Pollution is hard to miss when our planet is on fire… literally. The worsening air quality from all of the ash and smoke is aggravating our AQI levels to unhealthy levels. This impacts the wellbeing of people all over the US and world, especially in concentrated cities like Los Angeles and New York. With natural disasters getting worse, we need to act now to protect our skin from the effects of pollution!
What Is Pollution?
According to a study by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, “air pollution contains microscopic contaminants, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which help produce Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), or free radicals." Free radicals strip the skin of its moisture, affecting how the skin keeps out dirt and other impurities. A compromised skin barrier can trigger increased skin sensitivity, irritation, and premature signs of aging-- specifically with pigmentation issues. Free radicals also come from UVA and UVB rays, which affect you more now with a depleting ozone layer due to greenhouse gases perpetuated by pollutants. With disruptors coming from all directions to harm our skin, it’s super important to start taking care of your skin NOW.
Anti-Pollution Skincare Routine
So what is the best move to protect your skin against increasing pollution? How can we prevent skin pollution? By making sure that your skincare routine builds your skin barrier and seals in moisture for healthy, balanced skin! Keeping it simple, but highly effective will help you not aggravate your skin, since pollutants are already exacerbating existing skin conditions.
Deep Clean Your Skin
Firstly, we would recommend that you double cleanse your skin. First, use an oil cleanser to break down the oils existing in your makeup and dirt from the day. You can use something specifically made for oil cleansing, or natural alternatives like jojoba, coconut, and argan oils. The most important part is using an actual soap cleanser to remove the oil and balance your skin. Try WOW Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Face Wash W/ Brush after the initial oil cleanser to remove the rest of the gunk left on your face from the day, and balance your pH so you don’t mess with the delicate balance of your skin. This fabulously foamy formula is packed with antioxidants like vitamins B5 and E to help fight against free radicals. The soft bristle brush gently exfoliates the skin to deep clean your pores and reveal the brighter skin underneath.
For a Complete Anti-Pollution Skincare Routine, Don’t Neglect Your Body
Unless you’re covered head to toe, your body is experiencing the same pollutant damage that your face does. Use WOW Skin Science Pineapple & Fresh Coconut Water Foaming Body Wash to cleanse thoroughly, while refreshing your skin to support your skin barrier. We love mixing sugar with this body wash to create a bubbly body scrub and remove those dead skin cells.
Seal Your Skin
Imagine doing your whole anti-pollution skincare routine, and your hard work goes to waste if you don’t seal the skin barrier. After cleansing your skin, use WOW Skin Science 10-In-1 Apple Cider Vinegar Mist Tonic to help strengthen your skin barrier. This antioxidant-rich formula also helps defend against free radical damage, and refreshes while you’re on the go.
Since free radicals tend to strip moisture from the skin, a thicker moisturizer with a large molecule size will act as a barrier against outside pollutants. Using a good facial moisturizer that is not too heavy is really important to make sure that your skin doesn’t get clogged up and creates other skin issues like acne or rashes. Using a body lotion, or body butter for drier skin will replenish the moisture lost from the pollution and can aid as a barrier against future skin damage.
Your Hair Needs Anti-Pollution Care Too!
Just like using heat protectants, your hair needs the same love to protect against the elements! Use a leave-in treatment to add an additional barrier, like WOW Skin Science Hair Revitalizer Spray. The strengthening ingredients like biotin, vitamin E, and antioxidants work on your hair throughout the day. Boost your routine with a drop of essential oils like Ylang Ylang to your moisturizer or facial oil to fight free radicals. You can also add a drop or two to a spray bottle with distilled water, and spray-on-the-go to boost your barrier against pollution and outside irritants.
Last, but certainly not least, it is VERY important to apply sunscreen EVERY DAY. Rain or shine, indoors or outdoors, sunscreen provides huge protection against the damaging effects of UVA/UVB rays to the epidermis. Don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours, especially if you’re spending time outdoors often.
We can protect our skin as much as we can, but it is even more important to keep your insides healthy and promote glowing skin. Making sure we’re eating healthy, exercising plenty, and drinking enough water is a must for healthy skin. Eating things like berries, citrus fruits, and leafy greens high in Omegas can help to fight against pollution and free radicals. Exercising helps our body release toxins through our sweat, and properly detox your skin. This isn’t a surprise, but drinking plenty of water-- close to a gallon a day will flush out toxins and hydrate your skin barrier.
Pollution is the harsh reality of the human impact on our environment, and we must deal with the consequences. Our skin was not defending against this many irritants in the past, so adjusting your routine with antioxidant rich formulas to fight free radicals will help your body fight off dangerous pollutants, and keep it looking healthy and glowing!