By Honor Wilcox
As a society we are becoming ever more aware of how pollution affects our health, and whilst we often think about the damage to our lungs many people are now looking into the effects that pollution can have on our skin. If you’ve been taking all the right steps to improve your skin and are yet to see results, protecting it against air pollution could be the key to seeing real changes.
How can pollution affect our skin?
You probably didn’t realise but just like any other environmental factor, pollution can cause damage to your skin barrier which can cause skin to become overly dry and accelerate the ageing process, making it look dull and lacklustre.
This happens when the tiny particles of dirt and soot in the air enter your skin cells and cause oxidation to take place. Where dirt particles don’t manage to enter the skin, they can still collect in your pores causing them to become clogged.
How to protect your skin from pollution?
If you live in an area with high amounts of pollution fear not because there are in fact easy ways that you can help to protect your precious skin barrier from getting damaged.
It may seem obvious but washing your face everyday is really important, even when you’re tired its the least you can do to protect your skin. Although the method of double cleansing is often used for the removal of makeup, it is equally important for the removal of city grime.
If you’re unfamiliar with double cleansing, it simply means to wash your face twice, once immediately after the other. You can use two different cleansers for example a micellar water first followed by an ordinary face wash, or even use the same face wash twice in a row. Whatever you choose, by washing twice you will really get all the dirt out of your pores.
Because pollution causes oxidation to happen within your skin cells, using antioxidants in your skincare routine can help to really minimise the damage that this can cause. Antioxidants include Vitamins A, C and E, which can easily be found in a number of skincare products. By using one or two products containing these vitamins you can help to protect your skin when you’re walking out and about in polluted areas.
Use an exfoliator
Although cleansing should be enough to remove most of the dirt from your pores, exfoliating once or twice a week can give your skin an even deeper cleanse. A gentle chemical exfoliator will be able to really get into your pores and remove any dead skin cells and dirt particles that have built up.
Keep skin hydrated
The more hydrated your skin is, then the healthier and stronger it will be to resist excessive damage from pollution. Furthermore, pollution can cause your skin to become drier than it normally would be so it’s important to give it that extra boost of hydration by using a good moisturiser every morning and evening.