Keeping Your Skin Healthy Amidst Air Pollution
With so many people living in concentrated cities and metropolitan areas, pollution may seem unavoidable. But did you know that the pollution coming from the outside world can harm and age your skin?
Imagine taking steps like eating healthy, skipping the cocktails, and using many expensive products to keep your skin healthy and glowing just to have it penetrated and upset by the pollution flowing through the air around you. Our connection to Mother Nature is important, making it crucial that we spend some time outdoors. But for those of us who live in areas filled with smog, there are extra steps we can take to make sure that our skin doesn’t soak in the toxic particles of the city.
What Pollutants Affect Our Skin?
The pollutants that you’re exposed to likely change each day, but they can include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and toxic particles, among other things. These elements in the air not only cause dirt to accumulate on your skin, but they can also penetrate the skin and block your pores, resulting in dull, dehydrated skin.
How to Protect Your Skin
1. Stay Hydrated
One of the best ways to protect your skin, as well as your physical health, is to drink plenty of water. Water allows to body to flush toxins naturally, the result of which extends to your skin.
If your body isn’t properly hydrated, toxins remain stagnant and can negatively affect not only your skin but also your health. Beyond the ability to flush toxins, hydration is important for maintaining a youthful glow.
2. Cleanse Your Skin
It’s recommended that you cleanse your skin at least twice a day, and sometimes back-to-back. Some sources say that double cleansing is the key to great skin. First, cleanse your skin to remove makeup, dirt, and oil. Then, cleanse once again to remove any residue that may be left behind from the smog outside. Look for cleansing products without sulfates to avoid drying your skin out, and be sure to moisturize!
3. Look for Antioxidants
Your skincare is important, meaning it’s crucial that you use quality products. Look for products that contain antioxidants to protect your face. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are found in polluted cities. Free radicals can cause wrinkles, aging the skin. Look for ingredients like acai berry and green tea, which will help keep your skin safe from free radicals.
Exfoliating is important for removing dead skin cells and cleansing deep within the pores. Exfoliating once or twice a week will help you make sure that pollutants aren’t building up on your skin. Exfoliating also smooths the skin’s surface and make it more absorbent, so any products that you use afterward will be even more effective.
5. Wear Sunscreen
In addition to pollutants, radiation from the sun can also damage the skin. Make sure to put sunscreen on before you spend any time in the sun to keep yourself safe from UV rays. UV rays also boost the harmful effects of pollutants; sunscreen works in multiple ways to protect your skin.
6. Avoid Rush Hour
If you can avoid driving through rush hour, your skin will thank you. Even when you’re inside of your car, you’re still affected by exhaust fumes and pollution emitted from cars—which is amplified during rush hour. And if you’re currently working from home and feeling antsy, just remind yourself how much cleaner and happier your skin will be!
Moisturizing is a critical step in caring for the skin, as it hydrates the skin and makes it more elastic. Additionally, moisturizer provides a protective barrier from external toxins and pollutants.
8. DIY Face Masks
There is something pampering and luscious about treating yourself to a face mask at the end of a long, hard week. It’s refreshing to take time for yourself, putting on your favorite show, sinking into the couch, and letting the mask settle into your skin, cleansing and rejuvenating it. There are many ingredients that you probably have around your home that are beneficial for skin, inexpensive, and revitalizing.
Try mixing half an avocado, a teaspoon of honey, and a handful of oats together for a moisturizing, healing scrub. Honey is a humectant, which means it helps the skin hold onto moisture.
Another wonder ingredient for facial masks is turmeric, an anti-inflammatory spice that helps the skin look healthy and luminous. Add a tablespoon of plain yogurt, a tablespoon of honey, and a tablespoon of turmeric together and allow the mixture to sit on your skin for ten minutes before rinsing. Be sure to rinse well, because leftover turmeric can make your skin look yellow! The yogurt in this recipe contains lactic acid, which lifts dull skin cells away to reveal your natural glow.
Let Yourself Shine
These simple tips and tricks will help you find a balance between your busy life and the protection that your skin needs to look beautiful and healthy. Taking care of your skin will not only help you look better, but it will also help you feel better, allowing your internal sparkle to shine through.
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