If you live in a big city or a populous area, it’s impossible to escape environmental aggressors like air pollution. But no matter where you live, pollution can affect your skin health to one degree or another.
Pollution can produce free radicals on the skin. These are unstable molecules that react with other compounds. These nasty free radicals can damage your skin and are known to quicken skin aging. Some research claims that pollution is just as damaging for your skin as unprotected sun exposure, and we all know how important it is to slather on sunscreen on a hot summer’s day.
Protecting the skin against environmental protection, and not just the sun’s beaming rays is essential. Keep reading to learn more about how pollution can adversely affect your skin and how to protect it from free radical damage.
How Does Pollution Affect Your Skin?
Tiny nanoparticles in the form of dirt, dust, or soot can enter your skin cells and damage them, causing premature aging in a process called oxidation. As well as this, gases like nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide can harm our skin.
Our skin works as a natural barrier against external elements. While we can trust our skin to keep most nasty bits out, unfortunately, it’s defenses aren’t perfect. Pollution damages your skin’s barrier by breaking down collagen and the lipids it contains.
While living in a buzzy, bustling city has its perks (hello, late-night clubs, and an international food scene), those who live in urban areas tend to age much quicker than those who don’t.
Plus, pollution can lead to irritation, rashes, and acne. It’s easy for dust particles to collect on the skin’s surface and clog pores in highly congested areas when they mix with your skin cells and oils.
The five types of air pollution that affect your skin the most include automobile and truck exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, manufacturing by-products, small particulate matter, and smog. All these air pollutions are terrible for the skin, but smog poses the worst damage to your complexion.
Without the right skincare to protect your skin against harmful fumes, the damage results in the breakdown and deterioration of everything the skin requires to appear healthy, glowing, and smooth.
The list of problems air pollution gifts us isn’t pleasant. Not only does it cause premature aging and breakouts, but exposure to too much air pollution can lead to brown spots, an uneven and dull skin tone, enlarged pores, dry and itchy skin, and sensitivity and redness.
How Do You Protect Your Skin From Pollution?
The bad news is that you can never completely protect your skin from the adverse effects of pollution. The good news is that with enough care, you can shield skin from damage from airborne pollutants and the effects they activate.
To protect your skin from the floating nasties out there, look for skin care products packed with anti-pollution ingredients that disturb the cascade of damage. As well as containing plenty of antioxidants, formulas should include powerful yet soothing ingredients that neutralize the harm air pollutants deliver and replenish the ingredients necessary to fortify the skin’s surface.
AHA or BHA exfoliants are also excellent in combatting free radical damage because they help remove the pollutants trapped deep within the pores. Skin brightening formulas are also helpful because pollution can sometimes discolor and darken the skin, resulting in pigmentation.
We love Phytomer’s Citadine Citylife Face and Eye Contour Sorbet Cream. The two-in-one lotion designed for the face and eyes runs off a comprehensive depolluting complex of three marine sugars, blue microalgae and red algae. Together, these fascinating ingredients fight against the effects of pollution, including dehydration, signs of tiredness, dark spots, and a dull complexion. The texture is refreshing and light like sorbet, deeply moisturizing the skin.
Each day gleefully watch the signs of fatigue fade away and embrace your even and smooth complexion.
Is Blue Light a Pollutant?
Blue light isn’t technically a pollutant, but it’s a serious issue. Blue light shines out from our digital devices, and as we all know, as a society, we’re hooked to our social media and screens.
Whereas environmental blue light from the sun is diffused and far away, the blue light from your cell phone, computer, or tablet welcomes blue light inches from your face. This constant exposure to blue light is damaging, especially for the eyes.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Antioxidants, especially those from plant pigments like xanthophylls and grape polyphenols, can help defend the skin from blue light damage.
Another easy solution is to switch your devices to yellow light, otherwise known as night mode. Simple! If only air pollution could be as easy to fix.
To protect your skin against blue light and other free radicals, we suggest using Revision’s C+ Correcting Complex. The formula offers users a more even skin tone and youthful complexion, revealing a beautiful, radiant glow. The patent-pending MelaPATH™ technology in the product defends and corrects free radicals' adverse effects produced by urban dust and blue light.
Do you want more skincare advice? Learn how drinking water affects skin health here.