Air pollution can cause or contribute to the onset of various health conditions. These include respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, headaches, fatigue, and irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat.
Constant exposure to high levels of air pollution can also cause damage to the liver, spleen, blood, reproductive organs, and nervous system.
However, the list of issues doesn’t end here; air pollution can also cause different problems for your skin.
Because of this reason, it is crucial to use the best skincare products in Dubai to protect your face and skin from the harsh effects of air pollution every day.
Air Pollution and Your Skin
Air pollution comprises small natural or artificial (or both) particles or chemicals that can harm the health of humans, animals, and plants. It is often divided into two types: outdoor and indoor.
Outdoor pollutants include particles from burning gas and coal, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and other harmful gases. Smog, car exhaust gas, and ground-level ozone also fall under this category.
On the other hand, indoor pollutants include household chemicals and harmful gases, such as radon and carbon monoxide, asbestos, and molds.
Tobacco smoke, which is one of the most common air pollutants, is both a harmful outdoor and indoor irritant.
Various studies show that constant exposure to air pollution creates and accelerates oxidative damage in the skin that intensifies inflammation.
It also increases the amount of free radicals in the skin that damage cells and reduce collagen and elastin.
Over time, these factors can cause fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, sagging of the skin, and other signs of premature aging.
When air pollution is combined with UVA and UVB rays, the effects on the skin become more pronounced and severe. Aside from fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, they can cause dryness, blotchiness, redness, and aggravated acne.
The combination of these harsh environmental elements can also worsen existing dermatological conditions, such as eczema and rosacea.
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Protecting Your Skin From Air Pollution
If you want to prevent, or at the very least, minimize the harmful effects of air pollution on your skin, include these tips in your skincare routine:
1. Use skincare products with antioxidants.
Since air pollution increases free radicals on the skin, reduce their damaging effects by using products with antioxidants.
Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E and selenium, prevent the development and activities of free radicals. They promote healthy skin as well. Because of these reasons, you will do well to use skincare products that contain these ingredients.
Before going out in the morning, apply a day serum with antioxidants after cleansing. Do the same prior to turning in; however, use a night serum to bolster the skin repair process in the evening.
2. Cleanse your skin correctly.
Whether you spend a lot of time outdoors or not, at the end of each day, there will be a buildup of dirt, oil, and pollutants on your skin.
Washing your face thoroughly with the right facial cleanser is crucial for preventing pollutants and other harmful elements from accumulating on your skin and, ultimately, in the body.
As such, make it a habit to wash your face at night with a good facial cleansing product.
Additionally, keep in mind that the air’s high acidity levels can cause the skin to dry faster, making it vulnerable to the penetration of harmful particulates around you.
Because of this, you need to use a gentle, hydrating cleanser to keep your skin moist and healthy.
3. Stay hydrated.
One of the best, natural defenses in the fight for healthy skin is also one of the most abundant elements on earth.
Water hydrates the skin and improves its elasticity, promotes cell growth and repair, and enhances blood circulation. Because of these health benefits, aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily.
If you want to increase your intake of water and get more nutrients that help reduce the effects of air pollution on your skin, add or infuse fresh lemons, cucumber, mint leaves, and other fruits and herbs in your water.
You can also add organic flavors or extracts to your water to enhance its taste.
4. Protect your skin from the sun.
Since UV rays can increase the damage your skin can get from air pollution, make sure you use skincare products that provide protection against the harsh emissions from the sun.
Sunscreen is the best skincare product that offers protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
If you want a stronger product, opt for a mineral sunscreen, which contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, ingredients that physically block UV rays.
If you have dry skin, consider using a tinted moisturizer with SPF. Aside from protecting your skin from UV rays, this product also contains iron oxides, which are ingredients that offer protection against blue light.
Also, consider using a face powder with built-in SPF to protect your skin from UV rays. This product is easy to apply and reapply, making it extra convenient for you if you need a midday touch-up.
5. Use a toner and exfoliant.
Give your skin a deeper, more thorough cleaning by including the use of toners and exfoliants in your skincare routine.
Make it a habit to use a toner after washing your face. A gentle toning product helps remove traces of oil, dirt, and grime from your skin, ensuring it is free from any acidic particles.
Also, exfoliate at least once a week. This skincare practice allows you to unclog pores and remove dead skin leaving your skin thoroughly clean, free of pollutants, and more vibrant.
6. Be vigilant in moisturizing your skin.
Moisturizing products are crucial for nourishing and repairing your skin from the damage it gets from pollution.
Cocoa and shea butter are natural moisturizing products you can use. Apply these at least twice a week for deep skin nourishment.
Facial oils are another option you can consider. They provide deep moisturizing and act as a barrier, preventing pollutants from penetrating the skin.
If you want a skincare product that moisturizes your skin and protects it from harsh air pollutants at the same time, use a facial oil after cleansing your face.
7. Stop smoking.
Since tobacco smoke is a form of air pollution, if you smoke, kick this habit as soon as you can.
Smoking and second-hand smoke cause wrinkles since they narrow the blood vessels in your skin, thereby impeding the flow of blood, oxygen, and other nutrients to your skin.
First-hand and second-hand smoke also damage elastin and collagen, causing premature wrinkles to appear on your skin.
The earlier you quit smoking, the better it will be for your skin and health. If you don’t smoke but are constantly exposed to second-hand smoke, take the necessary steps to avoid exposure to this harmful pollutant.
Air pollution is a growing problem and health concern for everyone. Minimize their harmful effects on your skin by including these tips in your skincare routine as soon as possible.