Impact of Air Pollution on Your Skin
Even though we enjoyed a low-key Diwali, the fireworks didn't stop. In addition to the loudness, we also have to contend with the damaging consequences of air pollution on our skin. Yes, dust, smoke, and small air particles adhere to your skin, making it seem drab. Furthermore, they have the ability to pass through your pores and settle deep inside your skin. Air pollution damages your skin by causing free radical damage, which causes inflammation, dehydration, collagen loss, skin barrier weakening, blemishes, and, in the long run, ageing.
Every year, pollution worsens, putting a strain on the body's natural defences. Hence pollution and skin ageing are linked to each other which may cause dull-looking skin. The epidermis, or the top layer of our skin, acts as a protective barrier against the detrimental effects of the environment. However, when pollution levels rise, the barrier becomes ineffective. Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), volatile organic compounds (VOC), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), nitrogen oxides (NO), particle matter (PM), and cigarette smoke are all major air pollutants that harm the skin.
Pollution clogs the pores of the skin, making it unhealthy. All of this may cause the skin to become congested, dehydrated, and irritable. It may also cause premature skin ageing as well as inflammatory/allergic skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, urticaria, psoriasis, rosacea, and acne.
How to protect skin from air pollution?
Here are some strategies for avoiding pollution and reversing its effects on your skin.
- Make it a habit to cleanse twice a day.
It's critical to clean your face correctly if you want to maintain your skin healthy while breathing unclean air. As a result, a standard cleaning programme may not be sufficient. Make it a practice to double cleanse, which is a two-step procedure for a more thorough and purifying cleaning. The first step entails cleansing your skin with an oil-based cleanser that removes surface impurities while also breaking down SPF and makeup. The second stage uses a strong face wash to remove any remaining pollutants that have made their way deep into your pores. What's the end result? Skin that is free of impurities that is clear skin.
- Exfoliate your skin twice a week.
Exfoliating your face on a regular basis does more than simply remove dead skin cells; it also eliminates debris and impurities from deep into your pores. Make sure you exfoliate at least twice a week but go easy on your skin. To massage the exfoliant into your skin, use delicate, circular movements, and avoid using anything too abrasive, since this can irritate your skin even more.
- Incorporate antioxidants into your skincare regimen.
Antioxidants are the finest line of defence against free radical damage, and there are numerous methods to include them into your skincare regimen (in addition to your diet, of course!). The usage of powerful antioxidant substances like vitamin C on a regular basis may help prevent oxidative stress symptoms including dark spots, fine lines, and drooping skin.
- Apply SPF every day.
While sunscreens do not protect your skin directly from pollution, they do play an essential part in your pollution defence. When air pollutants combine with UV rays, they produce chemicals that are very harmful to your skin. As a result, regular usage of a wide spectrum sunscreen is essential to minimising UV damage.
Sunscreen is the most effective approach to protect your skin. It will protect your skin from UV damage as well as trap pollution particles, preventing dangerous substances from accessing the skin.
- Maintain your skin's ideal moisture levels.
Skin that is well moisturised is healthy skin! Moisturizing your skin properly helps to develop its lipid barrier, which protects it from external aggressors such as toxins in the air. If you're going out on a busy day, choose lightweight, non-sticky, but nourishing moisturisers to prevent looking oily.
Drink plenty of water and follow a skin-care regimen according to your skin type. You might use an antioxidant-rich serum or a daily moisturiser to hydrate your skin. It will aid in the formation of layers of protection and will prevent tiny particles from penetrating the skin.
- Combine yoghurt with a spoonful of lemon juice and honey for a cleaning drink. This deep-cleansing practice will aid in the repair of pollution-related damage.
- Apply cocoa butter to your skin if it becomes too dry. It aids in the suppleness of the skin and the reduction of scars. Apply it twice a week for skin nutrition to maintain your skin healthy.
- You may also use olive oil, which is abundant in Vitamin E and antioxidants, which promotes cell regeneration and helps to decrease the appearance of damage. Apply in circular motions at night, if possible. This will assist to revitalise the skin that has become dull as a result of pollution.
Pollution damages the skin's collagen and lipid layer, impairing the skin barrier's functions. This, along with dehydration, is one of the most acute dangers that air pollution presents to our skin. With the rising pollution, follow a few anti-pollution steps you may take to safeguard and restore your skin's health.