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It’s not news to most, that the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to the skin and spark early signs of skin aging. But, another threat making headlines in the skin care world these days goes beyond UV damage and now includes other environmental stressors too, that SPF alone won’t cover.
Everyday air pollution at the ground level can negatively affect your skin’s barrier function; one of the top layers of the skin that keeps moisture in. Not only that, but free radicals and pollutants that your skin encounters on a daily basis, like car fumes, can pose a threat to your skin’s surface. This can result in skin that experiences not only dullness and dryness, but premature fine lines and wrinkles too – four common signs of skin aging.
So, the question becomes: “How can I help protect my skin?” After all, unless you live in an area without smog you typically can’t even see these skin aging culprits. Today, the idea is that some skin care products may be able to help offer some protection through the use of anti-oxidant formulas that are capable of reducing the severity of some environmental damage.
When topically applied, anti-oxidants may be capable of protecting skin against the damaging effects of free radicals. Your body has a supply of naturally occurring anti-oxidants already in place to help protect against oxidative stress, but you can give it a boost by eating foods rich in anti-oxidants, like berries, and by applying skin care products formulated to address the effects of pollution on your skin too. Anti-oxidant skin care formulas include vitamins C and E and the derivatives of vitamin A, like retinol. Some cleansers, serums and creams are now touting anti-pollution benefits and they may be worth a try.
The idea to keep in mind is that anti-oxidants in skin care products may help ward off and soften some signs of skin aging – and most people could benefit from an extra dose of protection after taking into consideration all that your skin encounters. To further protect your skin from free radical damage, cleanse every night and check in with your dermatologist yearly for their recommendations. Remember though, that anti-pollution skin care products won’t block UV rays – so keep applying SPF in addition to any new products you might try.