92% of the world’s population lives in an overly polluted environment, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A scourge with multiple harmful consequences, many of which concern the skin. What are they, and how do we protect our skin? Our six tips.
Pollution Is A Major Enemy Of Your Skin
Pollution of the atmosphere, water (and therefore food), products used daily, indoor air due to cleaning products. Pollutants are almost everywhere, and their consequences on health are increasingly documented: increase in the number of cancers, infertility, the number of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, etc. The skin is not left out, attacked daily by polluting substances, which can cause :
- Premature skin aging
- A decrease in antioxidants essential to the epidermis
- Drier, irritable, reactive and dull skin
How To Protect Your Skin From Pollution?
While it is impossible to avoid all contact with pollution, a few “barrier gestures” can nevertheless limit the harmful effects on your skin:
Cleanse Your Skin Carefully
A daily gesture to perform morning and evening with a cleansing gel, especially if you wear make-up. All without rubbing too much to avoid redness and irritation. Served in the morning, this gesture cleanses skin that has taken advantage of the night to regenerate. This eliminates all polluting particles (from the air, transport, tobacco, and cosmetic products) from your face in the evening. To be renewed as long as the last cotton used is not white!
Moisturize Your Skin Every Day
Hydrating your skin morning and evening is essential because of pollution, especially if the latter makes your skin drier. To combat this phenomenon, apply a water-rich serum morning and evening, followed by a more or less rich moisturizer, depending on the nature of your skin.
Tip for the morning: apply a suitable sunscreen daily to reduce premature skin aging. Same moisturizing treatment in the evening (less sunscreen, of course), but you can combine the serum with an oil rich in vitamin C or E, which helps strengthen your skin’s natural protective barrier.
Apply Antioxidant Care
Antioxidants help strengthen your skin’s protective barrier and fight against aging. They are significant allies in the face of pollution! You can find them in cosmetic products: creams, serums, cleansing gels, oil, and masks… Before choosing your product, make sure it contains some of the following primary antioxidants:
- Vitamins C, E or A
- Plant extracts: carotenoids, tea, grape, apple
Perform A Deep-Cleansing Mask
Based on clay or charcoal, masks have made their place among everyday beauty gestures. Their main objective is to absorb the impurities fixed on the skin’s surface, which a simple washing is only sometimes enough to dislodge. Some masks have an additional exfoliating effect of removing dead skin cells, allowing the skin to breathe better. Again, your mask choice depends on your skin type: prefer one that regulates sebum if you have oily or acne-prone skin; sanitiser and zinc-based if you have sensitive skin.
Eat Antioxidant Foods
To protect your skin against pollution, diet also plays an essential role. Foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants naturally come at the top of the “anti-pollution menu”:
- Vitamins A, B, C and E: dairy products, tuna, eggs, whole grains, citrus fruits, strawberries, blackcurrants, melon, kiwi, peppers, broccoli, spinach, avocado, vegetable oils, hazelnuts, shrimps and crab.
- Carotenoids: carrots, of course, but also apricots, peppers, oranges, spinach and parsley.
- Lycopene: tomato, papaya, apricot, guava and melon.
- Polyphenols: coffee and fruits as a whole.
- Tannins: lentils, tea and grapes.