We are pretty sure that by now, you have been alerted by the Air Quality Index which is depleting day by day at a very fast rate. Not only problems like cancer, heart attacks, asthma etc. have become very common but even skin has started to be affected as a result of excessive air pollution. Have you ever thought about how pollution damages your skin?
The polluted air can enter into the skin in the form of minute particles and accelerate the brown spots, wrinkles or fine lines. There can be various ways of pollution like smog, traffic fumes, dust, UV rays, outdoor and indoor air, and even water. Apart from these, there are a lot of other seemingly innocent substances which can be the cause of your skin damage and ageing. Let us first know how pollution damages your skin.
How Is The Damage Caused?
Have you ever thought how is this damage caused? Free radicals and aggressors are present in the air which are 20 times smaller than the pores and therefore, can easily enter the layers of the skin one by one and end up penetrating deeply. Affecting slowly and gradually, these pollutants start damaging the skin cells from inside which make the dark spots appear on our skin. Other visible damages include rashes, ageing spots, wrinkles, dryness etc.
Sometimes, pollution can also damage the collagen and the lipid layer of the skin which impairs the skin barrier functions. Collagen is a protein responsible for maintaining the elasticity of the skin and also keeping it strong and helping in repairing scars like that leftover due to acne.
Now, since you know how pollution damages your skin, let us have a look at some of the damages caused by pollution:
- Dark Spots
- Premature Ageing
- Skin Cancer
- Uneven Skin Tone
- Sensitivity/ Redness
- Dry/ Itchy Skin
How to protect your skin from air pollution?
However there are various antioxidants and creams and other protective measures on how to protect your skin from air pollution, one must follow certain basic steps in order to avoid getting into a complex situation on a daily basis. Let us have a look at those steps below:
1. Cleanse: You already know how is the damage caused. Therefore, it goes without saying that it is necessary to wash away the dust and dirt and all the other possible impurities that must be present due to the sebum production or get deposited on your skin outwardly in order to keep your skin free from radicals and bacteria.
2. Tone: Since the level of pollution is very high, there are chances that some impurity must be left even after cleansing. Therefore, it is necessary to clean your face with a toner after washing.
3. Moisturise: Moisturising is a very important part of the skin care regimen as it helps in keeping the skin hydrated and glowing. Therefore, you must hydrate your skin after washing your face every time.
4. Sunscreen: Sunscreen is important to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun which, when penetrated into the skin can cause heavy skin damage. You must apply sunscreen irrespective of the weather.
5. Exfoliate: Exfoliation is necessary for your skin at least once a week in order to clear out all the dead skin cells and unclog the pores.