Contributed by: Rachana Arya
When you see wrinkles and other apparent symptoms of ageing on your skin at 30, you can’t help but wonder what went wrong. You receive the opposite outcomes despite your best efforts to preserve good skin and health, and you wonder where it all went wrong. All of your efforts were futile due to one element that had never occurred to you as a potential threat to your skin: pollution.
Poisonous air has already been acknowledged to be an important cause of millions of early deaths from lung ailments and heart diseases. But perhaps the most visible impact of air pollution is on the skin, and this can be seen in relatively young people too. Pollution stains your face in more ways than one. Toxins clog pores and limit oxygenation by collecting on the skin.
As a result, your skin suffocates, loses its radiance, and causes flaws to arise. Furthermore, when your skin comes into contact with pollutants, it becomes irritated.
Various studies have revealed that exposure to toxic fumes can also lead to increased skin sensitivity, discomfort and premature signs of skin ageing, especially pigmentation issues. Additionally, pollution can also cause worsening skin conditions such as eczema and hives.
How? PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are tiny particles found in air pollution that help form Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), often known as “free radicals.”
These chemicals are extremely irritating, and once they enter the skin, they trigger various inflammatory pathways. These deplete the skin’s barrier lipids, which aid in the retention of moisture and the expulsion of dirt and other pollutants.
In this post, we’ll look at how air pollution can affect your skin and speed up the ageing process, as well as what you can do to preserve it.
The effects of air pollution on skin ageing
The faces of city inhabitants are prematurely ageing due to air pollution. Long-term or repeated exposure to high amounts of air contaminants has the potential to harm the skin.
Wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and other imperfections appear faster as a result of the poisonous gases and pollution. Some skin disorders, such as eczema and hives, have been related to it.
People who live in severely polluted places have notably poor skin hydration and skin barrier functions, according to various studies conducted on the urban population of numerous countries.
Poor air quality can irritate your skin and aggravate comedones (small bumps on the forehead and chin), acne, and blackheads. Also, continuous exposure to air pollution hastens the destruction of skin collagen, hastening the process of skin ageing.
Exposure to pollution has many detrimental consequences for your skin, such as:
- Dull complexion
- Dilated pores and
- Blackheads or pimples
- Premature ageing
- Dehydration and dryness
- Skin irritation
Pollution protection for your skin
Cover your face
When going out, cover your face and head with a scarf or dupatta, especially if you are travelling long distances. This will function as a barrier between your skin and any harmful pollutants.
When you get home, wash your face thoroughly, especially for ones who wear make-up. Use a gentle face wash or lukewarm water with soap to clean your face.
Carry wet wipes
Bring a small pack of wet wipes with you on your trip and use them to clean your face whenever you can. It will not only help you clean your skin, but it will also prevent pollutants from entering and destroying your skin cells.
Protect your skin from the sun
UV rays are still a major cause of skin ageing. That’s why it’s best to use an SPF of 30 or higher every day. Wear sunscreen whenever you go outside, especially during the midday hours when the sun is at its hottest.
Pollutants can cause your skin to become dry and irritated. Therefore, it is essential to moisturize it well to retain hydration. Use a moisturizer that is loaded with active ingredients on your skin every night before sleeping to re-balance your skin’s moisture level.
Take an oil massage at least once every month to replenish your skin of its oils.
Natural face packs
Pamper your skin with natural face packs once a week to revive its glow.
Exfoliate your skin
Findings from a few studies suggest that you should exfoliate your skin at least once a week as it prevents pollutants, dirt and bacteria from building up.
Eat foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats
Findings from a few studies suggest that eating foods such as garlic, broccoli, avocado, almonds, eggplant, whole grains, oily fish and eggs can prevent damage that leads to premature skin ageing, and helps restore the skin’s healthy tissues.
Even people who already show indications of premature ageing on their skin can benefit from lifestyle modifications. You can give your skin a chance to recover some of the harm it has sustained by quitting smoking. If you’re concerned about minimizing skin damage or ageing skin, you should consult a dermatologist.
As you take care of your skin, watch out for other winter-related illnesses that can strike you and dampen the joy of the season. Keep yourself protected against cold, flu, fever, and other health issues this winter by opting for regular health check-ups to stay on top of your health.
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