While urban living has its pros and cons, perhaps one of the biggest downsides is urban pollution and the effect that it has on all of us. Airborne pollutants such as car exhaust, dust, and dirt can cause a great deal of harm to your skin, and leaving the effects untreated can lead to serious consequences later in life. Urban pollution can cause irritation and premature aging, and at its worst, organ damage and skin cancer.
How Can Pollution Affect Skin?
While everyone will show signs of aging naturally, environmental factors also play a huge role. Environmental pollution, especially in big cities, has been shown to have a negative impact on the skin. Many substances contaminate urban air, and urban residents can experience any of the following due to this polluted air.
- Acne and Inflammation. Smog and microparticles can clog up healthy pores, producing build-up of oil and dead skin cells. This can lead to everything from inflammation to acne, along with a duller, more pallid complexion.
- Wrinkles. Free radicals (invisible enemies present in smog, smoke, and other airborne chemicals) are molecules with a single unpaired electron, making them unstable and highly reactive. When coming in contact with your system, free radicals will steal electrons from molecules in healthy cells. This reduces collagen production, leading to premature wrinkles. Free radicals are a primary cause of early signs of aging.
- Dehydrated Skin. Those living in highly polluted areas have significantly worse skin hydration. Pollution causes oxidative stress on the skin, compromising the barrier, which results in dull and dehydrated skin.
- Skin Cancer. The effects of pollution on skin are profound, and pollution has been found to be a risk factor in causing skin cancer.
How to Take Care of Your Skin if You Live in an Urban Area
Luckily, if you live in the city, there are ways to restore your skin and maintain a fresh, youthful appearance. Proper cleansing, UV protection, hydration, vitamins, and other topical treatments can all help your skin if you live in an urban area.
- Facial Cleansers. A 2-step process for cleansing is essential. The first step is to use a cleansing wipe or makeup remover pad. The second step is a cleanser to remove any makeup, dirt, grime or pollution left on the skin. Soft cleansing brushes may work better than just using your hands.
- Niacinamide. You can take niacinamide orally or topically. This is one of the hardest working ingredients in being able to successfully reduce the negative effects of urban dust, cigarette smoke, diesel dust, and more. Elta MD AM/PM Therapy & Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 all contain niacinamide (Vit. B3) and are helpful with acne, rosacea and hyperpigmentation.
- Clay Mask. The occasional application of a deep-cleaning clay mask will help suck out impurities. One of Jackie Carr’s favorite clay masks is Revision Skin Care Black Mask. This purifying facial mask can provide for a smooth, polished complexion.
- Hydration. Drinking water and using excellent skin products is critical in making sure the skin functions at its best in protecting and strengthening the natural skin barrier.
- Antioxidants. Both topical and oral forms of vitamin A, C, D, B-complex, and B3 are all highly recommended by skin care professionals for keeping skin healthy. Jackie’s personal pick is Vivier’s C+E Peptide Antioxidant Serum for improvement in texture, reduction of lines & wrinkles, evening out skin tone and is well suited for photodamaged skin.
- UV Protection. The sun is one of the biggest environmental stressors on your skin. An SPF product should always be part of your daily skincare routine. Elta MD has a wide array of medical grade SPF all containing Zinc Oxide for a broad-spectrum protection of the UVA/UVB rays. UV protection is needed daily; even during rainy or cloudy days.
Take Care of Your Skin with Pur-One Medispa in St. Louis, MO
St. Louis is a city like any other; living and working in the city every day could be harming your skin. By taking care of your skin, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. Visiting a professional like Jackie Carr is the way to go. Dr. Carr’s professional treatments will have your skin looking more fabulous than ever. Contact Pur-One Medispa to book your free consultation today.