“The problem with pollution is that a lot of the effects are invisible, and there’s no immediate ‘sign’ that your skin is getting damaged,” says Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, a New York-based dermatologist. Instead, the effects of environmetal damage present themselves as we age. Chief among these effects is the breakdown of collagen, which causes wrinkles, and according to a recent study of patients in urban versus rural settings conducted by the Journal for Investigative Dermatology, hyperpigmentation.
But don’t freak out, city dwellers—just as you can protect your skin against UV rays, you can also protect it against pollution. Your defense? For starters, it’s important to be diligent about cleansing. Los Angeles-based dermatologist Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse recommends using a makeup remover and a cleanser for a comprehensive clean-up of grime, soot, exhaust and particulate matter (PM), which causes free radical damage. This also helps avoid short-term effects of pollution, such as acne flare-ups and redness. To go a step further, use a face scrub or a cleansing brush like the Clarisonic every other day. “This will prevent inflammation, exfoliate any damaged cells and help remove the smaller pollution particles that can get deep into skin and attack collagen,” she says.
Antioxidants are another integral way to prevent pollution damage. “Eat your greens, drink green tea and use products that contain vitamins A, C and E,” says Dr. Bhanusali. And don’t forget to apply sunscreen daily. “It acts as a barrier to prevent pollutants from irritating the surface and getting inside your pores,” he says.
As for those “anti-pollution” products, be sure the ingredients on the back of the package can support the claims on the front. According to Dr. Shainhouse, they should be formulated to accomplish three goals: “remove the physical particles, calm the free radicals and create a physical shield against aggressors. Then, you know [the product will] do its job.”
Article By; , Courtesy of SELF, a blog source