your skin’s chance to heal and regenerate from the real drama and external hype affecting our precious dermis and microbiome. For a nighttime routine, be sure to incorporate retinol, CoQ10, and niacinamide, which ward off free radicals and prevent skin damage, while helping your skin heal itself while you dream.
#4. Healthy lifestyle
Free radicals can cause cellular damage throughout your body, so you’ll want to take a multi-pronged approach to fighting them. Let’s fight free radicals from the inside by:
Consuming antioxidant-rich foods and beverages (such as red-pigmented berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and green tea)
Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates, fried foods, and sugary foods
Get enough exercise every day
Take steps to manage stress
And, you probably knew this was coming, wear both SPF face lotion and body sunscreen EVERY DAY!
Over the years, an increase in environmental pollution has had major effects on the skin! What our skin needs is a constant, proactive defense against air pollution all year round, because the damaging effects of air pollutants are a “real” ghost throughout. year round.
What’s best for our skin is supplementing the skin’s natural functions with antioxidants and UV protectants that fight oxidative stress, reduce the speed and appearance of aging, and help general balance of the skin. Fortunately, there are natural skin care ingredients and simple lifestyle changes that can help ward off the effects of air pollution on the skin!