The health of the nation has been compromised during the past few months. Since the festival of lights in October, pollution levels across states have reached dangerous new lows and crossed into hazardous territory numerous times, with Delhi even being named the most polluted city in the world in mid-November. The advent of winter comes bearing bad news with particulate matter, allergens, dust and pollutants only rising as we speak. Along with dry cough, troubled breathing, running nose and other health conditions faced during these smoggy times, skin also takes a toss. Cases of rashes, breakouts, dullness and redness are increasing. To prevent pollution from affecting your skin and treating its effects, we spoke to Dr. Simal Soin, founder of AAYNA clinic and Dr. Satish Bhatia, certified dermatologist and cutaneous surgeon of DermDestination.
How pollution affects the skin
If you've ever wondered how pollution ends up damaging the skin, Dr. Simal Soin answers, "Dirt and residue permeates within the layers of skin. This causes oxidative stress and leads to premature aging. Exposure to pollution results in dullness, dryness, acne and allergic reactions that lead to itchy inflamed skin." That's why skin ends up the way it does when pollutants rear their ugly heads.
Skincare tips to protect against pollution
Fortunately, there's plenty you can do to protect your skin from pollution's effects. Says Dr. Satish Bhatia, "Winters have set in and the rapid seasonal shift will leave your skin dry. Make sure it stays well nourished and that skin is moisturized at all times. With all the stickiness due to pollutants, massage the skin when possible to leave it feeling relaxed and at ease."
Here's what Dr. Simal Soin advises, "Always apply sunscreen whenever you step out of the house during the day as it doesn't allow any dirt particles to settle and protects from harmful UV rays. Oxygen facials are powered with the goodness of pure oxygen and a customized serum infusion to deliver instant and noticeable results, giving skin a firmer, more luminous appearance. Use a micellar water for cleansing and opt for topical Vitamin C to prevent free radical damage."
Lifestyle tips to prevent pollution from damaging your skin
Keeping pollution and its harmful effects away isn't only the responsibility of a skincare routine. Following the correct lifestyle tips too can make a huge difference. Dr. Bhatia informs, "Invest in a good air purifier for your kids and yourself. Since most allergies stem from dust, an air purifier helps clean the home environment and remove dust and harmful particles. Keep yourself covered well with breathable cotton outfits and the right footwear. Cover the face lightly when travelling. Track air quality to manage your time outdoors. Walk outside in the morning when the air is fresher."
Dr. Soin lends her valuable advice, "Eat a healthy diet to fight toxins present in your body. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin and improve micro-circulation. Take an oral antioxidant with the goodness of vitamins and minerals if needed."
7 Beauty products to fight pollution
With these expert tips in mind, take a look at these 7 beauty products to fight pollution and its effects over your face and body.
1. Simple Pollution Protect Face Mask
The sheet mask made of biodegradable fibers has vitamin B3 and antioxidants to minimise the drying effects of pollution.
2. Nykaa SkinShield Anti-Pollution Foundation
The mattifying foundation has a triple action formula that hydrates, controls oil and protects against pollutants.
3. Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion
This non-greasy and non-irritating lotion for the face and body is hypoallergenic, doesn't clog pores and provides long-lasting hydration for all skin types.
4. Avon Nutra Effects Day And Night Cream
The duo has active seed complex to brighten skin tone and visibly reduce dry spots and discolouration.
5. WOW Anti-Pollution Sunscreen
This power-packed sunscreen lotion is water resistant with SPF 40 and shields against PM 2.5 pollutants, smog and damage.
6. Bare Air Anti-Pollution Night Serum
With hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and mulberry extract, this restorative overnight serum restores the skin barrier while stimulating skin repair.
7. Vaseline Sun + Pollution Protection Lotion
The body lotion has SPF 30 with Vaseline jelly in a pollution protection formula to shield the skin.
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