Is your skin polluted?

August 11, 2014

skin pollutionAs you age, your skin naturally begins to lose moisture and elasticity; however, there are factors that can speed up this aging process. It’s common knowledge that sun exposure causes wrinkles and other premature signs of aging, and many people now limit their time in the sun and wear sunscreen to protect their skin. But unlike the sun, there’s little we can do to limit our exposure to air pollution — particularly in urban areas. Pollution is one of the main sources of skin damage because toxins in the air cause skin to age prematurely, especially on the face, neck and hands

Smog, dirt and dust in the air can clog pores, cause acne and give skin a dull, gray appearance. And free radicals can deplete oxygen in skin cells and decrease collagen production, which leads to wrinkles, fine lines and rough, dry patches. Long-term exposure to air pollution can also cause skin allergies, eczema, asthma, nausea and blood vessel damage

To protect your skin from air pollution, it’s important to wash your face daily, exfoliate your skin twice a week and use a daily moisturizer.   Drinking more water can also help because it hydrates your skin and increases cell production.

  • Supplements: Vitamin C and antioxidants fight free radicals in the body, working to prevent and reverse damage to your skin. If you don’t get enough vitamin C in your diet, take a daily multivitamin or a vitamin C supplement.
  • Cleansers and Exfoliants: To remove air pollutants from your skin, wash your face daily and exfoliate twice a week. You can even use mineral water to avoid the potentially damaging effects of chlorine in tap water.
  • Water: Drinking plenty of water each day helps keep your skin hydrated and your body healthy by generating cell growth and improving circulation.

It’s impossible to completely avoid air pollution, but by following these simple steps, you can reduce the damage pollution causes to your skin.