Last week we talked about free radicals (maybe link to article here?), and how they create oxidative stress that cause the signs of premature aging in your skin. This week, I want to focus on something that I’m personally concerned with, and that I hope you start thinking about as well when it comes to improving your own self-care.
Let’s talk about pollution.
We all know pollution is bad for the environment, but smoke, chemicals and fumes are just as bad for your cellular environment too. Your system is affected by free-radicals from a number of external and internal sources, but pollution is one of the big, bad culprits. While there are many steps that we can take to ensure our home environment is as pollutant-free as possible, we still are exposed to second-hand smoke, exhaust, dust and dirt simply by living our everyday lives.
Over time, as our skin is exposed to a variety of environmental pollutants, it begins to undergo oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs due to a build-up of unstable molecules; free radicals that attack our DNA and cells. Free radicals can be combated by antioxidants, but when the balance gets out of whack and can’t be neutralized quickly enough, that’s when cellular damage occurs. External pollutants like smog, tobacco smoke, paint fumes, wood burning smoke, dust and emissions are to blame, and can cause a dull-looking complexion, premature wrinkles, increased pigmentation and the breakdown of essential skin cells.
Wait, don’t get stressed out by all of this information … stress is bad for your skin too!
You don’t have to hide in a perfectly sealed-off home to help preserve and protect the look of your skin. Adding antioxidant-rich skincare products into your daily self-care regimen can go a long way towards protecting against the effects of environmental stress. Antioxidant skin care products can help to neutralize free radicals that are caused by pollution, which will not only protect your skin from further damage, but can help to repair it as well.
An essential first step in protecting your skin from pollution is to be sure that that you keep it properly hydrated. Regularly moisturizing your skin is a good idea anyway, but having a protective moisture barrier is also an essential way to help fight the effects of pollution. Don’t forget to shield your skin from the sun and follow with an SPF cream every day too!
Another skincare step you can use to protect against pollution is to incorporate antioxidant-rich serums into your routine. When topically applied, antioxidants can help to slow down the process that causes damage to collagen, as well as boosts the skin’s own antioxidant system for neutralizing free radicals. Incorporating these steps into your nighttime self-care regimen is a sure way to help combat fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, dullness and all of the signs of premature aging.
If you’ve been noticing some changes in your skin, don’t despair … take action! It’s up to us to take care of ourselves, and making a few simple tweaks in your daily skincare regimen is an easy and super effective way to start. Make protecting your skin against pollution a priority, and I promise you’ll see a change in the mirror that’s sure to make you smile.
Until next time, keep your self-care goals in sight and be well!