Air pollution effects on the skin have come a mandatory topic with raising air pollution and change in the climate which directly impacts our health and mental condition. Following the epidemic season, air pollution has recently become a hot concern for everyone.
People wear face masks and care about their lungs, and clean air has played a significant role on the stage more often than not. But the question is, shouldn’t we also be concerned about the effects of air pollution on our cardiovascular system? What regarding others?
Did you know that the largest organ of the human body, i.e., the skin, is the most vulnerable without sufficient protection? How should this scenario be handled?
From today’s Know Your Facts, let’s talk about, what should you know about the Air Pollution Effects on Skin, Read and Have Fun.
Main Pollutants Factors Behind Air Pollution Effects On Skin
Latest research has demonstrated that dust, smog, cigarette smoke, and a number of longer-lasting air pollutants can have an effect on the skin.
They can cause a variety of skin problems, including rashes, skin allergies, and accelerated aging, among others.
According to the World Health Organization, there are four primary causes of air pollution. Most pollutants like Particulate matter, Sulfur dioxide, Ground-level ozone, and Nitrogen dioxide stay on top of this list.
These are responsible for the majority of chronic air pollution diseases and various skin abnormalities. Depending on these characteristics, air pollution can cause a variety of Skin Damage.
Particulate Matter (PM)
Particulate matter (PM), also known as particulate matter, is another major cause of skin disorders caused by air pollution.
Particulate matter is produced for a variety of reasons, but primarily by human activity. For examples:
- Industrial Emission
- Construction Activities
- Volcanoes Eruptions
The majority of the aforementioned causes are included under combustion-related activities, while others are listed under their production cycles.
Depending on the size of the particles, they have been classified into various classes. Then, this number decreases, the particle’s ability to penetrate tissue increases, and the damage it can inflict on human health simultaneously increases.
Similar to Ultraviolet radiation, particle matter has a greater effect on the skin in addition to its other types of health issues.
- Skin diseases like skin cancer
- Pigment patches on the face and nasolabial creases, coarse wrinkles, solar elastosis, and telangiectasia to a lesser degree.
- The inflammatory skin condition is characterized by itching and eczema that typically manifests in infancy or childhood.
- Skin Reactions to Oxidative Stress
Ground Level Ozone
A common misconception regarding ozone is that it is a human-friendly gas. The layer that follows, protecting the earth from ultraviolet light, is known as the “Ozone Layer.“
In fact, ozone is one of the gases in the high atmosphere that are rarely detected in the lower levels. However, it can originate primarily from the chemical reaction between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic molecules (VOC).
This is most frequently found in,
- Chemical factories emission
- pollution from automobiles and power plants
- Boilers in industrial
When these gases are exposed to UV radiation, photochemical smog can easily form. Ozone plays a significant influence on this side.
In addition to these, ground-level ozone causes numerous skin problems.
- Deterioration of the barrier and inflammation
- Promote oxidative stress
- Disrupt the function of matrix metalloproteinase leading to comedogenics
- Reduction in antioxidant levels (vitamin e, vitamin c, vitamin e)
- Metalloproteinase contributes to wrinkling formation and extrinsic skin aging
- Related to urticarial, eczema, contact dermatitis, rashes, and infected skin illness.
In addition to these air pollutants, other chemicals have direct and indirect effects on the skin.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Heavy Metals
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Etc.
Unlike other types of smoke, cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals that are detrimental to our respiratory system.
In addition to being inhaled, they have a greater-than-calculable capacity to inflict skin harm. The most well-known chemicals in this list are:
- Hydrogen cyanide
- Radioactive elements, such as polonium
- Carbon monoxide
- TSNAs and PAHs etc.
They are directly and indirectly involved in the creation of long-term and short-term skin disorders.
- Premature Skin Aging
- Submucous fibrosis
- Yellowish discoloration of nails
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Smoker Comedones and More…
We are all aware that cigarette smoke can be inhaled either directly or indirectly. But even if you are not a smoker, there is a substantial risk of exposure if you have a close relationship with a smoker.
Ultraviolet, sometimes known as UV, is high-energy electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun. There are three categories of UV radiation designated as A, B, and C. The majority of UV radiations are filtered by clouds and the upper atmosphere, whereas UV type C is filtered by the OZONE layer.
With the aid of air, impurities such as refrigerant gases, photochemical haze, and the flight of supersonic aircraft affect the Ozone layer’s functionality.
