When we talk about pollution, then it is in fact a mixture of many components that makes it very difficult to say exactly, which one of the different elements are responsible for our skin changes that we can see. It is however possible in the laboratory to expose few cultured skin cells to some type of pollutants one by one.
Few examples of specific type of pollutants that were tested are:
- Diesel exhaust
- Ultrafine dust
- Urban dust
Surprisingly, the actual threat does not come from all these particles, but comes from various chemicals that find way to get attached to them. Any urban dust contains cocktail of about 224 toxic chemicals, which are from the poly-aromatic hydrocarbons to heavy metals and pesticides.
While particles of pollution can usually be too large to actually penetrate skin themselves, but many such chemicals remain attached to skin. Cigarette smoke can be another major pollutant, which consist of more than 6,000 chemicals.
With the help of laboratory tests, we can measure not only about how these cells can react to various pollutants, but also about which ingredients are able to protect them against negative effects.
How these pollutants can affect our skin?
Due to pollution, free radicals are generated on our skin that essentially can destroy skin support structures, and accelerates skin aging, and also introduce many diseases. However, these free radicals do not just sit on outer skin layer.
Various dirt nanoparticles, dust and soot can penetrate our deeper layers of epidermis. This will cause cellular-level oxidative stress, which may lead to inflammation, loss of firmness and elasticity.
Our skin will act as a natural barrier against such pollution, and while protecting against many things, increasing pollution levels will mean that there will be a greater chance that toxins will penetrate our skin.
It is now clear that our city life is a culprit of dehydrated, irritated and acne-prone skin.
How to protect our skin from pollution?
- Try to follow daily cleansing routine. Always wash away whole day’s toxins while cleaning to take off all your makeup, and also remove some of pollution buildup.
- Use certain serum to neutralize your skin and also counteract effects of the harsh pollution. Such serum contains active ingredients that are plant-based, specifically formulated for protecting skin from pollutants.
Remember, pollution can oxidize the skin, hence using antioxidants you can balance this out.
- Try to create skin barrier for daily protection. Use certain night oil that contains key ingredients for strengthening the skin barrier. By cleansing daily can help to boost the process of skin-repair and create barrier for protecting your pores for the future.
- Protect the skin from inside out. Try to introduce more foods which are antioxidant-rich in your diet.
Skin threat from pollution can be real and in future, it is not going to be any better soon. So, you must follow all the skin protection advice given above to protect your skin against pollution.