Pollution vs. Skin
by Sheila Milroy
Pollution vs. Skin
If you want healthy, glowing skin, the best place to start is with a healthy lifestyle and an excellent skin care routine. Nutritious food and adequate sleep are the building blocks for healthy skin. However, there is one often-overlooked factor in skin care that might be affecting the health of your skin—pollution.
Healthy skin starts from the inside out, but skin damage can start from the outside in. Smog, dust, dirt, and other particulates in the air pose risks to the skin - your largest organ. Other pollutants, such as cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and other particulates can interfere with the skin’s ability to regulate moisture, leaving the skin dry, splotchy, wrinkled, and clogged.
Short of staying indoors or donning a biohazard suit, Skin Deep recommends the following steps you can take to shield your skin and reduce the consequences of pollution:
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants are substances or nutrients that can prevent or slow oxidative damage to the body. They have been shown to block free radical activity in the body. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is an excellent line of defense against the damaging effects of pollution. Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables, but most often those that are brightly colored. Antioxidants in skin care products neutralize free radicals and strengthen skin’s internal defense against pollution, allowing skin to self-repair. Apply an antioxidant from SkinCeuticals along with your sunscreen to best fight premature aging.
- Water: Stay hydrated to flush toxins through your system and keep your skin (and entire body) healthy.
- Cleanse: Cleanse your skin thoroughly each day to remove the layer of dirt and grime and prevent build-up and congestion. Consider using a Clarisonic brush to rid your skin of the day’s pollutants; skin care products work best on clean skin.
- Sunscreen: The diminishing ozone layer results in increased UV exposure, more sunburns, and higher rates of melanoma. UV exposure increases free radical activity. Protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun and ozone with daily sunblock.