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Keep your skin safe from air pollution

We have no control over air pollution but some small steps can go a long way in keeping your skin from harm’s way.

Deepa Gupta | New Delhi |

Your skin is a sensitive and very important organ in your body. It demands a lot of attention and concern. As we all know air pollution has become a major problem of these days, we have to take special care of it give it the respect it deserves.

Skin is the first organ that may be contaminated by a pollutant as it is the first line of defence against an infectious agent. However, it is a neglected and vulnerable organ which can suffer serious complications due to poor air quality. Skin begins to damage from outer layer. Currently, we all are facing a threat around us that is air pollution. As we step out of our home, our skin is coming in contact with smog, dust and other pollutants in the air that are extremely harmful for the skin. These particulates go deep into the pores causing inflammation, irritations, eruptions, premature aging, loss of elasticity, firmness and glow and its worst skin cancer. Make sure to follow a skin care regimen to save the delicate organ from air pollution you encounter every day.

  • Deep cleansing: Properly clean your face twice a day. Baking soda makes for an excellent deep pore cleanser that gently exfoliates your skin. Mix two teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water to make a paste.  Use circular motions to gently massage the mixture onto your face. Leave it on your skin for about five minutes and rinse clean.
  • Moisturising: Pollutants can cause a lot of damage to your skin making it dry and dull. Use a natural moisturiser every day to keep your skin glowing. Provide deep hydration by applying any of these oils – coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, sesame oil, baby oil or jojoba oil. Apply any of these oils all over your face and body and massage for five minutes so that oil gets properly absorbed by the skin. You can repeat the process again on your face before going to bed at night. Do not forget to wash your face first.
  • Sunscreen shielding: Air pollution can damage the skin’s protective outer layer causing dryness, redness and irritation. The pollutants our skin encounter every day may be largely inescapable. Use a good sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen. Reapply it after every three hours to protect the skin from air pollution.
  • Scrubbing: To eliminate the rough and dry patches of dead skin caused by air pollution, you need to give your skin a good scrubbing thrice a week. You may mix half-cup of white or brown sugar with enough olive oil to make a paste. Apply it to your face in circular motion. Let it sit for 10 minutes and wash away with warm water. You can also apply lemon juice to remove dead skin cells.
  • Drink a lot of water:Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to flush out the toxins from your system. Pollutants have a tendency to dehydrate and irritate your skin. To keep your skin naturally moisturised, stay well hydrated. You can drink coconut water and unsweetened lemon water also to reap the benefits of these healthy drinks.
  • Good diet: A diet rich in antioxidants can help you look and feel your best even when there is air pollution. Eat plenty of carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, oranges, spinach, apricots, pumpkin, grapes, berries, eggplant, onion, garlic, parsley, nuts, healthy seeds like sunflower seeds, avocado, sweet potato, red and yellow bell pepper, sea food and lean meat. Drink four to five cups of green tea every day. Some experts say, you can condition the skin from the inside and the outside by eating these healthy foods. Choose them fresh and incorporate in your diet to boost the chances of having a healthy skin despite of air pollution.
  • Manage stress: Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger skin problems when air pollution is on high extent. To encourage healthy skin, encourage healthy state of mind and take steps to manage your stress. Meditate every day for 10 to 15 minutes and make time to do things you enjoy.
  • Good sleep: Get a full night sleep of eight hours. Air pollution may lead to hanging eyelids, swollen eyes, darker under eye circles, paler skin, more wrinkles and fine lines. Sleep is the time when your skin repairs itself. During sleep, your blood flow increases and the organ rebuilds its collagen to repair any kind of damage, be it due to air pollution.

Pollution is an inevitable fact of life. You can just take preventive steps to shield your skin from its harmful effects. A huge focus on skin health can lead to glowing, cleaner, healthier, younger and fresher skin. Keep pampering your skin despite, and due to, air pollution!