The world is continuously changing at fast pace. As our body is adapting to this rapidly changing life style our skin is still under the greatest assault from pollution and toxins from the environment. It has not yet adapted to neutralize the effects of pollution on its own; a proper skin care regime has to be followed to combat the effects of pollution on skin.
If you think pollution does nothing to your skin then you are completely wrong, you need to think again over it.
How Does Pollution effect our skin?
Pollution majorly causes oxidative stress in skin, which can be explained as over production of destructive reactive oxygen species, thus reducing the ability of body’s natural antioxidants to neutralize them to prevent the damage. In addition oxidative damage can also interfere with normal functioning of protein, DNA and lipids and cause increased sebum production.
Consequences of Pollution!
It can range variable from simple irritation and premature aging to organ damage or cancer. Initially pollution disrupts the skin barrier and decreased hydration. This can lead to common skin issues like acne, pigmentation, dull, dry and flaky skin. Excessive exposure to pollutants like PM, nitric oxides and volatile organic compound without any prevention or precaution can lead to increased skin sensitivity and various allergic reactions leading to skin diseases like psoriasis, hives and eczema. Whereas exposure to smog is the primary reason of acne, dryness and rashes. It is well understood that pollution is not only affecting skin at cosmetic level but poses a real threat to skin health.
How To Protect Yourself?
With this worsening condition of pollution in your city and its ever growing harmful effects, here are some simple tips that you can follow to protect your skin and prevent severe damage to it.
1. Cleansing Is The Key! Cleansing is must to do, followed to get rid of dirt, grime and pollutants on your skin. In case you wear make-up, it is advisable to remove makeup with help of make remover wipes and then cleanse properly. Wash at least twice a day and use gentle cleanser according to your skin type.
2. Lock The Moisture! As pollution can disrupt skin barriers and cause dryness applying moisturiser is a necessity to hydrate your skin. Choose the correct moisturizer depending on your skin type, to keep it soft and hydrated which helps in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
3. Sun Protection Is a Must! No matter what, always apply a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 50+, weather you are inside the house or you step out. Further depending on your skin type for example if it is acne prone then choose a non comedogenic and non greasy sunscreen. Apply sunscreen every 4 hours.
4. Serums With Antioxidants! Serums or moisturiser with antioxidant ingredients are highly preferable. Vitamin B3 tops the list of ingredients when it comes to topical application that can reduce harmful damage of urban dust, smoke, benzo-a-pyrene and diesel dust, found mostly in urban cities. Studies prove that, it significantly reduces the skin cell damage and strengthens skin barrier. It also actively repairs UV damage thus giving all round protection against pollution trauma
5. Eat Healthy And Hydrate Your Body Too! Eat diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts which contain essential antioxidants and potent anti-ageing nutrients. Consumption of Multivitamins with antioxidants properties like Vitamin A, C, D, B-complex and B3 plays a vital role in combating the adverse effects of pollution.
Most importantly, take time out for yourself and visit your dermatologist, who is the best person to suggest you an appropriate skin care regime as per the requirement of your skin. A range of treatments are available varying from topical creams, chemical peels, hydration facials and lasers which can help cut down the damage caused to skin by excessive exposure to pollutants especially for people with busy schedule who need quick fix for this problem.