How to protect your skin from pollution
Pollution is something that constantly surrounds us, but how many of us realise the harmful effects that it can have on our skin? While its deteriorative effect on the planet and on our general health is well known, most of us are unaware of the damage caused to our skin by the toxins and pollutants that we regularly come face-to-face with. The battle to reduce pollution levels is constantly ongoing, but in the meantime there are a number of ways in which we can protect ourselves from the effects.
The most commonly exposed areas of skin are the face, neck and hands, and so these areas need the most care and protection. Pollution can not only enhance signs of ageing in all of these areas, but can also cause skin dehydration and dryness, potentially damaging skin cells.
Although we currently have no control over the levels of pollution in the world, we can take the following precautions to ensure that we are as protected from the effects as possible.
Here are my top tips to protect your skin from pollution!
Throughout the day a build-up of pollutants and toxins forms on the skin, which can have an impact on the natural skin barrier and cause some irritation. While washing the skin is important, water alone is not strong enough for the job. A gentle face cleanser will ensure that your skin is clear and toxins are removed, as well as acting as a strong base for the rest of your skin care routine. Getting into the routine of cleansing both day and night will improve the condition of your natural skin barrier, and keep your complexion fresh.
Particularly in summer and in the city, exfoliating is an essential part of our skin care regimes. As the temperatures rise, so too do the levels of sweat and oil production. Sweat and oil residing on the face can lead to pores being clogged, which combined with the toxins and pollutants, can cause the skin to have a dry appearance. Using an exfoliator twice a week will not only get rid of toxins, but also remove any unwanted dead skin cells, and even out skin tone.
While it's important to moisturise daily, some areas of the skin may require ultra hydration as the effects from pollutants can cause particularly dry patches. To give these areas extra care, try applying a moisturising oil to the affected area alongside your usual moisturising routine. Another way to avoid skin dehydration is to ensure you drink plenty of water every day, so carrying a bottle of water with you throughout your day will not only keep your body hydrated, but also ensure your skin keeps its healthy glow.
Pollution has a huge effect on the erosion of the ozone layer, meaning we are exposed to stronger UV rays. UV exposure is very damaging to the skin, and so it is important to always have some form of SPF+ on. Applying sunscreen regularly will help protect the skin from exposure, as UV can still have ageing effects on the skin even when the sky is cloudy. Many moisturisers have an SPF within their formula, so think about this when choosing your daily moisturiser.