By this stage, we are well accustomed to slathering on protection when there’s sun, or moisturizing a bit more when it is cold. But what about the effect of everyday air on your skin? Or, more specifically, the effects of air pollution?
The damaging impact of UV radiation on your skin is immediately apparent through sunburn, and dryness from cold is just as easy to recognize. The effects of air pollution however are not always evident straight away and are therefore much harder to combat.
What is air pollution?
Air pollution is caused by the usual suspects – cigarette smoke, dust, smog and car exhaust fumes, with the risk much greater in cities where such things are an unavoidable part of city life. The pollutants contain particles that penetrate the skin’s protective barrier, sucking out moisture, drying the skin’s natural oils, and potentially creating free radicals – the atoms or groups of atoms that are highly reactive, and can change the DNA of skin cells.
What are the effects of air pollution?
The overall effects of air pollution can be seen in decreased moisture and increased dehydration, decreased elasticity and a loss of radiance, and a speeding up of the natural ageing process with more fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and pigment changes. Air pollution can also aggravate skin conditions such as acne, allergies, eczema and hives. And this can be worsened by diet, UV exposure, and smoking. The potential damage caused by air pollution has been pretty well captured by Dr Mervyn Patterson of the Woodford Medical clinics, United Kingdom, when he says, “Unless people do more they will end up wearing the pollution on their faces in 10 years’ time. It is definitely something people now need to take seriously.” (The Guardian, 15 July 2016).
So what can we do?
These pollutants are pretty much unavoidable for people living in cities and we are not going to up sticks to the country just for our skin. In addition to ensuring an SPF factor is part of your daily skincare, there are also obvious changes you can make in your diet if you are not already doing so – plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables provide vital vitamins and nutrients while drinking water every day will help keep you and your skin hydrated. Make sure you clean your face every evening before bed to wash away the dirt of the day, and use a daily moisturizer to help replace the natural oils. Exfoliation – though not too often and this will also cause drying – can help to get a bit deeper and remove dead cells from the surface of your skin.
Protect and rejuvenate your skin
And the aesthetic industry is aware of the effects of air pollution on skin, so there are luckily a range of specialized products that can help give your skin that extra protection. pHformula’s products are based on decades of scientific research and evidence-based design, meaning they are uniquely created to protect and rejuvenate your skin.
Your first stop is pHformula’s innovative P.O.W.E.R essence tonic designed specifically to protect your skin against pollution. The P.O.W.E.R essence tonic contains ingredients that work quickly to protect the skin and leave it feeling firm, hydrated and refreshed, while also priming it to better absorb other products. Perfect for all skin types and requiring only two sprays daily, it contains anti-ageing, skin brightening and hydration complexes. The anti-pollution properties also include an all-important defense complex that scavenges free radicals and works hard to protect you against the damage of pollution while actually accelerating surface cell renewal by up to four days.
Next are pHformula’s Vitamin infused products: the Vita C Serum is a concentrated and corrective serum that improves tone and texture, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and restores your youthful appearance. Perfect for daily use on all skin types, it derives its strength from a unique combination of Vitamin C forms and enhances skin brightening.
The Vita A cream contains pure retinol and is therefore an advanced treatment for ageing skin. Retinol helps to stimulate cell regeneration to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots, and is highly effective in correcting blemishes and blotchiness.
The 24-hour moisturizing complex ensures prolonged hydration and protection. And the Vita B3 cream is an essential treatment for anyone wishing to prevent and reverse redness, pigment changes and skin ageing. This is a highly-concentrated cream, also with intense 24-hour moisturization properties, but lightly textured so it is suitable for daily use, all skin types and all ages. This cream provides superior skin correction and protection against environmental aggressors and free radicals.
pHformula has also designed a unique and superior Hydra Serum that promotes optimal moisture retention to immediately hydrate and protect the skin, boosting overall radiance. This Serum contains a combination of ferulic acid and vitamin E to restore the skin and protect against free radicals, hyaluronic acid complex that boost hydration and forms an effective skin barrier prevent water loss, a cell-to-cell messenger complex that reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and improves skin tone and elasticity, and finally the 3D hydra complex to provide three-dimensional hydration.
For those of us in urban areas, air pollution is a fact of life and one that is easy to ignore or forget. But by taking small steps now, you can ensure your skin is armed and protected against the more harmful elements of the environment.