We have all heard the stories. The sun is damaging our skin. But it turns out the sun is not the only major concern on our journey to better skin, the air is too. More specifically, the pollution that has taken over the air around us. Air pollution is the unseen skin offender that over time takes a toll. Air pollution is caused by smoke or other harmful gasses. These gasses break down the ozone layer, which exposes us to higher levels of ultraviolet radiation and abnormal amounts of other environmental pollutants.
Other pollutants include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are released into the air from things like the burning of wood or diesel fuels, along with cigarettes, which are not only bad for people’s health, but have a negative effect on the air around us. Air pollution causes the build up of particulate matter, or miniscule pieces of grime that are small enough to invade the skin.
All of this works together to create what are known as free radicals. These are a danger to our skin because they can strip the skin barrier lipids, which help to retain moisture and keep out the dirt and grime. If you are still wondering how any of this is important, you should know that air pollution is known to lead to aging skin, acne, uneven skin tone, and in the worst cases, skin cancer.
Where is this Happening?
Unfortunately in our current world, there aren’t many places you can go to escape air pollution, but there are some cities in the US that are worse than others. Here is a list of the top ten worst air polluted cities in the US:
- Fresno – CA
- Bakersfield – CA
- Fairbanks – AK
- Visalia – CA
- Los Angeles – CA
- San Francisco – CA
- Pittsburgh – PA
- El Centro – CA
- Cleveland – OH
- Medford Grants Pass – OR
The fact that some of these cities are on the list is no surprise; California not only has a high population, but is also home to major industrial centers, and during the summer is at high risk for wildfires. These are all sources that create microscopic pieces of soot, smoke and other air pollutants that are harmful, and consistent exposure to them causes great risk to your skin health.
It seems everywhere you go, you’re putting your skin at risk to exposure, but there are some simple steps you can take to help protect and combat air pollution from messing with your perfect complexion.
Keep It Clean
The first and most important step is keeping your skin clean. The best way to do so is by using a facial cleanser that is tough on grime, but does not dry out or strip skin of natural oils. For people unsure where to start, Way of Will makes a face cleanser – all skin type that is all natural and ideal for almost all different skin types.
What is special about this product is the inclusion of grapefruit and rose geranium, which provide antiseptic qualities and help with circulation. These ingredients make this cleanser unique because they help to keep your face fresh, clean, and silky smooth. This pH balanced formula will help to decongest and purify your skin and keep it from looking dull.
Toner is your Bestie
After cleansing, the next best thing you can do would be to follow up with a toner. This is an important step in any skin care routine because toner removes any excess dirt in your pores, residual makeup and oils, and helps to balance out the pH levels in your skin. Our face toner – normal sensitive skin boosts skin balance and moisture in your skin and works as an anti-inflammatory.
The Way of Will toner will remove impurities and help keep your skin smooth and firm due to its blend of 30 different types of vitamins. The best part about this toner is the use of roman chamomile, which has calming properties and the repairing properties of carotene. This vitamin rich toner aids in purifying deep into the skin, and preps your face for moisturizer.
Keep it Bright
One of the major concerns air pollutants cause is aging skin. Overtime, the constant exposure to free radicals and UV radiation takes a toll on the youthfulness of skin. Besides keeping your skin clean and toning it, another great product to keep that youthful glow would be a brightening serum.
This all natural brightening face serum is rich in vitamins A and C, which helps to reduce the look of dark spots, repairs scars and damaged tissue, and provides brightening and toning to your skin. The Way of Will serum’s lightweight formula promotes skin hydration and elasticity. We love this product because it revitalizes your complexion and is perfect for those with sensitive skin.
Keep Your Skin in Mind
Having a solid skin care routine will greatly improve your chances of keeping your skin healthy and youthful, but there are other steps you can take in order to give yourself some back up. This includes keeping your skin moisturized, and our face moisturizer – all skin type can help with that. Way of Will’s face moisturizer helps to reduce fine lines and moisture loss.
This is achieved from the combination of Ylang Ylang and Frankincense, which naturally help to slow down signs of aging skin. Using a face moisturizer daily will help to create a thick barrier between you and the pollutants in the air around you. This barrier protects your skin from stripping caused by air pollution.
It is also a good idea to wear sunscreen on a daily basis to shield from UV’s, and try to eat foods that promote healthy skin. This includes lots of leafy greens, and foods rich in antioxidants, and Omega 3s, which help defend your cells against free radicals. Most importantly, remember to be consistent in drinking water throughout the day. Keeping your body hydrated gives you better circulation, aids in digestion, and promotes healthy, smooth, young looking skin.