Every year, the pollution keeps getting worse, which can take a toll on the skin. The upper layer of our skin, epidermis plays the role of a barrier from the harmful effects of the environment. However, with the overexposure of pollution, the barrier fails to work. Major air pollutants that have adverse effects on the skin include the solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), volatile organic compounds (VOC), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), nitrogen oxides (NO), particulate matter (PM), and cigarette smoke.
Pollution blocks the skin pores and makes the skin unhealthy. With all this, the skin can get congested, dehydrated and irritated. It can also lead to early skin ageing and inflammatory/allergic skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, urticaria, psoriasis rosacea or acne.
Pollution breaks down the collagen and the lipid layer on the skin, which impairs skin barrier’s functions. This and dehydration are among the most immediate threats air pollution imposes on our skin. Here are a few anti-pollution measures you can take to protect and restore your skin’s health with the growing pollution:
Cleansing: A two-step process for cleansing is recommended. You can start by using a cleansing wipe or make-up removal pad and then wash with a cleanser to remove any remaining make-up, dirt or pollution left on the skin. You can also use cleansing brushes, which are better than using just hands.
Antioxidants: They can be used in both topical and oral forms. They help neutralize the free radical-induced damage done by pollution. You can also increase the intake of citrus fruits, pomegranate, berries, carrots and green tea, that are loaded with antioxidant power. And, if you are fond of alcohol drinks, it’s best to switch to red wine which is loaded with polyphenol based antioxidants.
Hydration: Drink a lot of water and choose a skin care routine as per your skin type. For hydrating your skin, you can use a serum or a daily moisturiser consisting of antioxidants. It will help to create layers of protection and won’t let small particles penetrate into the skin.
UV Protection:The best way to protect your skin is to apply sunscreen. It will protect your skin from UV induced damage and also trap the smog particles and prevent these harmful chemicals from penetrating into the skin.
– For cleansing, you can mix yoghurt with a tablespoon of lemon juice and honey. This deep-cleansing routine will help to reverse the damage caused by pollutants.
– If your skin is getting too dry, you must apply cocoa butter. It helps to promote skin’s elasticity and reduce scarring. To keep your skin healthy, apply it twice a week for skin nourishment.
– You can also apply olive oil, which has a high content of Vitamin E and antioxidants promoting cell regeneration and helping reduce the appearance of damages. Apply with circular movements preferably at night. This will help to rejuvenate the dull skin caused due to pollution.