Skin is our largest organ. On average a fully grown adult has about 8 pounds, (or 3.6 kgs) of the stuff. Making up a whopping 22 square feet!
Skin is waterproof, insulating, guards the body against extremes. Protection to temperature, damaging sunlight and does its best to block harmful chemicals. It exudes antibacterial substances that prevent infection and manufactures vitamin D for converting calcium into healthy bones.
Moreover, skin additionally is a huge sensor packed with nerves for keeping the brain in touch with the outside world. However, despite being ridiculously versatile (as far as organs go). It is not necessarily equipped to deal with modern chemicals found in some polluted air.
If you live in an area known for smog and air pollution, you are noticing that your complexion sometimes has a similar hue to the sky. It may be time to start investing in anti-pollution face cream or two. We are going to breakdown the point of these clever creams. Here are why they are probably worth your hard-earned pennies.
Air pollutants rob skin cells of oxygen, which can make the skin look dull and sagging. As you get older the body’s ability to fight free radicals diminishes. Unfortunately, pollutants increase the number of free radicals in the air. This, in combination with UV radiation, decreases the production of skin collagen, causing the skin to lose elasticity.
Loss of elastin gives skin a rougher texture and fine lines begin to appear. If I am losing you, you can stop reading now and just make sure you apply suncream every day. Even during the winter and you will be on your way to a youthful future.
For those of you ready to get into it here goes. Pollution is in fact a mix of many. These components make it difficult to say exactly which one of the different elements are responsible for the skin changes we see.
A few examples of specific pollutants found in air pollution include Benzo-a-pyrene, urban dust, ultrafine dust, and diesel exhaust.
Now curiously, the real threat often doesn’t come from these particles themselves since they are usually too big to enter the skin. It actually comes from the chemicals that find a way to attach to them. Let's take urban dust as an example, it contains a cocktail of 224 toxic chemicals – from polyaromatic hydrocarbons to pesticides and heavy metals.
Furthermore, while the particles of pollution are usually too large to penetrate skin themselves. Many of these chemicals attached to them are not. Cigarette smoke is another major pollutant with thousand of chemicals found in it.
Thanks to the wonders of science, in recent years, the health effects associated with air pollution have been intensively studied. Laboratory tests are able to measure not only how the cells react to different pollutants, but also which ingredients can protect them against the negative effects caused. From there, skin care products can be developed to protect against the damage and repair the damage done as much as possible.
See below for 5 highly rated creams out there that can help your skin battle all of those nasty free radicals.