There’s no escaping pollution. When it comes to the planet, humans tend to leave a rather messy trail in their wake, pollution being one of those nasty left-overs. Not only is this bad for the environment, not to mention your health but now we know it is also detrimental to our skin. A recent study of 70 to 80 year olds compared the skin of 400 individuals living in urban areas vs clean and rural suburbs. Researchers found that the city folk had up to 20% more pigment spots and substantially more sagging and wrinkles than their suburban counterparts. But before you pack up and head for the mountains, there are things that you can do to prevent, or at least reduce the effects of pollution on your skin. Keep reading to find out how.
1. Ozone Pollution
First off there are 2 separate types of pollution we need to be wary of and a third factor that enhances it. The first is Ozone pollution mainly released by cars which unfortunately wreaks havoc on the skin.
If you are living in the USA you can find out just how bad the Ozone is where you live by visiting here.
Protection: Antioxidant Up!
Ozone directly batters the proteins and lipids in your skin causing high inflammation. Inflammation is one of the main causes for aging skin in itself! To Facetite the inflammation in its tracks or better yet, before it has happened, aim to layer on an antioxidant serum of some kind below your usual sunscreen. Something with high amounts of Vitamin C and E and ferulic acid are great at preventing inflammation.
2. Particulate Pollution
As the name describes, these are tiny particles in the air that are barely visible (unless clumped together). They are so tiny that they actually get into the pores of your skin – euk! Scientists still aren’t sure how or why, but areas with more particulate pollution are correlated with heavier skin aging. So if you are living in an area with high pollution, unfortunately you are more susceptible. But before you start freaking out, there is a solution…
Protection: Cleanse Well, Really Well!
To pull the breaks on all of that dirt clogging up your pores, make sure to cleanse your face – really well. Make sure you are deeply exfoliating a couple of times a week. You might want to consider investing in some kind of deep sonic cleansing brush like Silk’ns Dual Clean Make up Remover which really deep cleans the particle pollution latched onto your pores.
It is also recommended to us get a microdermabrasion treatment once in a while to give your pores a really deep clean and remove any dead skin and dirt. Better yet, you can get your very own home microdermabrasion device such as the Glo-Me and use it a couple of times a week to keep the skin fresh and particulate free.
3. Sun + Smog
If you are living in a bustling, smoggy city, even if you feel like you’re getting less sun, unfortunately the truth of the matter is that you are actually getting more. Pollution enhances UV damage to skin by magnifying the UV radiation.
Protection: Slather on the SPF
This means that even if it looks grey and dull outside, you need to be even more religious with your sun block – you heard us, block! You could try looking into a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as these create a physical barrier effectively blocking pollution.