We all know that the smog of a city is anything but beneficial for our cardiovascular well-being, but what you may not know is that these irritants in the air can have a serious impact on your skin. While more visible issues like acne, dryness, and fine lines may be top of mind all the time, with air quality decreasing on the daily, it’s high time to keep environmental stressors at bay by adding a few preventative potions to your skincare arsenal. We tapped New York City-based celebrity dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe to explain why the sun isn’t the only environmental factor that’s out to wreak havoc on your skin, and to share the ingredients to look for to ensure you’re not letting the great outdoors get you down. Read on, then stock up at your local Simon.
Our skin comes naturally equipped with antioxidants to fight free radicals. That being said, is our skin no longer durable enough to ward off pollutants? Or are environmental effects getting worse over time?
Recent studies are showing that pollution can trigger free radicals that damage the skin all year round, especially if you live in a city. These studies are fairly new and new information is discovered every day, so for now we are just lucky enough to have access to this information, as well as these anti-pollution skincare products, that can give us a little extra boost in our protection factor.
What effects does pollution have on our skin?
When we’re exposed to pollution or other stressors such as smoke and chemicals, free radicals form in the skin. At a cellular level, these free radicals can kick off a chain reaction that causes a huge path of destruction and often, ultimately, the death of the cell.
With the growing demand for anti-pollution skin care, what are some key ingredients found in these products that safeguard the skin?
Antioxidants used in skincare products are what help to keep your skin protected and defend against the aging effect of pollution. Ingredients like Vitamin C, glycerin, lanolin, and sunflower seed oil are also good to look for when choosing a formula. Additionally, some probiotic strains have been shown to neutralize free radicals, so I wouldn’t be surprised if within the next year, more studies support oral and topical probiotics as effective ways to combat pollution.
What one product would you recommend that we add to our anti-pollution skincare regimen?
I love Dr. Brandt’s Power Dose Vitamin C Serum as it helps protect against free radical damage which helps smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles, firm skin, and improve clarity.
Does protection against environmental aggressors not apply as much for people living in less polluted areas, or is it the same across the board?
While those who live in a city seem to have a higher risk for damage, due to the increased amount of pollution, no matter what type of area you live in, you’re at risk for pollution damaging your skin. I recommend everyone make antioxidants and other anti-pollution skincare products part of their daily routine.