Pollution is everywhere, there is no getting away from it, whether you can see it or not, it is there lingering in the air. From cities to the countryside, pollution being omitted from vehicles, cigarette smoke, smog, dust, dirt and other air pollutants, the fresh air you are breathing in, can unfortunately be unhealthy for both our bodies and our skin.
Our skin is the bodies largest organ and it takes on the full impact caused by external elements, but there are steps you can take to tackle the problems caused by the consequences of pollution. We're going to have a look at some of the main problems caused to our skin by over exposure to air pollution and how you can try and prevent it.
1. Problem:Ageing Skin
Premature ageing of the skin is a big factor which is largely contributed to by exposure to pollution. It can become most visible in the face, neck and hands and one reason for this is the work of free radicals which are left on the skin when we come into contact with harmful chemicals from pollutants. Free radicals are unstable atoms which are missing an electron in its outer shell, which interrupt the bodies natural processes. They move quickly from cell to cell attacking and destroying other healthy atoms in order to get the electron it is missing. This in turn causes oxidative damage in the skin which hampers collagen production. Collagen is part of the building blocks for our skin and when this is damaged, it can lead to premature ageing and further serious skin problems.
Antioxidants are a group of healthy and beneficial nutrients which are capable of slowing or preventing the oxidisation of other molecules. Antioxidants help to remove the free radicals from the damaged cells in our skin and by doing this they can help slow down the oxidative damaged which leads to the appearance of ageing skin.
It's very easy to add antioxidants to your skincare routine as many products are now formulated with this added benefit. They work by defending the skin and protecting the collagen formed in the skin. You have to keep on feeding your skin antioxidants, as when they get to work they are oxidised or destroyed, so you need to keep topping up for fresh, healthy, radiant looking skin!
Antioxidant rich treatments, such as skincare and supplements are found in a range of different products including moisturisers, facial oils, serums, mists, masks and hand creams. A good skincare routine also works to block free radicals from entering the skin, providing another protective barrier on top of the antioxidant properties.
Try: REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist, Borlind Beauty Pearls Anti Pollution Beauty Shots, Green People Anti Ageing Facial Oil and Terranova Antioxidant Nutrient Complex.
2. Problem:Clogged & dull looking Skin
The build up of pollution on your skin can cause an invisible layer causing blocked pores, leading to dull, ashy looking skin. If you are living in the city or surrounded by lots of vehicles or smog in the air, it is impossible to prevent your skin, especially your face, from coming into contact with the dirty air. When contaminates come into contact with our skin they can prevent the production of moisture, leaving the skin dry, rough and clogged.
There are two types of pollution, one that you can see and visibly wipe away with a wash cloth, such as dust and dirt, and those such as gasses, which you cannot physically see removed after a good cleanse but they are still there causing damage. Due to this, we suggest a thorough double cleanse in the evening to ensure you are removing all the pollutants which have settled into your skin throughout the day. The first cleanse will remove your makeup, settled dirt and grime, excess oils and any chemicals which you have come into contact with. It's important to go back over your skin with a second cleanse to make sure you have removed all the impurities, especially if you live in a built up or congested area. Regular cleansing of the skin will open up your pores, revealing radiant skin and should work towards preventing any breakouts.
Try:Evolve Gentle Cleansing Melt to remove makeup and daily impurities, African Botanics Baobab Clay Oxygenating Cleanser to unclog pores or Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser to remove impurities without effecting the skins moisture barrier.
3. Problem:Over exposure to UV rays
We all know by now that over exposure to the sun can cause serious damage to our skin. With the diminishing ozone layer we are at an increased risk of suffering from exposure to UV rays, sun burn and much more serious skin concerns. Protecting yourself from the suns rays is just as important as pollution protection, due to the fact sun rays can help increase free radical activity. The combined risk of sun exposure and pollution leads to an increase in our skins integrity and can aid with oxidative stress, inflammation and the occurrence of pigmentation in the skin, such as age and sun spots.
Using an SPF daily is vitally important, even throughout the winter months. Just because the sun and heat is not beaming on to your skin, it doesn't mean you are not being effected by its harmful UV rays. There is the added benefit of also providing your skin with an extra protective barrier to reduce the risks associated with air born pollution. Start adding an SPF into your skincare routine and soon it will become habit, just like when we brush our teeth or clean our faces everyday.
Try combining your UV protection and pollution prevention in one with Green People's Day Solution SPF15 which provides powerful antioxidants to help fight free radicals as well as added SPF protection.