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How Does Pollution Damage Your Skin?

The natural ageing process is something we all go through, but there are ways we can improve the appearance of our skin and stave off fine lines, wrinkles and sagging for a just years more. Following a dedicated skincare routine, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and never going to bed in your make-up are just a few little things each of us can do to keep our skin in the best condition possible. We hear all the time about the need to protect our skin from the sun in order to prevent premature ageing, but did you know pollution you encounter every day is also highly damaging to your skin.

Pollution is the second most harmful aggressor to the skin, after UV exposure. Smog, dirt and dust in the air can make your complexion look dull, clog pores and lead to breakouts. Environmental aggressors, like pollution or UV exposure, can also be responsible for sensitive skin. Unless your skin type is genetically sensitive, then redness, itching or sensitivity could be ‘environmentally-induced’.

But, like UV exposure, just because you can’t see the damage doesn’t mean it hasn’t already been done. Pollution leads to an increase of free radicals in the air, these are highly damaged cells which attack and damage existing cells. This in combination with UV radiation, damages the production of collagen, causing the skin to lose elasticity. Loss of elastin gives the skin a rougher texture, fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear and the skin can become dry and patchy.

At the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery experts discussed how it is no longer only ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) that we need to protect our skin from, but other wavelengths of light which can cause skin damage. Recent data also suggests that pollution ‘contributes to oxidative stress’ and a clinical study also highlighted that women who live in urban areas with high levels of pollution had a 22% increase in pigmented spots and coarser wrinkling.

Unlike the sun, there’s very little we can do to limit our exposure to pollution – particularly if you live in a busy urban area. Pollution is in the air surrounding us from smoke and exhaust gas to emissions from simple household tasks like cooking or cleaning. However there’s no reason to despair just yet, as there are simple things you can do every day which can limit the damage pollution causes to your skin.

Make sure that you are following a proper skincare routine, and ensure that you remove all traces of make-up from your skin before you go to bed. Sleeping your make-up not only leads to blocked pores, increased breakouts and a dull complexion, but it also prevents your skin from repairing the oxidative stresses it has faced throughout the day. Make-up also holds on to free radicals, many of which remain on your face without a thorough cleansing routine, which leads to premature ageing. Double cleansing is the best way to ensure your skin is completely clean, so remove all traces of make-up with our Lift Off Purifying Cleanser, which protects against free radicals and eliminates impurities, followed by the Daily Orbit Energising Essence, which contains a powerful fusion of revitalizing ingredients purify and hydrate the skin.

Studies have also found that applying antioxidants topically boosts antioxidant defence against environmentally induced oxidative stress, damage caused by things such as UV exposure or pollution. Our Y Theorem Repair Serum is formulated with innovative NAC Y2 formula, which contains a potent blend of antioxidants to protect the skin from damage. Including the Y Theorem Repair Serum is your everyday routine will instantly hydrate your skin and help create a barrier from pollutants and other harmful free radicals.

Published: Monday, 24 November 2014

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