We all know the damage that too much exposure to UV rays from the sun has on our skin, causing faster skin ageing and increasing the risk of skin cancer. And while it’s extremely important to apply sunscreen every day, SPF protection won’t protect your skin from the second most damaging thing in the air – pollution.
Cities like Singapore, Tokyo and New York are filled with ambient particulate matter (PM) including dust, dirt and smoke, not to mention the haze. Living in these places exposes our skin to all these harmful airbourne pollutants and toxins elements which unleashes free radical activity in our skin. This wreak havocs on skin’s protective lipids and can accelerate the ageing process.
According to Tony Vargas, Elizabeth Arden’s Vice President of Global Research & Development, this weakening of our skin’s natural antioxidant defence system causes “a chain reaction of skin damage, resulting in lines, wrinkles, uneven pigmentation and dark spots, loss of firmness and elasticity and ageing signs”.
Furthermore, our body naturally produces DNA repair enzymes to mend skin. With time, the level of these repair enzymes decreases, making it harder for our cells to fix skin damage caused by the onslaught of environmental aggressors.
And just like with sun damage, the harm created by pollution accumulates slowly over time and usually takes years to reveal itself on the skin.
Protect and strengthen your skin from environmental assaults with these five smart tips: