Air pollution Impacts Your Skin? Know Your Facts


Lately, air pollution has become one burning topic among all of us following the pandemic season. People wear face masks, worry about their lungs, cleaned air has done a big role on the stage more than every other day. But the question is, aren’t we worrying about the side effect of air pollution on our respiratory system only?

What about others? Did you know the biggest organ of the human body aka skin is the most exposed one to a bad atmosphere without having proper protection? How this situation should be handled? From today’s know your facts let’s talk about, Air pollution’s impact on your skin. Read and Enjoy.

Main Reasons behind Skin Damage by Air Pollution

Recent studies have proven that air pollution can impact your skin with dust, smog, cigarette smoke, and several longer-term existing air contaminants. They can cause various kinds of skin abnormalities like rashes, skin allergy conditions, accelerated aging, and more.

According to the world health organization, there are main four reasons behind air contamination.

  1. Particulate matter
  2. Ground-level ozone
  3. Nitrogen dioxide
  4. Sulfur dioxide

These factors are behind most long-term air pollution conditions and cause multiple skin abnormalities. Depend on these factors several reasons lead to Skin Damage by Air Pollution.

1. Ultraviolet Radiation

Ultraviolet aka UV is high-energy radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum which emits from the sun. There are three kinds of UV radiation types known as A, B, C in categories. Out of all kinds of UV radiations most of them are filtered through clouds and the upper atmosphere and UV type C is filtered through the OZONE layer.

With help of air, contaminants emit from such as refrigerant gases, photochemical smog, flight of the supersonic aircraft influence the operation of the Ozone layer.

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Setup your Own Protection from Ultraviolet

When these unfiltered UV C-type radiations come through the ozone layer hole they have got a percentage to absorb into human skin. Due to high energy and lower wavelength damage level, impact on humans other than a normal heatwave.

Ultraviolet exposure can lead to several skin-based abnormalities.

  1. Photo Aging – extrinsic skin aging with coarse wrinkles, Solar elastosis, and pigment irregular
  2. Sun Burn – tanning beds
  3. Impact tissue growth on the surface of the eye
  4. weakens the immune system – vaccines to be less effective.
  5. Skin Cancer risk

2. Particulate Matter (PM10/ PM2.5/ PM1)

Particulate matter aka PM is another kind of main reason behind air pollution lead to skin health conditions. Particulate matters are created due to several reasons and mostly comes under human activities.

  1. Construction activities
  2. Factory
  3. Power plants
  4. Road traffic
  5. Wildfires, etc.

Most of the above reasons are listed under combustion-related activities and others are added under the reason of their production cycles.

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Stay away from Small Particle Matter

Depend on the particulate size, they have been categorized into several groups. PM/PM2.5/PM1 likewise. Then this number is getting smaller, the penetration capability of the particle through tissue is higher and the health impact it can cause simultaneously gets increase.

For example, they can easily skin either through hair follicles or transdermally when comes to PM1 level easily.

Same as Ultraviolet radiations, particulate matter does a higher impact on skin apart from its other kinds of health problems.

  1. Skin Aging – pigment spots on the face and nasolabial folds, and less so by coarse wrinkles, solar elastosis, and telangiectasia.
  2. Inflammatory skin disease with symptoms of itching and eczema that usually begins during infancy or childhood
  3. Skin Cancer
  4. Impacts of oxidative stress on the Skin

3. Cigarette Smoke

Unlike the normal kind of smoke, cigarette smoke composed thousands of harmful substances to our breathing atmosphere. Apart from breathing them, capability on skin damage they can cause more than calculable. The most famous substances from that list are,

  1. Nicotine
  2. Hydrogen cyanide
  3. Formaldehyde
  4. Lead
  5. Arsenic
  6. Ammonia
  7. Radioactive elements, such as polonium
  8. Benzene
  9. Carbon monoxide
  10. TSNAs and PAHs etc.
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Smoking Cigarette is healthy for your skin

They are directly and indirectly involving in creating skin abnormalities in long term as well as short term.

  1. Premature Skin Aging
  2. Submucous fibrosis
  3. Yellowish discoloration of nails
  4. Acne
  5. Basal Cell Carcinoma
  6. Smoker Comedones and More…

We all know cigarette smoke can be exposed by someone directly or indirectly. But even though you are not a smoker, there is a high-risk level to face them, when you have a direct attachment with one of them.

4. Ground Level Ozone

One of the famous myths about Ozone is, it is human-friendly gas. Which comes after, shielding the earth from ultraviolet radiation as “OZONE LAYER”.

Actually, Ozone is one of the toxic gas in the upper atmosphere which cannot be detected very often in the lower level. But it can be origin mostly by the chemical reaction between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC).

Mostly this can be seen in,

  1. pollutants emitted by cars
  2. power plants
  3. Industrial boilers
  4. Refineries
  5. Chemical plants

When these kinds of gases are exposed to ultraviolet radiation, it can easily lead to photochemical smogs. Ozone act a major role on that side.

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Ground Level Ozone Can be cased with Various Reasons

Apart from these Ground-level Ozone also create several skin abnormalities.

