Air quality and pollution continue to be a growing problem, but did you know that it’s not only affecting the environment - it’s affecting your skin as well? You may think you don’t need to worry about pollution because you don’t live in a big city but it’s not just an urban problem related to city dwellers like you might think. Outdoor and indoor pollutants are widespread in both urban and rural environments making it an issue for everyone. In fact, in 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) considered air pollution to be the biggest environmental health risk for humans, responsible for killing more than 7 million people prematurely every year.
But what exactly is air pollution? It is the contamination of outdoor and indoor environments by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere – a mixture of particles and gases that can reach harmful concentrations inside or out. Soot, smoke including cigarette smoke, mold, pollen, methane, and carbon monoxide are a just few examples of common pollutants. And almost all the world’s population experience daily pollution. According to the American Lung Association, more than 40% of the U.S. population (almost 134 million people) are at risk for disease and premature death because of air pollution. As governments relax air and water quality restrictions and emissions standards, we are exposed to more and more pollution.
Air pollution attacks the body in many ways. The fine particles or particulate material in polluted air can penetrate deeply into the lungs and move through to the cardiovascular system, causing things like respiratory infections, asthma, lung cancer and heart disease. There is even evidence of it affecting the central nervous system as well as the reproductive system.
And then there is the skin – one of the biggest targets for pollution. Repeated exposure to pollution has been shown to have damaging effects on the skin. It causes premature aging, photodamage and lentigines or age spots as well as increased incidences of atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, acne and other skin conditions.
The skin is getting attacked from all directions. On the outside, pollutants accumulate on the skin surface and in hair follicles and are then absorbed into the skin. On the inside, it’s being attacked as inhaled or ingested pollutants are circulated through the body and diffused into deeper dermal tissues. Studies have shown growing evidence of the interactions of pollutants with skin. We have known forever that smoking leads to premature aging. And now, studies have found a direct link between airborne particulate matter exposure and the signs of skin aging, especially pigment spots and wrinkles. These pollutants are lowering levels of antioxidants and causing more oxidative stress - one of the leading causes of aging skin.
But guess what – the skin is also one of our biggest lines of defense in decreasing the effects of pollution on our body. By supporting the skin and maintaining a healthy microbiome or skin-barrier function, we have a better chance at blocking as many pollutants as possible from attacking the skin.
So what can we do to protect our skin from environmental aggressors like pollution? We need to make sure that we are taking care of our skin’s microbiome, ensuring it stays balanced and healthy. Another way to protect the skin is Antioxidants! Antioxidants fight the oxidative stress caused by air pollution while also protecting and supporting new and existing collagen which leads to a brighter, more youthful complexion, increased skin elasticity and the reduction in the appearance of fine lines.
We can’t say it enough - antioxidants are a superhero for our skin! They are also the foundation of Glotrition’s Super Beauty Elixir which contains a potent blend of some of the most effective antioxidants on the planet – Fruit Powders, Resveratrol and Vitamin C. Being vigilant and drinking your SBE every day not only helps skin look better, it’s helping to nourish and protect your skin from everything that’s trying to damage it…and that includes air pollution.