Pollution and Your Skin
Pollution ages our skin. Although the two factors which cause the greatest damage to our skin are sun and smoke, air pollution also has a great effect on the ageing of our skin.
Air pollution can lead to skin ageing and the worsening of inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis and rosacea. It can also increase the risk of skin cancer. When air particles cause free radical damage to cells, certain parts of our cells are not replaceable.
Traffic related air pollution has also been shown to cause the formation of lentigenes (dark spots on the skin).
Studies have shown indoor air pollution, from close proximity to smokers and cooking fuels, can also cause skin ageing.
How do Free Radicals age our skin?
Over 90% of the signs of ageing are caused by free radical damage.
White blood cells produce free radicals from oxygen to kill bacteria or viruses. When they are exposed to air pollution, these free radicals may be created to fight off potential pollution deposits. As the white blood cells cannot kill the pollution particles, more white blood cells are produced creating more free radicals, causing more oxidative stress and inflammation.
How to Protect our Skin?
Combating these effects can be done by wearing a sunscreen, wearing a hat and staying in the shade wherever possible. The use of a topical antioxidant is very beneficial as it can help reduce oxidative stress (external ageing) from free radicals.
Antioxidant skincare is one of the newest trends in beauty. Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and enzymes (proteins inside your body) that can help to prevent and repair damage to your body’s tissue. They prevent degradation of natural ingredients (proteins, sugars, lipids) in the cosmetic product. Antioxidants also protect the skin cells from being damaged by limiting the production of free radicals which damage the cells, therefore, slowing down the ageing process.
Incorporating the right antioxidants into your everyday skincare routine can have a positive effect on your skin. In other words, antioxidant ingredients in skincare products help in repairing past damage, and preventing future damage in the skin cells.
Overall Benefits of an Antioxidant
Provide UVA/UVB protection
Stimulate the production of collagen
Protect against harmful pollutants in the environment like smoke and exhaust
Protect against free radical damage and neutralised Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
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