How Pollution Affects Your Skin (& What to Do About It)
Ah, the hustle and bustle of urban life. It's exciting, there's always something to do, and you can easily find any food you might be craving (donut burgers, anyone?). But every good thing has its drawbacks too, and our main beef with big cities is massive amounts of pollution.
We all know pollution wreaks havoc on the planet as well as your internal organs like your heart, brain, and lungs. Pollution also does some serious damage to your body's largest organ: the skin. Particles of air pollution are much tinier than your pores, so it's very easy for these particles to infiltrate your skin and do damage from deep within. These particles sabotage the collagen naturally found in your skin, which is there to keep your skin youthful, plump, and wrinkle-free.
So what should you do about it? Incorporate these three easy steps into your daily skincare routine to enjoy the spoils or urban life and beautiful skin:
Cleanse. The first step to combating these collagen-thieving pollution particles is to (no surprise here) get rid of them. Cleanse your face in the morning to give your skin a clean slate for applying protection from future pollution (more on that in a bit). Look for a gentle cleanser that is pH-balanced and non-drying. This insures the most protection for the barrier function of your skin. Also look for a cleanser that is free of parabens, sulfates, and fragrance; these are already pollutants to begin with! In the evening, use the same cleanser to destroy any nasty particles you collected throughout the day. Follow up with a gentle toner to remove any debris that may have been left behind as well as boost cellular turnover.
Neutralize. Pollution introduces free radicals into your skin. If left unchecked, these free radicals can potentially turn into cancerous growth (melanoma, for example). For an easy solution, look to anti-oxidants. These are the good guys that beat up (neutralize) the bad guys. Anti-oxidants can be found in moisturizers and serums by GR8/SKN.
Protect. Find a great sunscreen that protects you from both air pollution and the sun's rays (which get stronger & more dangerous as pollution slowly disrupts the ozone layer). Look for a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 and blocks both UVA & UVB rays. Another key for an urban dweller? Get a sunscreen that is brimming with anti-oxidants! These healthy good guys provide additional (and natural) protection.