How Does Pollution Hurt Your Skin?

August 4, 2020

How-Does-Pollution-Hurt-Your-SkinThe sun (or overexposure to UV rays) is not the only skin enemy we should worry about. There is also pollution, which is a major contributor to skin aging and dullness. Pollution can take its toll on the skin, as the body’s largest organ serves as a shield against common pollutants.

Pollution and skin issues

While our skin does a good job in protecting us against external factors, it is not 100% impenetrable. Tiny airborne pollutants can enter and accumulate in your pores, triggering skin damage and breakouts. They also hurt the barrier function of the skin, increasing its vulnerability to problems and imperfections.

 Pollution can contribute to a host of skin issues, including:

  • Dull skin (uneven skin tone)
  • Enlarged pores
  • Pigmentation and dark spots
  • Breakdown of collagen and skin lipids
  • Skin sensitivity and redness
  • Dry and itchy skin

Pollution and free radicals

The thing with pollution is that it generates free radicals that can damage the skin. These unstable molecules cause oxidative stress, which is a process that triggers cell damage. This also speeds up the aging of the skin. Pollution is one source of free radicals, as well as smoke, dust, sunlight, and even food and water.

These are the common air pollutants:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Exhaust from automotive vehicles
  • Chemical emissions from factories
  • Ground-level ozone (O3)

Protecting your skin

While we cannot fully avoid pollution, there are things we can do to minimize its risks to our skin health. Here are a few ways to protect your skin against the effects of pollution:

Don’t forget to clean your face at night

Fully cleanse your face at night, not just to remove makeup, put also dirt, pollutants, and other gunk. If you wear cosmetics during the day, it is advisable to remove it first using micellar water or makeup remover. Then, follow up with a gentle face cleanser to remove any impurities behind.

Use antioxidants

When buying skin care or anti-aging products, look for antioxidants and peptides. Products formulated with vitamins A, C, or E can protect your skin by preventing further damage to skin cells. High quality Vitamin C serums are a good choice, as they can fight oxidative stress and offer skin hydration and skin lightening benefits.

Mind your diet

Fill your diet with fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, berries, and citrus fruits. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids also provide skin benefits like helping fight oxidation and preventing premature aging. Do take note that eating healthy also means limiting your use or consumption of sugars, salts, trans fat, and processed foods.

Consider aesthetic treatments

If you’re already suffering from dull skin and premature signs of aging, don’t hesitate to consider nonsurgical treatments. Here are some procedures that can improve your skin and restore a more youthful-looking appearance:

  • Ultherapy – This non-invasive facelift procedure uses time-tested ultrasound energy to tighten the skin on the face and neck. Ultherapy procedure also triggers the production of collagen. 
  • Botox – This injectable anti-wrinkle treatment can treat lines between the brows, forehead lines, and wrinkles in the corner of the eyes. It can also improve the appearance of smile lines and smoker’s line (upper lip wrinkles).  
  • Limelight IPL – This uses intense pulsed light (IPL) to treat freckles, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. Limelight IPL can be used on the face, neck, and décolleté with brown spots or tiny veins.
  • Pearl Laser Resurfacing – The procedure uses pulses of light to address pigmentation, sun damage, and wrinkles. Pearl treats both the dermis and epidermis, and provides the skin with a “pearl-like” glow with fewer treatments.
  • Laser Genesis – This uses an FDA-cleared laser technology that can treat uneven skin texture, enlarged pores, fine lines, and facial redness. Laser Genesis also improves the appearance of the skin by stimulating collagen regrowth. 

Don’t let pollution get the best of your skin. Cutis Laser Clinics in Singapore offers skin care products and nonsurgical aesthetic treatments for improving skin health. Contact us today at +65-6801-4000 and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctors to find out how we can help you with your skin woes.