Year-round, different types of air pollution hang in the city air due to public transportation, power plants, car exhaust, factories and more.
The nanoparticles in air pollution are so tiny that you often cannot see them. Just like your lungs inhale them, so does the skin.
Nanoparticles bounce around and touch the skin’s surface. Through oxidative stress, nanoparticles actually poke holes in the skin’s collagen. This particulate air pollution causes dark spots, puffiness and premature aging. As a matter of fact, particulate air pollution can start to age the skin as early as 30. The free radicals in air pollution deplete oxygen in the skin cells and decreases collagen production.
Digging deeper into the science of how nanoparticles work, research has shown that the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons attached to the nanoparticles convert to quinones that produce reactive oxygen species. It’s the same type of skin aging that results from UV light exposure.
Without a doubt, air pollution is not the best friend of city dwellers.
What’s the best way to fight the free radicals in pollution that are lurking the city?
The best way is to place a barrier between the skin and these environmental stressors. This way, nanoparticles cannot touch the skin.
Wearing a skin moisturizer, natural eye cream, facial foundation and SPF cream give a barrier from particulate air pollution. Using a deep facial cleanser can help remove any particulates that get through. Be sure to thoroughly cleanse the face and neck area in the morning and at night.
In addition, be sure to exfoliate at least twice a week. Many holistic practitioners believe dry skin brushing helps beat environmental damage. By brushing the skin in a circular motion, toxins are flushed away, and the lymphatic system functions better.
Beefing up your diet with fruits and vegetables can also help ward off the free radical damage from particulate air pollution. These foods are rich in antioxidants like vitamins C and A. Topically applying natural creams with these ingredients is another way to ward off particulate toxins. Even oral supplementation of antioxidants helps.
Get Skin Smart
Even in the cleanest of cities, there’s bound to some level of air pollution. For skin, it’s the exposed areas like the face, hands and neck that get the most damage. But it’s not all bad news for city dwellers. Get skin smart and use the discussed strategies in your skin care arsenal.
Your skin will thank you.