Pollution, how to defend the skin from smog

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If you want your skin remains compact and soft, luminous and uniform, also take into consideration the variable “2.5”: it is the measure in micrometres under which the smog particles they are so small that they penetrate the pores of the skin and from there deeper into the tissues.

Learn more about urban aging

«It has been demonstrated that city air puts a strain on the skin every day, depositing particles of pollution, dirt, dust and thus generating an excess of free radicals. These in turn interfere with the skin’s ability to retain water and with the synthesis of collagen and elastin, with the consequent premature appearance of wrinkles and dark spots. Furthermore, pollutants favor allergies and inflammation, with redness, burning, stinging, and also hyperkeratinisation, i.e. the thickening and alteration of the stratum corneum, which makes the skin rougher, dull and dehydrated», explains the dermatologist, allergist and immunologist Carlo Di Stanislao, University of L’Aquila.

Equally insidious is theindoor pollutionto which we are exposed about 80% of the time, with its potentially harmful particles, such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds: propane, formaldehyde, toluene, acetaldehyde) emitted by many household and office objects, for example furniture and furnishings, especially those purchased recently.

This is why it is essential to defend the skin as well as the lungs (and the heart, as demonstrated by the latest research), from the outdoor/indoor cross-aggression of pollutants. We explain how.

Eliminate all impurities

Thorough cleaning is essential in the evening. You can use a foaming but gentle cleanserto emulsify with water and rinse, or a light gel, which transforms into oil during application helps maintain the epidermal barrier and prevents irritation, including those from smog.

Carlo Di Stanislao explains: «Ideal for all skin types, even sensitive ones, are the micellar waters, which thanks to the particular structure free of polar surfactants, incorporate the impurities of the skin respecting the hydrolipidic film, deeply cleansing the face, eyes and lips in a single gesture. Also recommended is a démaquillante oil or an organic vegetable oil (camellia, currant, rice, argan, or olive, depending on your preferences), to be massaged for 3-4 minutes: it cleans by affinity and respects the physiology cutaneous”.

After a particularly polluted day, in the evening it is advisable to carry out an even more thorough cleansing, for example by using special devices with oscillating headsbecause the smog particles are up to 50 times smaller than the diameter of a pore and cleaning “by hand”, however accurate, is often not sufficient to eliminate them completely.

Strengthens the barrier function

Two or three times a week add one to the routine detoxifying or purifying mask, for example based on clay or pure vegetable charcoal. In times of greatest need, when the skin appears particularly worn out, you can also apply several masks one after the other, in the style of Japanese layering, following the correct sequence: first apply the exfoliating masks and then the purifying ones, then move on to moisturizing masks, which reinforce the barrier function, jeopardized by pollutants.

Instead, every morning on clean skin put a serum or an antioxidant fluid, to raise the anti-smog defences. The most effective ones contain antioxidants, such as coenzyme Q10, polyphenols from green tea, resveratrol and vitamin C, and ingredients that improve microcirculation, such as pycnogenol, blueberry, superoxide dismutase. Above, apply one shield effect cream. «The ones with Omega 3 and 6 fats are excellent which, in addition to being anti-inflammatory, strengthen the hydrolipidic film. But more generally, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and soothing molecules are useful, such as vitamins C and E, hyaluronic acid at different molecular weights, vegetable oils – for example sweet almond or jojoba – as well as the moisturizing molecules and nutrients that come from the green chemistry (formulated according to the canons of eco-compatibility), such as cholesterol and glycerin», says Carlo Di Stanislao.

Also to be found among the ingredients the chlorella algaewhich thanks to its antioxidant powers and its ability to produce oxygen purifies and strengthens the skin’s defenses also with an eye to antiquing.

Defend yourself from ozone

Research shows that photochemical smog from ozone, typical of very bright days, even in winter, causes structural damage to proteins in the dermis, such as collagen. «Protect your skin with blend of new generation physical and chemical filters more fluid and therefore more pleasant. Choose creams or serums with ferulic acid and carnosine that counteract the cross damage from UV rays and smog», advises Carlo Di Stanislao.

Also a fundamental good foundation, compact or fluid, which reinforces the shield action. «The broad-spectrum photoprotectors that unify the complexion are very functional, and were created precisely to prevent the application of the foundation from altering the effectiveness of the sunscreen applied as a base».