Is Air Pollution Aging Your Skin?
4 Ways To Protect Your Skin
Sun is not the only villain aging our skin. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, roughly 83 million tons of pollutants were emitted into the air in 2012. These tiny particles can be 10-20 times smaller than the size of your pores. This allows them to infiltrate into the deeper layers of the skin causing a cellular-level reaction that leads to a host of problems – inflammation, dehydration, wrinkling, dark spots, cell damage and impaired barrier function.
What is particulate pollution?
Particulate matter (PM), also know as particle pollution, is made up of microscopic solid particles and liquid droplets that are released into the air from sources like fires, construction sites, cars, power plants and cigarette smoke, just to name a few. We all know the toll this is taking on our beautiful earth, but lesser known have been the adverse effects on your skin.
What can you do to protect your skin?
One: Wash It Off
We all know we should be washing our face every night to remove makeup and every day dirt and sweat. I recommend preforming a double cleanse. Use an oil based cleanser first to remove any makeup, sunscreen or oily residue on the skin –remember oil attracts oil – so it is great for all skin types. Next use an electronic cleansing brush with a cleanser designed for you skin to effectively remove impurities deep within the pores.
Two: Neutralize It
When pollution gets into your pores, it creates free radicals. These unstable molecules bounce around in your skin destroying healthy skin cells. The most severe thing they can cause is DNA damage and cell mutation, which can lead to cancer. As bad as this sounds, there is a solution. Antioxidants are nutrients that are designed to neutralize the free radicals.
After cleansing in the morning apply an antioxidant serum before you apply your sunscreen. Two of my favorites are Vital C Hydrating Anti-Aging Serum by Image Skincare and PCA Skin C&E Strength Max. Both stop free radical damage in its tracks but also have the added benefit of lightening, tightening and brightening dull lackluster skin.
Three: Block It
Man made pollution is not only damaging our skin but also contributing to the erosion of our earth’s ozone layer. This layer helps shield us from the sun’s harmful rays. Think of UVB rays as UV-Burning, and UVA rays as UV-Aging. Because of ozone degradation, UV rays are stronger than ever and can penetrate the skin on sunny and cloudy days alike. UVA rays penetrate through car, office and home windows. Hence the importance of a daily moisturizer that contains an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreens have come along way in how they feel on the skin. Work with your esthetician to find one that is right for you. Remember – Sunscreen is by far the best anti-aging product on the market.
Four: Get regular facial treatments
Working with an experienced esthetician can dynamically change the way your skin looks and feels. Professional Customized Skincare Treatments can help keep the skin detoxed and the pores purified. At Skin Therapy of Charlotte, our goal is to design a treatment plan and homecare regimen tailored specifically within your budget, so you won’t end up with skin that is older than its years!