Are you regularly exposed to electronic screens, heating, cleaning products or simply ‘fresh’ air?
These are the three main types of pollution that damage your skin causing it to age prematurely, become sensitive and appear dull. In this article, we explain why and provide some simple steps to help prevent this damage.
Three types of pollution
Every day our skin is subjected to over 300 sources of pollution. These pollutants can be broken down into three main categories which have a slightly different effect on the skin.
1. UV & HEV Pollution (Blue Light Rays)
Attacks all layers of the skin including DNA.
It’s commonly known that UVA and UVB rays cause skin damage by generating free radicals. However a new growing concern is that HEV Light (AKA Artificial Blue Light) from electronic screens and devices causes more damage than these two combined. It penetrates all the way down the the DNA of the skin cells which affects their regeneration and starves them of oxygen. Exposure to phones, laptops and television screens, in turn, causes premature lines and wrinkles and the skin appears dull, grey or pallid.
Solution: the cells needs regenerating and an oxygen boost.
2. Air Pollution
Attacks the skin’s deeper layers.
Toxic particles from pollutants such as smoke, acid and gas in the air are 20x smaller than our pores meaning they can easily penetrate deep into our skin. This clogs up the skin’s natural hydration process and it’s ability to produce collagen.
These toxins also cause the skin to appear dull. Gina Baker Germaine de Capuccini Skincare Expert explains; “it’s like a dirty window – when dirt gets stuck on it, natural blue light can no longer come through and it therefore looks grey. When our skin gets ‘dirty,’ it also appears dull or grey in tone and the light can no longer reflect out of it.
Solution: the skin needs to be detoxified and cleaned.
3. Domestic Pollution
Attacks the skins surface.
Heating, air conditioning, cleaning products and other household substances sit on the skin’s surface causing irritation and drawing out moisture which causes dehydration. They also damage the stratum corneum (skins protective barrier) which in turn allows the other pollution types to penetrate the skin more easily and makes the skin more sensitive – it’s a vicious circle.
Solution: strengthen the skin’s barrier function.
How to protect & repair the skin from pollution damage
Protect the skin
The best form of of attack is a good defence! Use a high factor SPF cream. Look for a light protective cream specifically designed for daily use on top of your moisturiser. This will offer much more effective, stronger and reliable protection.
Clean the skin
Cleansing morning and evening will help to get rid of the dirt or pollution on the skin’s surface. We’d also highly recommend weekly exfoliation with a gentle enzyme powder to effectively remove more stubborn pollutants that are lodged on the skin.
Oxygenate & detoxify the skin
We know HEV and UV light starves the cells of oxygen, therefore it needs to be replaced – it’s essential for maintaining younger and healthier skin. Oxygen can be contained within skincare products but it must be stabilised in order to do so. Make sure the ingredient is “encapsulated” to be sure its going to enter the skin effectively and work to detoxify the cells.
Repair the skin
Repairing the skin’s barrier function (stratum cornemn) provides a long term solution to pollution damage and sensitivity from irritating toxic particles. Products containing Niacinamide are a great place to start as it increases the production of ceramides which in turn strengthens the skin’s barrier function. Avoid products that contain astringents like alcohol, sulphates and witch hazel. These harsh ingredients strip the skin of its natural moisturiser which weakens it.
How to switch up your skincare for winter
During the winter, skin tends to lose moisture and oil due a number of factors such as lack of humidity in the air, central heating and harsh weather. These conditions cause dryness and dehydration which in turn, means the skin can become dry, itchy, flaky tight or sensitive.
If you’re noticing some of these symptoms, we recommend changing your skincare routine during the colder months. Here are 5 simple switches to keep your skin happy, healthy and hydrated:
1) Switch to a soothing cleanser
Cleansing morning and evening will help to remove the build up of toxins which aggravate delicate winter skin. If your skin is lacking moisture, use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip the skin of its natural oil to prevent it feeling tight and sore.
Tip: Milky and creamy cleansers tend to be the least harsh or ones designed especially for sensitive skin.
2) Exfoliate Gently
It’s important to keep exfoliating during winter – otherwise the dry skin will stay there. However if you exfoliate too aggressively whilst your skin is delicate, it can become even more aggravated. Try an Enzyme based exfoliating powder which provides a much gentler exfoliation as enzymes digest dead skin without harsh granules.
Tip: You only need the smallest amount of our silky scrub enzyme powder and it will last you approx.12months…..we love using it all down the neck, décolletage and on the backs of the hands……& its perfect for skin redness
3) Use a richer moisturiser
During winter, avoid lotions that are very light. Instead, change your regular moisturiser to a more protecting and nourishing cream. Go for products that are made with Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid. Ceramides aid in the protection of the skin’s barrier, which is easily broken down during the winter whilst Hyaluronic Acid repairs the skin’s hydration levels.
Tip: Hyaluronic Acid can come in different size molecules (or weights). Low weight means bigger molecules which can only work on the skin’s surface. High weight means smaller molecules which are able to penetrate down to the deeper layers of the skin.
4) Add an Essential Fatty Acid Oil
An EFA Oil, in it’s purest form contains a high content of omegas, anti-oxidants and vitamin A which provide great healing properties. Mixing a few drops of our Elixir oil in with your moisturiser will help to reduce flaking, irritation and redness while rehydrating the skin.
Tip: Our Timexpert Rides Nourishing Elixir Oil can be used on the face and body. It’s also great for dry hands and brittle nails.
5) Use a hydrating mask
For an instant boost, switch to a hydrating mask. An intensive mask will restore the skin’s hydration levels providing it with immediate comfort. Look out for Hyaluronic Acid (the more weights the better).
Tip: For the winter season, hydration is the best defence against wrinkles!