The environment affects your skin, whether you are indoors or outside. Ultraviolet (UV) rays, blue light, pollution, and more are environmental factors that cause oxidative damage to the skin. This process breaks down collagen and may even damage the skin barrier, which compromises the skin. A damaged barrier makes you more prone to dry skin, cracking, and damaging effects of environmental factors.
UV Rays Are the Biggest Threat To The Skin
UV rays from the sun are the most significant environmental factor that can damage the skin. Not only do they increase signs of aging, but they also increase the risk of skin cancer. UV rays trigger the production of free radicals, which can surpass neutralizing antioxidants according to research. These free radicals can break down collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles and other signs of aging. UV rays also stimulate melanin production, which can cause skin discolorations. Over time, too much exposure to UV rays without proper protection can dramatically increase the risk of numerous forms of skin cancer, especially melanoma.
Air Pollution Plays A Role
Not only can air pollution affect your breathing, but it can also cause free radical damage on the skin, just like UV rays. Exposure to particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and hydrocarbons can cause skin inflammation and oxidative stress. According to research, skin inflammation can impair collagen synthesis, which causes the skin to sag and wrinkle over time. The last thing you want is for pollution to chew up your collagen and elastin!
If you want to take action to protect your skin from environmental damage, consider the following tips. They may come in handy more than you know!
Pick A Functional Powder For Sun Protection
If you are on-the-go, consider getting your hands on a functional powder. These types of powders have built-in SPF and are great options because you can dust them over existing lotions or makeup. They are great if you work in an office and need a little midday touch-up.
Try A Mineral Sunscreen
If you spend time in the sun, dermatologists agree that you must wear sunscreen in order to protect your skin. Ideally, you want to use sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, both of which physically block UV rays. Chemical sunscreen may be invisible after applying on the skin, but they allow some absorption of light. That’s why skin care experts recommend mineral-based sunscreens to effectively protect the skin. They may leave a whitish appearance on the skin, but better to be protected than not!
Consider Supplementing With Vitamins C & E
UV rays, air pollution, and blue light can all cause oxidative stress on the skin, a process that breaks down collagen and elastin. The best way to neutralize free radicals is by maintaining a steady intake or application of antioxidants. Vitamin C tends to work more efficiently with vitamin E, according to research studies. That’s why they are often together in different formulations. Vitamin C and E serums can help prep your skin in the morning, providing a natural defense that it needs to face the day.
Opt For More Antioxidants
Not only do antioxidant serums have their place in the morning, but they also have their place at night. Opting for ingredients like glutathione and resveratrol can help repair damage that was done during the day. Resveratrol, which exists in grapes, peanuts, soy, and other foods, can sop up free radicals. Glutathione is another antioxidant that works to address dark spots, according to one study. There are many antioxidant creams or ointments that work to fight sun-damaging effects, but don’t neglect the consumption of antioxidants from colorful plant-based foods. Those do great things for your skin and other bodily systems and organs.
Wash Up Carefully Before Bed
After being out and about all day, you need to wash off all that grime that the skin accumulates. Before you go to bed, use a gentle cleanser that works to both clean out pores and keep the skin barrier intact. If you use a cleanser that is too rough, then you increase the risk of skin irritation.
Always Protect At Night
In addition to cleansing after a long day, you may want to apply other skin-nourishing ingredients before you hit the hay. Moisturizers or serums that contain antioxidants can help clear up environmental damage and support collagen production throughout the night.