The skin is the largest protective organ and our first line of defense against the environment.
The world is quickly changing, but not in a good way. There are now more pollutants and toxic elements our skin must deal with on a daily basis. These impurities can cause adverse reactions such as allergies, premature damage and even cancer.
The good thing is, we can take certain skin protection measures to ensure that our skin is healthy and oxidative stress is kept at a minimum.
Environmental Changes And Your Skin
Air quality, more notably air pollution is a significant factor in skin health.
According to the WHO, or World Health Organization, a whopping 92% of the global population are living in cities that are failing the air quality standards set by the organization. Moreover, about 11.6% of all global deaths are associated with outdoor and indoor air pollution.
Our skin bears the brunt of poor air quality and the onslaught of toxic pollution. In fact, the number of eczema, hives and acne cases are all directly related to the rise of air pollution in crowded cities. This proves that the damage to our skin is not only aesthetic but operates on a deeper level.
People living in polluted areas have a worse hydration rate than ones living in cleaner, greener environment, despite lifestyle changes such as greater skin care use, water consumption and cleansing routines. Moreover, it was found that the skin barrier is more compromised with urban dwellers than that of their suburban counterparts.
Easy Skin Protection Methods You Can Use Today
Thankfully, there are several ways on how you can shield your skin from pollution and poor air quality, especially when spending long hours in the sun such as on the beach:
Full body swimsuits such as stinger suits, dive skins and skin suits provide UVA and UVB radiation and protect the skin against Jellyfish, Sandflies and Sea Lice;
Sunscreen. Still one of the best ways to keep damaging UV rays out of your skin. Experts recommend always having an SPF product whenever you're out and about;
Cleansing Ritual. Use a cleansing wipe to remove makeup at the end of the day, then quickly follow it up with a facial wash to eliminate the grime, dirt and pollution left;
Antioxidants. Take supplements or buy creams to give your skin cells a healthy boost. Some of the best products include vitamins B3, B complex, D, C and A;
Niacinamide. Otherwise known as vitamin B3, it's the single greatest ingredient for maximum skin protection against harmful elements. By itself, it can clean your skin of everyday toxins such as benzo-a-pyrene, diesel dust, cigarette smoke and urban dust. Vitamin B3 repairs UV damage while strengthening the skin barrier at the same time;
Hydration. Water is still the cheapest and most effective way to keep your skin healthy, plump and smooth. Drink your recommended 8 glasses a day or more if you're outdoors during extended periods;
Adaptogens. Adaptogens are helpful compounds that are found within nature. Examples include curcumin, ashwaganda and ginseng. If possible, increase your intake of spices, vegetables and fruits every day to gain its beneficial effects;
People should pay more attention to their skin and be sensitive of just how much environmental pollution they're getting each day. Don't forget to hydrate and take in supplements, fruits and veggies to keep your skin healthy and looking great.