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pollution

Is pollution the cause of your skin woes?

Eczema? Premature ageing? Sensitive skin? Spots and blemishes?  Dryness? Could it be the air around you that’s making your skin misbehave? We live in an increasingly polluted environment, and your skin is your body’s first line of defence against it. But what can be done to protect our skin to keep it looking good and functioning well? Thankfully, there are solutions.

What does pollution do to the skin?

Particulate matter, also known as particle pollution, is dirt from vehicle engines that is small enough to enter the air. It settles into minute crevices that cover the surface of the skin. These particles contain harmful toxins such as sulphates, nitrate acid, carbon compounds and heavy metals, which are released into the skin. These toxins are also known as ‘free radicals’ and when absorbed, they cause cellular damage that can lead to ageing and all kinds of other skin issues including eczema and sensitivity. 

Antioxidant protection

One of the best ways you can protect your skin is to use antioxidant skincare, to fight the free radicals as soon as they enter the skin. A serum is the best product to opt for as it can penetrate deeply into the skin. Look for serums that contain vitamins E and C, as well as plant antioxidants such as polyphenols. You should, of course, make sure you’re eating plenty of these as well, so make sure you’re eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and legumes. 

Exfoliate well

Once the particulate matter is embedded in the skin, it’s actually very difficult to remove it with a normal everyday cleanser. Make sure you’re using a good exfoliator twice a week, or better yet, get yourself booked in for a course of Microdermabrasion, so you can be absolutely certain that your skin is clear of pollution, and to help reverse the damage done by the toxins too. 

Keep your home clean

It’s not possible to escape pollution in your day-to-day life, but you can limit the amount of pollution that makes it into your home, by filling it with plants, and by using an air purifier. 

Image:istock.com/Gimbanjang

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