What’s really damaging your skin every day
You may not be able to see them, but pollutants and other environmental elements can have major long-term effects on the appearance of your skin. To find out more, we spoke to the experts from Elizabeth Arden to dish the dirt on how pollution can damage your skin...
What are the different pollutants we are exposed to daily?
No matter where you live or work, every day your skin is affected by common pollutants, such as infrared radiation, ozone, air pollution, smog and cigarette smoke, says Lavinia Popescu, Senior Director, Product Development – Elizabeth Arden.
What effects can pollution have on your skin?
The effects of pollution aren’t just skin deep. In fact, they go as far as affecting your entire genetic make up. “Exposure to UV rays and pollution – particularly in urban areas – wreaks havoc on skin, right down to its DNA,” explains Lavinia. “Every day, the environment is visibly ageing your skin; in fact, 80 per cent of all signs of skin ageing are due to environmental aggressors such as UV rays, pollution and smoke*,” Lavinia continues.
While most of us are aware of the harmful effects of the sun’s rays on the skin, we’re now becoming more aware of the need to protect our skin from harmful pollutants that can cause ageing. “Air pollutants – essentially tiny particles that can work their way into pores and skin – can very prematurely age your skin,” says Lavinia. “Pollution particles from traffic emissions are among the most harmful [to the skin] because of their small size. There is a clear correlation between ambient particulate matter from traffic and extrinsic signs of skin ageing, including pigmentation on the face and cheeks.”
What other factors can damage the skin?
Along with the damage that pollution can cause to the skin, there are other environmental and lifestyle elements that can exacerbate this damage, further increasing the signs of premature ageing. David Whyte, National Education Manager – Elizabeth Arden explains how:
Sun exposure – “Sun exposure stirs up free radicals in the skin that creates damage that degrades collagen and elastin. When you add pollution to the mix, that also stirs up free radicals in the skin. You are then adding to the amount of damage that is being created. Free radicals create more free radicals by triggering a chain reaction, therefore the more external influence on the skin to create free radicals, the more damage is caused.”
Stress – “Stress affects the skin in the same way pollution and sun exposure does. It also keeps the body in ‘flight or fight’ mode, which means the body is always at a heightened state. If the body is unable to relax and regenerate and repair, then any damage done by external aggressions will not be repaired.”
Diet – “If you don’t fuel your body with the right ingredients then the body is unable to repair the damage done by external (and internal) aggressions. Pollution damages the skin, creating free radicals that stop the skin being able to repair itself. If the body (and skin) are not given the right fuel to enable it to repair itself, then signs of ageing are accelerated.”
So what’s the solution?
With pollution levels higher than ever, there comes a need for skin care formulations that help the skin fight the battle against pollution – such as Elizabeth Arden’s PREVAGE® City Smart. This silky hydrating shield forms an invisible protective barrier to help prevent harmful toxins and pollution particles from penetrating skin.
But the protecting benefits don’t stop there: it also features an anti-pollution complex made up of antioxidants like idebenone and green tea, plus thiotaine, ferulic acid and L-carnosine, to help neutralise free-radical damage. A DNA Enzyme Complex™ also helps to protect against free-radical damage and supports the skin’s natural repair process for smoother, more even, younger-looking skin.
Simply make this product the last step in your skin care routine to help your skin perform at its optimum and fight the battle against the appearance of future signs of skin ageing.
Did you know that these environmental factors could damage your skin on a daily basis?
*Skin aging and its treatment, L. Bauman, Journal of Pathology, 2007.
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