When these unfiltered UV C-type rays pass through the ozone layer hole, a portion of them is absorbed by human skin.
Due to its high intensity and shorter wavelength, this heatwave has a greater impact on humans than a typical heatwave.
UV radiation can result in a variety of skin problems.
- Photo Aging – extrinsic skin aging with coarse wrinkles, Solar elastosis, and pigment irregular
- Sun Burn – tanning beds
- Impact tissue growth on the surface of the eye
- weakens the immune system – vaccines are less effective.
- Skin Cancer Risk
How Can We Control Air Pollution Effects on Skin?
1. Try A Moisturizer
Utilizing a daily regular moisturizer is one of the greatest strategies to preserve the health of your skin and shield it from environmental pollution.
Moisturizers are an effective defense against oxidative stress and accelerated aging brought on by air pollutants.
The primary function of a moisturizer is to maintain the skin’s water loss rate at a minimum and to provide enhanced protection against infections, grime, and skin damage. There are two types of moisturizing agents.
Absorb atmospheric moisture and maintain the skin’s internal moisture level.
Maintain the skin’s moisture level without allowing it to escape due to increasing temperatures and act as a skin coat.
2. What About an Air Purifier
There are various things you can apply to your skin to maintain its equilibrium. Because air pollution is a subject that continues to grow with time. Consequently, the solutions are supplanted by the most recent manufacturing as time passes.
Without using cosmetic products, one alternative is to clean the interior atmosphere as thoroughly as possible. An air purifier is a wise investment for this purpose.
If you and your family spend a great deal of time at home or at night, poor air quality can cause a variety of health problems.
In addition to respiratory system concerns, air pollution may also pose a risk to your skin. There are numerous air purifiers available on the market; based on your needs, you can choose the best choice.
3. Cover your skin from Harmful Sun Rays
As stated previously, UV radiations are the primary cause of the majority of skin problems caused by poor air conditions.
When applying sunscreen, the product is primarily meant to absorb damaging solar radiation (UV radiation) on the skin and prevent or lessen the impact on the interior organs of the human body.
Standard sunscreen creams have been formulated using substances and compounds that have strong UV-light-absorbent capacities and are widely known as UV filters.
On a certain level, these absorbers can be found in the majority of cosmetic products, as well as in cosmetic matrices.
- Natural UV filters (chemical UV filters)
- Inorganic ultraviolet (physical UV filters)
If you are purchasing sunscreen, you should have a thorough understanding of the UV filter’s protective capacity and how it pertains to your skin.
Typically, multiple metrics are used to evaluate the UV filter’s protective capacity, and these characteristics are described in full on the product’s label.
The most well-known value is SPF- Sun Protection Factor, which measures the capacity of unprotected skin to withstand the sun’s rays.
Caps and Sunglasses
In addition to cosmetics, sunglasses and caps are the most commonly used UV filters. However, quality eyewear is more effective than cosmetics at blocking up to 99% of UV rays.
With the rise in global temperature, these products are no longer merely stylish accessories but a necessity.
4. What about Antioxidants
If you are exposed to greater levels of air pollution for an extended length of time, you may see a decrease in antioxidants. In practice, therefore, you must supplement your diet with nutrients from other sources.
Even if you live in a highly polluted location, antioxidants attempt to lessen the impact of dark spots on your skin caused by prolonged exposure to high levels of air toxins.
On the market, the following radical-free anti-oxidants are the most widely utilized.
- Vitamin c / vitamin e /vitamin a
- Ferulic acid
5. Remove your makeup and properly
Also, if you often use cosmetics on your skin, make it a practice to thoroughly wash your face at the end of each day.
There may be numerous air contaminants generated by daily activities that can be filtered or gathered by your cosmetics. If they are not discarded properly, they may cause more skin harm over time.
If you are able to use a suitable cleanser, it may be of great assistance in clearing your face of clogged dirt, dead skin cells, makeup, and other pollutants. However, you should choose your cleanser with consideration for your skin type and cosmetics.
Following suggestions to protect your skin from makeup application could be beneficial.
- At a minimum, you should wash your face every night
- Cleanse it every morning
- Use the correct water temperature
- Consider your skin’s type and sensitivity
- Apply a moisturizer after cleaning the skin
- Do not re-enter a contaminated environment for an extended duration after washing your face
- Use moist cloths sometimes to eliminate skin contaminants that have become blocked
In addition to removing cosmetics, proper skin cleanliness will always protect you from a variety of skin disorders.