Those of us with skincare routines are working to protect our skin from a myriad of problems daily. We apply moisturizer to help counteract our skin being dried out by our environment and the sun so that our skin stays properly hydrated. Serums and other products nourish our skins to ensure that our skin gets all the components they need to properly repair and care for themselves. Sunscreen helps to guard against sun damage and reduce the potential for countless skin issues. There are other things that we need to protect our skin from as well. Not all of them have direct and obvious products to help counteract them either. Pollution is a good example of this. We all live with it to one degree or another, but it can be particularly pronounced in larger cities. Learning to counteract the potential damage from pollution will go a long way towards ensuring long-term skin health.
Watch the News
Part of defending against pollution involves staying aware. Many larger metropolitan areas have their local news regularly issues smog or pollution alerts to give residents an idea of the overall air quality expected that day. These can be found on some websites and apps as well. Avoiding being outside as much as possible during high pollution days is key if you want to actively defend your skin against pollution damage. Minimizing your contact with the outside world for the day will help prevent you from encountering at least some kinds of pollution. It is important to note that you’ll likely want to ensure the air filters in your home and office are regularly checked to ensure that they’re clean and capable of properly filtering the outside air. Making the effort to stay alert to these factors will in turn help you minimize the effects of pollution on your skin. Unfortunately, we can’t always avoid pollution and we do have to wander around outside sometimes.
This is one of the most common forms of pollution that we all end up dealing with when we’re out walking. That’s because it gets created fairly constantly. Roadways are a particularly important thing to keep in mind as we’re often subjected to more damage from particulate matter when walking along them thanks to the constant movement of traffic. Microscopic particulate matter can easily ride along the air currents caused by moving traffic and brush against our faces. This is bad because it ends up giving the skin tiny cuts from the rough edges of the particles. Constant bombardment creates a network of these tiny cuts that offer free entry into the skin and need to be healed. As a result, they’re far from the most desirable form of pollution damage. Defending your skin against this sort of damage is also a bit more difficult than anyone would like. Minimizing exposure to situations that result in this sort of damage is ideal, but the rest of the time we’re better off regularly using nourishing skincare products to help our skin heal fully instead of allowing the damage to add up over time.
Ground Level Ozone
One of the more insidious forms of pollution our skin can be subjected to is ground level ozone. It is also common near roadways, but the fumes from a roadway can travel and lead to the formation of ground level ozone anywhere where there is sufficient sunlight. Ozone exposure at ground level introduces a number of problems to the skin. The most immediate is the simple fact that it leads to a higher level of free radical exposure. This leads to a consistent low level of damage to the skin as well as making it harder for your skin to keep itself in good shape. Exposure is also believed to deplete reserves of vitamins C and E within the skin and thereby actually damage your skin’s ability to repair itself. What makes matters even worse is that even brief exposure ends up disrupting your skin’s natural barriers and can end up contributing to dry skin. Overall, ozone exposure accelerates skin aging. Anti-aging products are the best answer to the problem as they’ll counteract all the damage ozone does.
Direct defense against pollution isn’t as simply as applying the right product to your skin. Our skin is going to take damage from exposure, but it is entirely possible to counteract the damage by supporting our skin in the right way. Nourishing our skin with serums and similar products while remembering to regularly use our favorite anti-aging products helps to do this. Combining proper care with minimizing overall exposure to pollution will help all of us defend our skin from pollution as best we can though.