Recently , Colombo was covered in the much talked about smog – a blanket of polluted air allegedly all the way over from New Delhi. Environmental watch dogs continue to share alerts on the increasing levels of air pollution in the city of Colombo, and all over the country.
Air pollution, aided and abetted by the many factors such as emissions from vehicles, improper garbage disposal and factory emissions, is a very real and very relevant problem right now. Many of us are aware and take precautions to avoid the negative effects of Air Pollution on our health , but many of us aren’t aware about the effect this has on our skin.
So how does air pollution affect our skin?
1. Premature skin aging
Us Sri Lankans are already under the threat of premature skin aging due to over exposure from the sun. In addition to this, as proven by research , particulate matter emissions from traffic related air pollution, has shown to cause a 20% increase in pigment spots on the forehead and cheeks.
Further, indoor air pollution caused, for example, by cooking with solid fuels, has shown a significant increase in pigment spots and wrinkles.
Eczema is, usually a generic disease. However, research has shown that increased levels of air pollution can trigger eczema , specially in children. Air pollution also triggers attacks of eczema in people who have the condition in a dormant state. Furthermore, certain researches have so shown that individuals with no genetic history of eczema ended up with the condition due to toxins in the air.
We have all experienced hives atleast once in our lives. This is usually a reaction to a specific allergen such as a food item, medication or insect. However, experiencing sudden hives with no visible trigger is quite possibly a result of high levels of air pollution. A study in Canada has shown a direct relationship between increased levels of air pollution and increased outbreaks of hives.
Even people with perfectly healthy skin are at risk of getting acne due to the pollutants in air. The impurities that land on the skin, clog existing pores and these lead to outbreaks of acne. A breakout of acne can lead to issues such as pimples and scarring of the skin.
How do we keep our skin safe from air pollution?
1. Use a lotion or a moisturizer
Additional layers of moisturizer or a soothing lotion creates a block between the external environment and your skin. This will keep your skin safe as you travel / commute. Opt to use a lotion with skin healing and sun protecting ingredients such as calamine.
Make it a habit to use a mild cleanser everyday, and exfoliate to rid your skin of all impurities it may have collected throughout the day. A thorough daily clean up routine is very important in keeping your skin safe from pollution.
3. Use a healing lotion that includes Calamine
Calamine, as an ingredient, has multi faceted properties including healing from sub burns, skin soothing properties and scar healing properties. The lacto calamine lotion , in addition to hosting all the properties of calamine, also includes witch hazel, which helps in healing minor skin wounds and scars.
Air pollution is a reality we must all live with, and it’s in our own best interest to take all necessary precautions to protect our skin from the negative effects of air pollution.
Written by Shana