The Bad News
There are many ways in which air pollution can impact your skin, particularly if you live in a more urban area. Pollutants generate free radicals on the skin, increasing sensitivity due to oxidative stress which has a number of effects.
Nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone, particle pollution and cigarette smoke are just some examples of the types of pollutants acting on your skin day to day, mainly released through industrial processes.
Such pollution, especially in combination with solar ultraviolet radiation, can lead to ageing, eczema, psoriasis, acne and even skin cancer.
When VOCs react with nitrous oxides and sunlight, photochemical oxidant products are formed (most commonly ozone). This is also called summer photochemical smog. Exposure to ozone can damage the epidermis, reduce the level of antioxidants such as vitamin C, and increase inflammation. It has also been correlated with cases of hives (urticaria) and eczema.
Particle pollution, or particulate matter (PM), mainly consists of metals, ions and carbon compounds. Due to the reactive nature of PM, it can induce oxidative stress on the skin, causing wrinkles and pigmentation - the signs of ageing.
Cigarette smoke has also been linked to premature ageing of the skin. This process becomes more rapid when in combination with UV radiation. It has also been associated with psoriasis, skin cancer and increased breakouts (pimples).
Now, that’s a lot to take in. You’re probably wondering “how do I protect my skin from all of these pollutants?!”
The Good News
It’s not all doom and gloom- there are a few things you can do!
- Making sure to wash your face properly every day is vitally important in cleansing away these pollutants. A good cleanser is a super important investment that your skin will thank you for in the future. Our Vita Cleanser provides powerful antioxidant benefits that focus on reducing inflammation.
- A good sunscreen is crucial. Solar UV radiation often reacts synergistically with pollutants, meaning the effects caused are more rapid and extreme. Our RP Moisturiser assists in reflecting harmful UV radiation to protect your epidermis and thus reduce the combined effects of solar radiation with pollutants.
- A good serum is also a worthwhile investment to give your skin that extra nourishment it needs. Something gentle is always recommended, like our REM Serum. This serum assists in reducing pigmentation, improving barrier function and decreasing sensitivity.