We know the toll that pollution takes on the environment, but lesser known, until now, are the adverse effects that pollution has on your skin. It can cause uneven, skin tone, accelerated aging, and even skin cancer. Microscopic specks of smoke, soot, acid, and other pollutants are released into the atmosphere from sources like fires, construction sites, cars, and power plants. Government regulation has resulted in decreased emissions over the past few decades, but the air surrounding us is still less than pristine. According to the EPA, about 83 million tons of pollution was emitted into the air in the US in 2012. In addition, when this pollution comes into contact with your skin, it doesn’t just sit on your skin. No, these tiny particles sometimes 20 times smaller than pores can infiltrate deeper layers of the epidermis, causing not only inflammation and dehydration, but also a cellular level reaction that leads to a breakdown of collagen and lost elasticity and firmness.
Simple changes in your beauty routine, such as proper cleansing and using antioxidants every day can have a huge positive impact on your skin. The following is a three simple step solution:
Cleanse your skin twice daily, once in the morning and again at bedtime. Apply Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel in the morning and Greatskin AHA/BHA Exfoliating cleanser with a Clarasonic cleansing brush at bedtime. Sonic vibrations dislodge pollution particles stuck in your pores. Complete the cleansing process with a swissper pad soaked in a toner like our GreatSkin Ginseng Toner and swipe it across your face to make sure all dirt and grime are removed.
When pollution penetrates your skin, it creates damaging free radicals that wreak havoc with our skin causing a breakdown in collagen, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines. They can also increase inflammation, which makes acne and rosacea worse. The most severe thing that they can cause is DNA damage and cell mutation, which can lead to cancer. As bad as all of these sounds, there is an answer, antioxidants that can neutralize the free radicals and diminish some of these wretched effects on the skin. To protect our skin, apply a potent anti oxidant serum after cleaning in the morning. I like our Greatskin Vitamin C 20% Serum +B+E+Ferulic.
Step 3 is creating a protective barrier on the skin with a sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF. I like LaRoche Posay Anthelios Ultra Light SPF60.