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You know that daily sun protection is essential for warding off sun damage, but UV rays aren't the only environmental aggressors that wreak havoc on your skin. Air pollution, cigarette smoke and other irritants you come into contact with every day can affect the way your skin looks and feels.
Here's what you need to know about the effects of pollution and skincare products that can help your skin fight it off.
Skin is your body's first defense against stressors from the outside world that won't play well on the inside. But those environmental aggressors add up, and they can eventually impact your skin's health.
According to a study in Frontiers in Pharmacology, factors in your environment — like air pollution, tobacco smoke and UV rays — contribute to some of the most common skin concerns, including acne, irritation and premature skin aging. Chances are you come across air pollutants in your average day, such as:
When pollutants come in contact with your skin, they generate free radicals. According to the International Dermal Institute, these unstable atoms can damage surrounding cells.
The good news? According to a study published in Dermatology Research and Practice, your skin's natural antioxidants already fight external environmental aggressors, but they can only do so much. A product with a rich antioxidant complex can help fight external factors like cold, ozone, and pollution.
Oxidative stress caused by sun exposure and air pollution also damages the skin barrier, leading to irritation. Beyond defending against outside intruders such as air pollution, UV rays and pathogens, your natural skin barrier keeps skin soft and hydrated. However, prolonged exposure to pollution can cause disruptions, leading to dryness, redness, itching, and increased sensitivity.
A study published in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology reported a link between areas with high air pollution and increased acne. Researchers theorized that the increased inflammation and oxidized sebum caused by pollution can actually trigger breakouts, making protecting the skin barrier even more important if you have acne-prone skin.
You don't need to move out to the country to avoid pollution damage. Skincare can provide extra layers of protection and keep your skin looking and feeling healthy, along with the right regimen. The most innovative products and regimens will help you fight both pollution, and the sun’s damaging rays.
Go beyond SPF to protect your complexion — your skin will reward you by looking naturally radiant for years to come.