Is prematurely aged skin the cost of living in the city? Experts say it can be due to pollution, stress, and fatigue. Yet, it doesn’t have to be! This article will take you through how you can keep your skin healthy and glowing despite the harm brought by several key factors linked to urban living.
Studies show that urban pollution isn’t bad just for our planet but can also threaten your skin. Over the last few years, people have become more aware of the toll pollution takes on the environment. Yet, lesser-known are its impacts on your skin.
Yet, pollution isn’t the only element of urban living that can have lasting effects on your skin’s health. Urban lifestyle, in general, is also affecting your body’s first line of defense.
According to studies in China and Mexico, up to 80% of skin aging is the result of environmental factors. The studies reveal that pollution is the cause of brown spots and other pigmentation issues. What’s more, stress, which is perhaps the most common lifestyle factor we all deal with, can also provoke a number of negative impacts on us, including our skin’s response to allergic reactions.
But, with a job downtown and a home in the city, moving to the countryside to protect your skin isn’t an option. So, what can you do to fight skin aging caused by urban environmental and lifestyle factors?
Ways to fight urban skin aging
Here’s how to keep your skin healthy and glowing when you are living in the city:
Keep your skin clean
We all know that we should wash our face every day to keep clean and healthy. But do we all know how to do it right?
Cleaning your face daily is a key piece of reducing the impact urban pollution has on your skin. But it’s also important to do it right. Specialists recommend washing your face in the morning to prepare it for other radiance-boosting products. A mild cleanser is the best choice, especially if you don’t have really oily skin. You can read product skin care review online to see which cleansers are best for your skin type.
However, at night, you need to go deeper to remove all the dirt, makeup, potentially harmful pollutants, and sweat. However, the goal is to clean all these things off without too much scrubbing, drying, or irritation because these things can have reverse effects and exacerbate skin conditions such as acne.
What you can do is using the same cleanser you used in the morning but also use an electronic brush to make sure you remove impurities. If your skin is too sensitive for you to use a brush, you can replace your a.m. cleanser with a gentle scrub.
Finally, for your nightly routine, you should also use a toner to make sure you’ve removed all potential substances from your face. Soak a cotton pad with toner and use it to clean your face one more time to make sure you remove any debris that may be left behind.
Neutralize free radicals
Chronic exposure to pollution, as it’s often the case in the city, creates free radicals in your skin.
What do free radicals do to your skin? Well, it damages it as they try to grab an extra electron from atoms in the skin, causing damage to your skin’s DNA, which can lead to premature skin aging. Moreover, these unstable molecules also leave your skin vulnerable to other health conditions.
So, imagine these free radicals like ping-pong balls that are bouncing around in your skin and trying to steal an electron from the healthy cells in your skin. The result? It injures the skin and literally pokes holes in the collagen found in your skin, which is responsible for your skin’s firmness.
Now, after free radicals injure the healthy cells in your skin while trying to stabilize themselves, you’ll start noticing the effects on your skin, including hyperpigmentation and fine lines. What’s more, free radicals can also be responsible for acne and rosacea as they increase inflammation in your skin cells. However, the most severe impact free radicals have on your skin is that they can cause DNA damage and cell mutation, leading, in some cases, to cancer.
Is there a solution? Yes, the solution is antioxidants.
Antioxidants can help prevent the negative impacts of free radicals by donating an electron where needed. In other words, antioxidants neutralize the free radical and stop the havoc-wreaking effects it would have had on your skin.
You can use a serum with antioxidants after cleaning your face in the morning and in the night to encourage its repair process. What’s more, you can support your skin’s fight against free radicals by introducing antioxidant-rich foods in your diet such as blueberries, leafy greens, or beans.
Create a barrier
Pollution isn’t the only environmental factor in the city that is slowly damaging your skin. UV rays also impact your skin really powerfully, leading to hyperpigmentation or inflammation.
Now, you are probably already using sunscreen when it’s sunny outside. And if you’re not, you should start like yesterday. Yet, it would be best if you also used sunscreen on cloudy days because even then, you are exposed to UV rays.
Sunscreen contains antioxidants too. So, you’ll fight the impacts of UV rays and free radicals at the same time.
Give up the unhealthy habits
Now, you may not move outside of the city to protect your skin from premature aging or skin conditions. However, you can change a few of your lifestyle choices to reduce the impacts of your urban lifestyle on your skin.
For example, if you are a smoker, quit now because cigarette smoke damages collagen and elastin in your skin, leading to skin aging and wrinkles.
Or another lifestyle change you can make is having a healthier diet, which includes foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, such as nuts, spinach, avocado, berries, salmon, etc.
What’s more, you may want to consider walking or riding your bike when commuting instead of driving. You’ll be less exposed to UV rays and get all the skin benefits from exercising by increasing your blood flow.