Tips to get rid of the effects of air pollution on your skin, by Dr Ritika Dhingra, Founder, The Luxe Clinique.
According to WHO, over 91% of the world’s population lives in areas with low air quality with air pollution levels exceeding the World Health Organization reference limits. Ongoing, daily exposure to pollution drastically affects the skin’s health and appearance. All types of pollution cause free-radical damage to the skin, with smog being the most harmful source. The problems that pollutants in the air cause are brown spots, dull skin tone, uneven, breakdown of skin’s supportive elements (wrinkles), enlarged pores, sensitive, redness-prone skin, uncomfortably dry, itchy skin. You can't protect your skin from the effects of pollution completely. What you can do is shield skin as much as possible from the pollutants. Here are some suggestions by Dr Ritika Dhingra (Founder, The Luxe Clinique) that can help you get rid of the skin damage caused by airborne contaminants.
Purify air at home
These days, the air inside our home is 2 to 5 times more polluted and toxic than the air we breathe out in the open. Formaldehyde from insecticides, glues, shampoos, shaving creams, carpets, cigarette smoke, and chemicals from paint, woodwork in the house or office, hair and nail products, cleaning products, and detergents - all contribute to air pollution inside our homes. Investing in an air purifier, increasing ventilation, using beeswax candles, and keeping houseplants can purify and rejuvenate air. The threat from the pollution which reaches an all-new level almost every day is not getting any better any time soon. Most of us are not aware of indoor air pollution, which can do the same level of harm. Purifying indoor air will not only help you breathe safe but will also protect your skin from damage.
Look for pollution-fighting skincare products
Look for anti-pollution skincare products formulated with antioxidants. Your pollution-fighting products should also include potent calming ingredients that counteract the damage caused by air pollutants and that replenish the elements needed to fortify the skin’s surface. It’s also more important than ever to exfoliate because it helps to get rid of the pollutants that get trapped in the pores. Skin-brightening products are also helpful because pollution can discolour and darken the skin.
Keep your skin clean
Cleanse your face properly and remove your makeup at least twice a day to get rid of as many pollutants as possible. Adding microdermabrasion and exfoliation to your daily face cleansing routine can help you get rid of any residual toxins and sticky particles like soot. After cleansing or exfoliating your face, apply a serum that’s loaded with active ingredients, followed by a moisturizer according to your skin type.
Fortify your diet with antioxidants
Consuming food that is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E is an excellent treatment for damaged collagen and will help repair the body and skin. Collagen helps your skin cells to keep renewing and repairing naturally and when damaged. Common foods packed with antioxidants are berries, nuts, dark green veggies, orange veggies, and whole grains.
Protecting the body’s natural barrier is vital. Wearing sunscreen is essential to protect your skin because it safeguards the skin from UV-induced damage and also prevents toxic chemicals from penetrating deep into the skin. With appropriate skin protection, you can reduce your likelihood of getting dark spots, accelerated ageing, and skin cancer development.
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