Research has shown that the exposure of the skin to air pollutants is associated with skin aging and allergic skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema or acne. Some research even suggests that air pollution is as bad as unprotected sunbathing.
What is air pollution?
Air pollution refers to a series of substances in the air that are harmful to the human’s health. They include ultraviolet radiation, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, oxides, particulate matter, ozone and cigarette smoke. All those affect how our skin looks, feels and ages skin. Even though air pollution is obviously worse in bigger cities, living in rural areas doesn’t mean you don’t face any risk. All forms of pollution move through the atmosphere and thereby easily travels beyond the borders of industrialized cities.
Skin problems that are caused by airborne pollutants
- Brown spots
- Uneven, dull skin tone
- Breakdown of skin’s supportive elements (wrinkles)
- Enlarged pores
- Sensitive, redness-prone skin
- Uncomfortably dry, itchy skin
How you can protect your skin from air pollution
Your skin acts as a biological shield for air pollution. Therefore you have to take good care of it. Although most airborne pollutants do not penetrate the skin immediately, they cause damage to the skin’s surface which eventually makes it easier for pollutants to penetrate the skin. Fine dust is the only non-gaseous pollutant that is small enough to penetrate your skin. It gets stuck inside the pores and can cause long-term damage. Once they have entered your pores, just cleansing your face will not be enough to remove the pollution particles. This is why you need to stick to an effective skincare routine.
Try to drink plenty of water during the day. This helps yours skin to flush out toxins and reduces the drying effect of indoor air pollution
Apply sunscreen and anti-pollution cosmetics
Sunscreen not only safeguards your skin from UV rays but also builds a layer of protection that prevents harmful pollutants like fine dust from penetrating your skin.
Regular and proper cleansing
Wash your face twice per day with a hydrating cleanser and use an exfoliator to remove pollution particles that are often lodged in the surface layer of skin. Anti-pollution cosmetics help to provide protection and reduce the damage caused by environmental effects. These are basically “cover creams” that form a barrier between the skin and pollutants.
Use an air purifier
Air purifiers improve the air quality of your indoor air. They remove dust, pollen and other harmful free-flowing radicals. Besides keeping your skin healthy, they also keep your lungs safe.