  1. induce oxidative stress
  2. reduction in the level of antioxidants ( Vit E, Vit C, Vit E)
  3. impairment of barrier function and inflammation
  4. disturb the activity of matrix metalloproteinase
  5. lead to comedogenesis
  6. metalloproteinase contribute to wrinkling and extrinsic skin aging
  7. associated with urticarial, eczema, contact dermatitis, rashes, and infected skin disease

Apart from these air contaminants, several compounds impact your skin directly and indirectly

  1. Oxides
  2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  3. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  4. Heavy metals etc.

How can We manage Skin Damage by Air Pollution?

Even now people normally pursue several steps to be protected from a bad atmosphere even without proper understanding. Most of them are coming with the fashion industry as skin protectors or skin nutrition.

1. Protect your skin from the sun

As we have mentioned above, ultraviolet radiations are the key reason behind most of the skin disorders which developed under reasons of bad atmospheric conditions.

When you are using sunscreen product they are mainly designed on the skin quenches the harmful solar radiation (UV radiations) and avoid or diminish the impact on inner organs of the human body.

Standard sunscreen products have been prepared with material and chemicals which have capable of high UV-light-absorbing properties, which are commonly referred to as UV filters.

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Use Standard Cream with Better UV filters

These absorbers can be seen in most kinds of cosmetic products in a certain kind of level also in cosmetic matrices.

  1. Organic UV filters (chemical UV filters)
  2. Inorganic UV (physical UV filters)

If You are buying sunscreen you should have a piece of detailed knowledge about the protective capacity of the UV filter which is used to protect and germane to your skin.

Normally there are several parameters have been used to evaluate this protective capacity of UV filter which are coming under in detail description in the products label.

The most famous value is SPF- Sun Protection Factor which has measured the skin protection capacity concerning unprotected skin.

Use Sunglasses / Caps

Apart from cosmetics usage, sunglasses and Caps are the most popular usage as UV filters. But proper sunglasses have high efficiency than cosmetic products up to 99% UV cut.

With the increase of the global temperature, these products have become a bigger requirement other than a fashion utility.

2. Remove your makeup and properly cleanse your face

Also if you are a person with regular cosmetic usage on your skin, have a habit of clean your face at least end of the day properly.

In daily engaging activities, there might be several air pollutants that can be filtered or collected inside your cosmetics. If you do not discard them properly, it might be a bad step for further skin damage after a while.

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Clean Your Makeups Daily

If you are managing to use a proper cleanser, it might very helpful in cleaning your face clogged dirt, dead skin cells, makeup, and every other kind of impurities. But depending on your skin, your cosmetics type you should have an awareness to select your cleanser.

  1. At a bare minimum, wash your face every night
  2. Wash it in every morning
  3. Use a proper water temperature level
  4. Worry about your skin type and its sensitivity
  5. Use a moisturizer after make a cleansing
  6. Do not face a longer period of time after clean your face into a polluted atmosphere
  7. Use wet towels from time to time to remove clogged impurities on the skin

Other than cleaning up from cosmetic, proper hygiene on your skin is always keep you away from many skin diseases.

3. Use Antioxidants

One main disadvantage when you are exposed to higher air pollutant levels for a longer period is there might be a reduction in the level of antioxidants. So practically situation is, you have to take the reduced nutrition level from outside as a supplement.

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Balance Your Nutrition level in Skin

Even you are living in a higher polluted area, antioxidants try to reduce the impact of improving dark spots in your skin, which comes under longer time exposure to high air contaminants levels.

Following antioxidants are the commonly used ones in the market which are free from radicals.

  1. Vitamin C / Vitamin E /Vitamin A
  2. flavonoids
  3. ferulic acid
  4. astaxanthin
  5. glutathione
  6. resveratrol
  7. polyphenols

4. Try Air Purifier

To keep your skin in proper balance, there are several things you can apply. Because with the time air pollution is topic which is growing even now.

So the solutions are also replaced with the time by the latest production.

Without using cosmetic applications, one good solution is to clean the inside atmosphere as best as you can. An air purifier is a long-term investment for that.

If you and your family members spend much time your home or at night time operation of bad atmosphere create several health issues in many ways. Other than respiratory system issues, your skin might be at selective sort of risk with air pollutants.

They are several air purifiers at the market depend on your need you can do the best selection.

5. Use Moisturizers

Applying daily standard moisturizer is the best way to the strength of your skin as well as protection them from air pollutants at the same time. Moisturizers are a good application against oxidative stress and premature aging caused by air contaminants.

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Keep Your Skin Moist

Moisturizer’s main task is to keep in minimalistic level of water reduction rate of the human skin and act as better protection against pathogens, dirt, or damage which come to skins. They are two kinds of moisturizers.

  1. Humectant
    Absorb the moisture from the atmosphere and maintain the moisture level inside the skin
  2. Occlusive
    Keep the moisture level in the skin without escaping by the higher temperature level and act as a coat to the skin

Read More – To Know about air purification

Read Mor e- To know our facts

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