Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and it is the one responsible for keeping us safe and separated from the outer environment. Unfortunately, since it is the first protection barrier, it sometimes needs to be protected itself. The sun, pollution, trauma, and irritants can all contribute to damaging your skin. If your skin structure is damaged, it will require more energy to rejuvenate and replenish. After the age of thirty however, the rate of rejuvenation decreases as collagen production drops every year. That is why it is crucial to protect your skin against the environment, and here are the top tips on how to do that.
- Sunlight vs Sunscreen
The number one cause of premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles is the sun. UV rays from the sun cause free radicals within the skin that damage the structure and increase the production of melanin. Protecting your skin from the sun is something you should do every day. Whether it is a sunny day, cloudy day, winter, or summertime, the UV index may still be high and damage your skin.
What can you do: The best way to protect the skin is to wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses? Otherwise, make sure to invest in a high-quality sunscreen to include in your daily skincare routine.
- Keep weary of light
This may be a surprise, but sunlight is not the only light that can contribute to premature skin aging. Blue light and is another potential skin ager. Blue light is a high energy, long wavelength light that is emitting by our computer, iPad, and phone screens. There are not many studies on this topic so far, however some experts believe that looking into a screen all day can contribute to premature aging.
What can you do: challenge yourself to limit the amount of screen time per day. Put your phone charger outside the bedroom, have screen free time in the evening, and choose to read a physical book over a screen!
- Harmful chemicals that penetrate
Our skin may be a barrier to the outside world; however it also absorbs 64% of all the products it comes into contact with. that is why you need to take care with what skincare, beauty, make up, and other products you choose. Are you using natural and safe ingredients? Or do some of your products contain chemicals that may be harmful to your health. Check out this blogpost about the key ingredients to avoid in skincare.
What you can do: learn about the harmful chemicals that can appear in your beauty products and avoid them by carefully inspecting labels. If you are unsure, check with a professional dermatologist as they will have more knowledge on how to protect the skin.
- Air pollution does not only impact breathing
While studies looking at air pollution and our breathing are abundant and well-studied, the environmental protection organisation suggests that the same free radicals can damage the skin. Exposure to air pollution that includes particle matter, nitrogen dioxide, hydrocarbons and more can create oxidative damage in the skin. This increases inflammation and contributes to deeper lines and wrinkles.
What you can do: this one is probably the trickiest. If you live in a polluted city, there is not much you are able to do about changing the outside world. What you can do is boost your inner health by staying hydrated, eating well, and making sure you get enough vitamins and nutrients. Vitamin E and D are beneficial for improving our skin health. (You can get topical applications as well) As an individual, you can also try your best to decrease your environmental footprint by becoming a conscious consumer to minimise the amount of pollution. Even if just by a tiny bit!