Phoenix is ranked as one of the most polluted cities in the nation. So what does that mean for your skin? Huge environmental stressors called “free radicals”. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that react with other compounds. Therefore, free radicals can have a destructive effect on your skin’s support structure and are shown to accelerate skin aging. We’re going over how pollution may affect your skin and how you can combat it!
Small nanoparticles, such as dirt, dust, and soot, enter the skin and negatively impact the skin cells, causing premature aging. This process is called oxidation. On top of this, gases such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide are all around in the air and cause further damage to our skin’s delicate protective barrier. All these environmental factors break down collagen and lipids that are vital in keeping our skin looking young. Pollution not only causes premature aging, it can also cause rashes, irritation, and breakouts.
Make sure to wash your face every day, twice a day! Cleansing your skin at night is the most important to remove any of the dirt, oil, and dust that may be on the skin after a long day. While not a lot of people consider morning cleansing necessary, we would disagree. Throughout the night our skin cells turnover, meaning that dead skin cells are sitting on top of your face (and on your pillowcase!) in the morning. We also sweat in our sleep, which can cause breakouts when sweat is left on the surface. Cleansing in the morning is necessary for glowing, healthy skin!
An effective, alcohol-free toner can remove any leftover particles that may not have been removed through cleansing, ensuring an absolutely clean slate.
Antioxidants are probably one of the most important ways to combat environmental stressors. As stated before, oxidation can cause your skin to age prematurely when exposed to harmful air pollutants. Antioxidants can help combat this process! Specifically, look for products with Vitamin C, A, or E in it! We recommend Revision’s Vitamin C Serum, SkinBetter’s Alto Defense (loaded with 16 antioxidants), or SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic.
Like we’ve said, pollution is constantly attacking our skin. It can also draw out moisture, which accentuates wrinkles and gives the appearance of dull skin. Always apply moisturizer day and night to strengthen the skin’s barrier and give you a better chance at fighting off pollution!