Protecting your skin from pollution: A guide to better skin health.

By Lavanya Govender
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Living in densely populated cities means that pollution has quite an impact on our skin, vehicle exhaust fumes, dust, dirt and chemicals are hanging in the air around us, invisible to the eye but they can affect our skin adversely.

We may not react to pollution instinctively or instantly, like we do the sun, the damage that pollution causes are cumulative, and we cannot feel it right away – like a hot day out or sunburn. This is because the particles of pollution are so small, and they are continuously attacking the protective barrier of our skin – weakening it over time. Pollutants particles cause and worsen skin conditions like acne, uneven skin tone, redness, sensitivity and enlarged pores, because of the oxidative and the inflammatory effect of pollution, it can really speed up the ageing process. High levels of nitric oxide eg. pollution from traffic sources can lead to age spots and pigmentation.

 Examples of air-borne pollutants:

  1. Automobile and truck exhaust.
  2. Cigarette smoke.
  3. Manufacturing by-products, such as phthalates from plastics.
  4. Small particulate matter like aerosols.
  5. Smog. 

So how can we pollution-proof our skin?

1. Cleansing

Proper and thorough cleansing is probably the most important step in taking action against the adverse effects of pollution on the skin. This step is especially important in the evenings when returning home from a day in the city, using public transport or even working in an office building.

Begin by removing all your makeup, this will also remove any debris like dust and dirt that is lying on the skin’s surface. Makeup Removal Pads make this step so easy, just dampen the pad and let the microfibres do the work for you. It swipes away all surface particles, clearing the skin for cleansing with Face Wash.

Double cleansing is especially effective in protecting your skin against pollution, using a liquid cleanser like Face Wash, and water, removes any impurities that have entered the pores. This type of cleansing makes sure that any traces of grease and grime are deep cleaned from the pores and removed from the protective barrier of the skin. No one is properly protected from pollution, even if you do not live in an urban centre, it is important to cleanse your skin properly.

2. Exfoliation 

Exfoliating, at least once a week, removes dull, dead skin cells and detoxifies the skin, further helping to remove dirt and impurities. Exfoliation also encourages healthy skin renewal, new skin cells are more impermeable to pollution and this also maintains a healthy, strong protective barrier of the skin. If there is any pre-existing damage from pollution such as uneven skin tone or enlarged pores – exfoliation can assist in alleviating the look and feel of this, by refining the pores and evening out the skin. Try Delixirs Face Scrub for its gentle and soothing action that removes imperfections and detoxifies the skin.

3. Moisturising 

To protect your skin, it is vital to leave home in the morning with a good shield on. Face Serum and Face Cream both provide protection against environmental aggressors, both formulations contain antioxidants that enhance the natural protective barrier of the skin, keeping it nurtured and nourished. Even if you are not outside, working indoors under artificial lighting and being exposed to the blue light emitted from screens, has a detrimental effect on our skin health and leads to symptoms like dryness. That is why it is essential to keep the skin hydrated especially the delicate skin around the eyes which can be vulnerable to puffiness and discolouration, using a good eye area treatment like Eye Serum can help circumvent this.

 

4. Your Body

Remember that your body skin also needs protection and nurture against pollution, and these steps can be repeated using botanically active body products. After a long day, cleanse your skin in the shower using Delixirs luxurious and effective Body Wash, to detoxify your skin from all impurities and dirt. Moisturise with Body Butter that contains natural ghees and essential oils that care and strengthen you body skin’s natural protective barrier. It also cools the skin and alleviates the effects of environmental aggressors. Lastly remember to exfoliate the body too, Body Scrub with Turmeric, an ingredient known for its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammation properties, alleviates the damage caused by pollution by calming the skin, evening it out and brightening for a truly all-over glow.

 

Pollution proofing your lifestyle

Apart from a strong skincare routine you can fortify your life with other methods to protect your skin and your health from the harmful effects of pollution. Consider house plants that are known to purify the air that you breathe like Peace Lilies and Snake plants. Relaxing activities like yoga and meditation, strengthen the body and mind against stress – when the body is relaxed it is more resilient. Getting enough sleep is also important to ensure that skin renewal occurs at night, strengthening the protective barrier of the skin.

Make sure to eat a healthy diet, full of vitamins and minerals. This works from inside out to keep your skin healthy and full of vitality. Exercise is another key activity, sweating detoxifies the body and enhances blood circulation to the muscles and skin.

Although we cannot completely eradicate pollution from our lives, we can follow these essential steps and use amazing natural products to shield our skin from the adverse effects of pollution and environmental aggressors. Find out more about Delixirs Skincare Products here.