Pollution and how your skin is affected
Pollution and it's effects on skin, is a hot topic in once again. I grilled one of my genius Cosmetic Scientists, and here is what he has to say.
How does pollution affect your skin?
Pollution Matter (‘PM’) is a damaging mix of chemical and dust particles that can be under 10 micrometers in diameter. Small enough, to inhale and can lead to various health issues. That’s why many Asian people wear filtering masks on their daily commute. PM can also be small enough to enter the skin via pores and follicles. Results can be blocked pores, blackheads and other issues described further on.
Chemicals in pollution are known to cause oxidation in the skin, similar to damage caused by UV light. The result is increased skin ageing and interference with normal skin functions, such as sebum production. Tests have shown a depletion in certain skin-protective compounds, such as vitamins and lipids, that provide natural anti-oxidant protection and skin barrier protection. Skin is therefore typically drier (yet more prone to exhibit localised oiliness (due to overproduction of sebum), be prone to outbreaks and likely to age faster.
Who can forget this image of a truck driver who's skin was much more damaged on the side that was more exposed to the environment from his window over decades.
What can you do to protect your skin?
Thankfully, we’ve already long been formulating with pollution in mind, at MERUMAYA®. The role of antioxidants is vital, but needs to be accompanied with ingredients to support the skin’s lipid barrier.
We use powerful antioxidants Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Mangosteen Extract and Sytenol A. Each is proven to offer skin protection against oxidative damage, supporting the skin’s ability to defend itself. We also put a great deal of consideration into improving and optimising the skin’s lipid barrier. This is vital, not only to bolster the defenses (the lipid barrier being the key wall against external attack) but also to overcome issues such as dryness, roughness and breakouts. We use many different approaches to boosting the skin’s lipid barrier and moisture levels, including a focus on varying molecular weights of Hyaluronic Acid. We also use carefully selected oils within our products including, Olive Squalene and Oat Oil (which is rich in ceramides, cholesterol and other skin-identical lipids).
In summary, our approach to protecting the skin against pollution is to stimulate the skin’s own defenses and to bolster the skin’s barrier.
How else can you protect the skin?
Effective cleansing is always absolutely vital. This is not only to remove residual dirt, pollution particles, sunscreen and make-up, but to unblock pores and follicles. In addition to the MERUMAYA cleansers, Mud Marvels Mask is specially designed as an intensive cleansing and detoxifying treatment, to draw toxins and dirt from the skin. This includes small particles that may be lodged in pores and not effectively removed through standard cleansing.
What can you do to repair the damage?
This is achieved by stimulating, regulating and/or restoring, key skin functions, such as collagen and elastin synthesis. How well the skin can breathe (oxygen is a skin cell’s energy source) has a major impact on skin health.
Proven ingredients such as stabilised Vitamin C, Gatuline In-Tense and p-Refinyl, stimulate and restore collagen production. Age-spots and other hyperpigmentation-related issues, benefit from ingredients including Chromocare and stabilised Vitamin C help, to reduce their appearance. For skin redness, inflammation and breakouts use AC.Net to control breakouts, plus powerful anti-redness and anti-inflammatory ingredients including Defensil and Mediacalm to soothe the skin.
There are many different polls for measuring pollution rates. According to the Numbeo rankings, London is ranked 122nd, Manchester 134th, Birmingham 145th, Dublin 175th and Edinburgh 202nd, in the most polluted cities. In summary, the best thing to do is build an effective daily skincare regime, to make sure your skin is prepared and protected against daily aggressors by day, followed by effective recovery and repair at night. Look for the list of ingredients above in your skincare.
Vitamin C (encapsulated for full effectiveness) is in Treatment Toner™
Squalene and Oat Oil are found in Everything Everywhere Beauty Oil™
Youth Preservation Moisturiser™ SPF20 is an incredible product to protect your skin in multiple ways.