|Image SThe Importance of Protecting Your Skin From Pollutants|
We all hear about air pollutants and what they’re doing to the environment. But, everyday pollution is impacting more than the state of the planet – it could be impacting your skin, too. Some of the most common pollutants that can harm your skin include dust, smoke, smog, and vehicle exhaust.
Even paint, cleansers, aerosol sprays, and disinfectants can contribute to skin damage. If you haven’t taken a look at some of the everyday products you’re using, now is a good time to make sure they don’t have any parabens or free radicals, or they could be doing more harm than good.
Why is it so important to protect your skin from these everyday pollutants? It’s not just about looking good, even though pollution can make your skin look dull and dry. Rather, it’s about making sure your skin stays healthy. Protecting yourself from pollutants will reduce your risk of certain skin conditions and even serious diseases.
Still not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at why it’s important to protect your skin, what could happen if you don’t, and how you can strengthen the barrier that keeps your skin healthy and glowing, no matter your environment.
How Do Pollutants Damage Your Skin?
Long-term exposure to common air pollutants can cause a variety of problems for your skin, including conditions like:
- Skin cancer
But, how do pollutants actually do damage?
Your body has a natural protective layer. It keeps your skin from getting too damaged by everyday substances like dirt and sweat. But, some air pollutants are small enough to break through that protective barrier. Particles can scatter all over, seeping into your pores and causing inflammation and dehydration. When that happens, the pollution will start to break down the natural collagen in your skin, leaving you looking older and your skin looking dull.
Some areas of the country have poor air quality. That can disrupt the protective layer of your skin, making it easier for pollutants to make their way in and cause damage. It’s important to know what to avoid and how to protect yourself, especially once you’re aware of how much damage pollutants can do.
What to Avoid
We live in a world where it’s impossible to avoid every possible pollutant that can irritate your skin. But, there are things you can do to reduce your exposure and allow your skin to stay in a healthier environment.
One of the biggest factors in skin irritation is pollutants from city living. Unfortunately, that’s hard to escape for most people. In 2019, nearly 83% of the population lived in a major city. If you do, you’re consistently exposed to pollution from smog, cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust, and more. Don’t let that dishearten you. There are plenty of advantages to living in the city, including:
- More work opportunities
- Access to everything
- Endless entertainment
- More healthcare facilities
Some risks can come from living in more rural areas, including sunspots and dry skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. It can cause premature aging and give your skin a dull, older appearance.
If you live in a city, try to avoid spending too much time walking along the sidewalks or out in busy neighborhoods. If you do have to walk to work or your next entertainment spot, try to keep your face as covered as possible or walk in the early morning or evening when it’s cooler and there may not be as much smog.
If you live in a rural environment, be sure to limit your sun exposure. A little bit of Vitamin D is a good thing, so don’t avoid it altogether. Spending time in nature has profound psychological benefits and can reduce your stress levels (helping you to avoid acne breakouts!). But, make sure you’re protecting your skin with sunscreen or makeup with SPF.
Adopt the Right Skincare Routine
Speaking of protecting your skin, adopting the right skincare routine is one of the best ways to do it. If you’re fighting back against a pollution-heavy environment, taking care of your skin in the comfort of your own home is a great place to start.
You don’t necessarily have to get fancy when it comes to your skincare routine. If you’re not familiar with how to properly care for your skin, start with the basics. Keep these practices in your daily routine for healthier, glowing skin:
- Use a gentle cleanser
- Moisturize every day
- Keep your stress levels low
- Eat a healthier diet
- Limit alcohol
You might not be able to avoid some of the most common pollutants life will throw at you. But, by utilizing some of the tips listed here and protecting your skin with an effective routine, you can fight back against the damage those pollutants can cause. You’ll notice healthier, glowing skin that looks younger and more vibrant than skin that falls victim to pollution.