Like the thin protective layer of the atmosphere, the ozone, is essential for preserving life on our planet, our skin envelops our whole body to defend us and maintain all its balance and integrity. When these protection systems fail a series of negative reactions occur.
Effects of environmental pollution on the skin: are we aware of the problem?
One of the great problems of today’s world, the emissions of greenhouse gas effect, represents an important risk for the environment and for us.
More than half the world’s population lives in urban environments, which increases the threshold of environmental pollution. On the other hand, it is estimated that pollution will increase by 1.84% in the next five years, so despite having more social and political awareness on this problem we are still far from alleviating the damage caused.
What most people don’t know is that air or atmospheric pollution not only affects the health of people, generating illnesses, but also has harmful effects on our skin.
Environmental pollution is one of the worst enemies of our skin.
“More than 80% of the European population is exposed to high levels of pollution that exceed the recommendations of the WHO (Brussels).”
The data are alarming: the quality index of the air in Beijing is 200, Mumbai 162, Madrid 70, Paris 58, New York 66, London 54, Los Angeles 50.
How does pollution affect the skin?
Our skin, which works as a barrier against environmental aggression, rapidly shows the effect of exposure to the low quality air of our cities. A bad environmental quality accelerates the biological age of the skin.
- More free radicals are generated that favour the appearance of wrinkles and lack of firmness.
- The levels of vitamins E and C are reduced, natural antioxidant of the corneal layer.
- Oxygen supply to the tissues is reduced, which produces a dull face.
The skin barrier is altered and its consequences are multiple:
- Little uniform tone, dull appearance.
- Rough and flaccid skin. As it is less oxygenated it loses suppleness.
- Dyschromias. Darkspots appear more easily.
- Skin becomes dirty and pores are obstructed.
- Lack of luminosity.
- Acceleration of the process of skin ageing due to the increase of production of free radicals.
Which are the most harmful polluting substances?
“Our skin has to face more than 300 sources of pollution”.
In a simplified way there are three large families of external pollutants at the skin level: sun rays, environmental pollution and domestic pollution.
- Sun rays: include the ultraviolet UVA and UVB, but also the infrared and visible light. Although they are essential for the correct functioning of the body, their harmful effects are also important. UV rays penetrate to the heart of the cells, altering their genetic code.
- Environmental pollution: comes from nature, but most of all from human activity. Generates oxidative stress and the worst for health and beauty are:
- Fine particles (PM 2.5*), also called “particulate matter”, are easily transported through the air and are 20 times smaller than the skin pores; pollution penetrates through the skin’s pores.
- Heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, etc.).
- Cigarette smoke activates dehydration and the degeneration of the support tissues.
*Articulated material that has a diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometres.
- Domestic pollution: pollution is not only an exterior phenomenon. It is found anywhere and invades daily both the houses in the city and in the countryside. We spend 80% of our time in closed spaces: the office, our living room; we are working the appearance of signs of ageing. This is why we must protect the skin also indoors.
SUN + POLLUTION
The harmful effects of these compounds can be amplified when they interact among themselves.
Why do we have to worry about pollution?
The combination Sun + Pollution is the number one cause of ageing in urban environments.
“80% OF SKIN AGEING IS DUE TO THE COMBINATION OF TOBACCO SMOKE, POLLUTION, OZONE AND ULTRAVIOLET AND INFRARED RAYS.”
How to protect our skin against pollution?
Maintaining healthy skin requires specific care that prevents premature ageing produced by this “suffocation”. It is recommended to cleanse, purify, hydrate and protect the skin with the products most suitable for each skin type.
From Germaine de Capuccini we advise:
- Carry out daily a neutral cleansing. It is important to maintain the skin clean to prevent the pores from blocking and allow the skin to breathe.
- A good protective shield. Use products with antioxidants to block the activity of free radicals, as well as anti-adhesive properties to prevent the particles from “sticking” to the skin, without forgetting a good solar protector with wide spectrum against UVB and UVA rays.
- Follow a healthy, balance diet so your skin receives all the necessary nutrients and also do an exercise routine.
Why is it important to eliminate the polluting particles from the skin?
- The skin is prepared to enhance its natural defence mechanisms.
- The “good” bacterial flora is promoted.
- Skin inflammation of the deeper layers of the skin is reduced.
All of this produces recovered and revitalised skin. It gains vitality, hydration and its appearance is improved, being purified.
Germaine de Capuccini has several specific facial treatments aimed at neutralising and minimising the effects produced by pollution on the skin, preventing it from getting inside it and strengthening the response of the skin to oxidative stress coming from environmental pollution.
If you have doubts or need more information,
you can go to a Germaine de Capuccini Beauty Centre
or contact us at the free telephone 900 442 442
or at Facebook (Germaine de Capuccini) and Twitter (@germaine_esp)