Our skin––our largest organ––is constantly exposed to the environment.
One of the most common environmental stressors on our skin is pollution.
Pollution exposure affects our skin health, leading to conditions like premature aging, dryness, and irritation.
What is skin pollution?
Picture this: you're on a fun-filled adventure outside, exploring nature and soaking up the sun.
Along with the fresh air, your skin is also soaking up something else: pollution.
Yes, my friends, skin pollution is a thing.
Skin pollution results from our modern-day world and all the lovely things it produces, like those volatile organic compounds floating around in the air.
From car exhaust to industrial factories, these pollutants can latch onto our skin and wreak havoc.
How does it affect skin health?
Pollution can damage our skin cells and make them more susceptible to free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause inflammation and accelerate aging.
Air pollutants can cause oxidative stress, leading to premature aging, wrinkles, and dark spots. These pesky pollutants also can cause inflammation which exacerbates skin conditions like acne and eczema.
Additionally, pollution can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
And, if your skin is already sensitive or dry, air pollution can aggravate it. That means that anyone with a pre-existing skin condition should be extra careful when dealing with environmental pollutants.
It's a lot to deal with. But don't worry.
We're here with some simple steps that will help you protect your skin and look your best.
What are the causes of environmental stressors? Should I be worried?
Pollution can come from various sources, including traffic, factories, and construction sites.
Reading that, you might be tempted to think "Eh, skin pollution is really only an issue for those who live in smog-filled cities."
Brace yourself. Are you sitting down?
Data from the World Health Organization says *checks notes* 99% of us live in air that is considered unhealthy. Yikes!
In addition to pollution, other environmental stressors that can affect our skin health include:
- Sun exposure
- Harsh weather conditions
What can I do about it?
This is the key question––what action can you take to help your skin fight environmental aggressors?
Here are a bunch of our favorite tips (bunch––see what we did there?)
- Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen (with an SPF of at least 30 daily, Yes, daily––even on cloudy and wintery days. Don't stop there. Also, wear a hat or sunglasses to thwart air pollution and the sun's harmful rays.
- Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser, and don't skip your evening cleanse. Nightly cleansing will remove the dirt, grime, or pollution your skin accumulated throughout the day. Use a gentle cleanser that removes dirt or buildup without stripping your skin.
- Use a clarifying tonerto help to remove any remaining pollutants from your skin and keep it clean. A toner will also rebalance your skin after exposure to airborne pollutants.
- Apply an antioxidant serum––such as our Glow Booster Oil Serum––to help protect your skin from free radical damage. Made from rare pink bananas, this serum offers more than 3,000 times the antioxidant power of grape-seed oil. Antioxidants are essential for healthy skin barrier function. They help protect your skin from free radical damage and environmental stressors.
- Keep your moisture barrier hydrated. A hydrated, moisturized skin barrier is a happy skin barrier. And happy skin barriers help you glow.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for maintaining healthy, glowing skin. That's why they call it beauty sleep! At night, your body repairs itself from the damage of the previous day. Sleep also helps reduce stress and inflammation.
- Eat antioxidant-rich foods. They'll help protect your skin and body from the harmful effects of pollution. So load up on those fruits and veggies!
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to premature aging and increase the risk of skin damage from environmental pollutants.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps reduce stress and inflammation, helping to protect your skin from pollution's harmful effects.
- Take a break from electronics. Electronics emit blue light that can damage your skin's cells, so take regular breaks from staring at screens and give your eyes a rest.
Even if you try only a few of these tips, you will help protect your skin from environmental stressors. And you'll keep it looking its best for the future.
The Polluted Bottom Line
In conclusion, environmental pollution affects the health and appearance of our skin.
Protecting our skin from pollutants is essential for keeping it looking its best.
Following these tips and taking the proper precautions can protect your skin from environmental stressors and maintain healthy, beautiful skin.
Remember that prevention is essential to protecting your skin from pollution. Knowing the sources of air pollutants and reducing exposure can help keep your skin looking its best.
With the right products and lifestyle habits, you can maintain a healthy complexion even in environments that expose your skin to pollutants and stressors.