Air pollution can cause skin damage. Some examples of the effects of pollution on the skin are premature aging and skin irritation to skin cancer. The level of exposure and how long you are exposed to the pollution has a different damage impact on your skin.
The skin is the largest organ of the body which has the main function as a protector of the body from foreign objects, such as ultraviolet radiation, chemicals, and germs. You may think that the skin is only exposed to foreign substances and harmful substances while outdoors or in the work environment. Even though it is true, exposure to harmful substances can also appear when you are at home while doing daily activities.
Pollution from the Outer Environment
The amount of smoke from motor vehicles, cigarettes, or factories makes the air contain various pollutants that cause air pollution. Usually, air pollution contains at least six kinds of pollutants, namely carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, ozone, pollution or particulate particles, and sulfur oxides.
Air pollution has been proven to cause symptoms of respiratory disease and lung function disorders, cause stroke, asthma, and also premature death.
In addition to having an impact on body health, pollution also has an impact on your skin. Pollution can trigger skin cancer, because the skin can absorb various pollutants in the air.
Not only that, polluted air can at least cause premature aging of the skin; worsening skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne; can damage DNA in skin cells; interfere with the skin's ability to produce collagen; can activate certain molecules that cause black spots or skin pigmentation to occur; and causes the skin to become dry. The environment around the residence also often affects the health and appearance of your skin.
Pollution Derived from Home
If you think air pollution is only outdoors, it looks like you are wrong. Because air pollution can be present in your home. Air pollution inside the house can be just as bad, or even worse than outside.
Pollution inside your home comes from at least mushrooms, pollen from plants, household products, pesticides, gases such as radon and carbon monoxide, and materials used in buildings such as asbestos and lead.
The following are some other dangerous things that may be in your home, including:
- The smell of furniture or building items that we usually refer to as the smell of new goods. Usually it disappears within a few weeks, but the resulting emissions can become pollution at home for years.
- Volatile organic compounds, including formaldehyde, are derived from cleaning products and wood and plastic products.
- Ozone from printer and photocopying machines.
- Asbestos in an old building or building.
- Small fibers from furniture that fly into the air every time you sweep.
- Exhaust fumes from the streets that enter the house.
- Poor ventilation which results in insufficient fresh air in the house, or poor air filtration.
- Cigarette smoke (if you have a family member who smokes).
How to Take Care of Skin from Pollution
Simple, but important ways we can do to reduce the impact of skin damage due to pollution.
1. Diligently Cleanse the Skin
Avoiding pollution can be said to be very impossible, therefore, you always have to try to minimize the impact caused by pollution on your skin. Help the skin by always cleaning it. Wash your face every day with soft soap on the skin. Shed off dead skin cells so that the skin can form a new layer by scrubbing (make sure you don't use products that make the skin dry), and always apply moisturizer.
2. Do not smoke
Smoking causes the skin to wrinkle, the appearance of wrinkles on the face, the eyelids become loose, the skin becomes uneven, the skin becomes rough and dry. Avoid cigarette smoke whenever possible because cigarette smoke can damage the structure of your skin.
3. Use Sunscreen
The combination of air pollution and ultraviolet (UV) light can double the adverse effects of UV radiation on the skin. Therefore, use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 or more. Your skin needs UV protection to help reduce the risk of skin cancer and signs of premature aging. You can choose a sunscreen that contains zinc or titanium dioxide which can block the absorption of ultraviolet light on the skin.
4. Antioxidant intake
In order to prevent premature aging due to pollution, you are also advised to eat foods that contain antioxidants. Because antioxidants are believed to protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. Some sources of antioxidants include red wine, tea, kiwi, broccoli, tomatoes, mangoes, oranges, carrots, nuts, spinach, asparagus, blueberries, and green vegetables.
Pollution is indeed difficult to avoid, both in open and closed spaces. You will never be fully protected from pollution. Your skin is the first organ exposed to all these harmful substances. Therefore, try to always maintain the cleanliness of the environment where you live and work, do skin care, and do not forget to eat healthy foods that are rich in antioxidants. If air pollution is bad for your health and your skin, consult a doctor immediately to get the right treatment.