By Dr. Clarissa Shetler and Christine Falsetti, PhD
Lazy, warm days of summer can bring on some not-so-fun health risks due to exposure to air pollution. There are numerous factors that contribute to poor air quality during the warmer months. There are different pollutants for warm weather versus cold weather.
For the the warmer weather, we are talking about photochemical oxidants – things like ozone or that relate to ultraviolet radiation and sunlight. With summer, you get longer days and more light, which causes more ultraviolet radiation and stagnant air. The air doesn’t move as much and just kind of sits there and cooks things that are currently in the air – such as emissions that are from cars, planes, trains, ships and power plants, and then “poof” new chemical compounds are developed from that stagnant cooking phase. Things are worse in very warm, urban areas, such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Houston.
Little pollutant particles can arise and float around in the air. Many are so tiny, you cannot see them with your naked eye. Since they are so small, they pose a health risk because they can be inhaled or absorbed into our system and disrupt normal cell function or cause skin damage. One of the issues is that these risks aren’t immediate and many times we are unaware of it happening to our bodies.
Damage and particle penetration can speed up the skin’s aging process by blocking the pores from oxygen or natural oils. Here are a few things that can happen to skin from air pollution.
Decreased moisture and elasticity
Dull and dry skin
Protect your skin and health
While it is very hard to avoid air pollution, there are ways to protect and heal the skin from exposure.
Wash your face and body every night
Protect your skin with moisturizers that contain anti-pollution properties (C2 Citrus Stem Cell Moisture Lock Creme and C2 Ageless Facial Oil Squalane + Vit E)
Use skin care products that help with cell regeneration and nourish the skin (C2 Apple Stem Cell Serum)
Drink plenty of water every day to combat the dry effects of pollution
Use facial oils at night to help hydrate your skin and replace the natural oils
Exfoliate your skin twice a week to take off any pollutant buildup
Using a mask or peel can help with deep cleaning of the pores
Eat fruits and vegetables that give your body vitamins and nutrients to combat skin damage (Vitamins C and E)
Citrus: oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes