The effect of pollution on your skin and how to minimise it

It’s that time of the year when the city dons a festive vibe – the streets and buildings are adorned with lights, and homes with diyas and smiles. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when pollution engulfs the city and only causes harm. 

Respiratory infections such as cough, wheezing, and difficulty breathing are some of the respiratory effects. But this is not where the harmful effects of pollution end. Pollution has adverse effects on the skin as well. Probably the worst time when you have to dress in ethnic outfits, attend Diwali festivities and look your best. 

So, how does pollution affect the skin? Are there any visible effects? And how do you combat them? Well, we will tell you about it in this blog. So, keep reading while we prep you for the festive + pollution time of the year. 

How does pollution affect the skin? 

Your skin is your body’s shield. It protects your body from invaders that can harm it. However, when the air around you is polluted, these invaders can manage to enter your body and harm it. These invaders can easily enter your skin’s pores and infiltrate the fat-filled regions located between the skin cells. Over time, this can lead to fine lines, pigmentation, and weakened skin structure. 

Not to mention, owing to the presence of free radicals in the atmosphere, acne and premature ageing can also be caused. These particles can harm collagen production and cause inflammation.  But it is not the worst effect, the worst is skin cancer caused due to DNA damage and skin mutation. 

Additionally, pollution can also affect the skin’s microbiome significantly, disrupting its barrier. And what happens later is history. To give you a hint, uneven skin tone, acne and brown paints. Certainly not what you want in the festive season, isn’t it? 

So, what options are you left with? 

The only way out you may think is fleeing the city. But it’s not on the cards for everybody. You can still take steps to minimise the adverse effects of pollution. Here are a few tips to your rescue: 

Don’t forget to wear sunscreen 

Louder for the people at the back – sunscreen is your holy grail. It doesn’t only protect you from harmful UVA/UVB rays of the sun, but also harmful pollutants. Applying sunscreen creates a layer of protection that can help trap the smog particles and forbid them from penetrating deep into the skin and the body.

Wear a mask and scarf

Although the skin is your body’s barrier, what would protect the skin? There’s no natural barrier, so why not have one for times in need? Wearing a mask or covering your face with a scarf can add an extra layer of protection that your skin may benefit from. The cherry on the cake is that this additional layer can also protect you from sunlight. 

Take steam

 Your skin needs care when the air quality is okay. But it needs extra protection when the AQI is worse. This is where facial steaming comes in. 

Your doctor may have prescribed steaming to fight respiratory infections, but turns out, it can also benefit your skin. Facial steaming can deep clean your face and remove the smoke particles and dust from the skin. This ultimately prevents the build-up of debris that may cause allergic reactions on the skin such as rashes, irritation and redness. 

Don’t forget to wash your face before sleeping 

You come back home from work after an exhausting day. You’re too tired to move, so you jump on your bed and drift to sleep. If the picture is familiar to you, you’re making a big mistake. You should never skip washing your face before sleeping, especially not when the air is filled with smoke. 

Ideally, you should wash your face two times a day. But it is mandatory at bedtime. Face cleaning removes the impurities and pollutants your skin is exposed to during the day. Failing to remove them can cause acne and several other skin conditions. 

Closing thoughts

Acne and dull skin are surely the last things you would want this festive season, right? So, ensure you have clean and clear, radiant skin despite pollution all around. Follow these tips and be ready to dazzle this festive season.

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