February 26, 2016

off-grid living is good for your skin

Pollution is waging war on your complexion, new research shows.

While our bodies are getting younger from careful eating and better exercise, our skin is getting older – thanks to pollution particles which are much smaller than our pores, making our skin easy to invade.

You can’t usually see it and you probably don’t feel it, but there’s a lot of junk floating In the air. As we’re now learning, It’s hitting our skin hard. In just the last few years, scientists have been studying the dermal effects of particulate matter, gases, and other stealthy airborne attackers wafting around our cities, and it’s pretty clear these pollutants are ageing us.
One of the most convincing studies, conducted at the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Germany, looked at how some 2,000 women had faired healthwise after 30 years of living with extra-grimy air in their polluted region. “We found a strong association between pigmentation spots on their cheeks and high pollution levels,” says Jean Krutmann, M.D., the institute’s director. Specifically, the women who were exposed to high levels of particulate matter, like soot and traffic pollution, had 20 percent more age spots and more pronounced wrinkles than those living in rural areas. Since the publication of these findings in 2010, experts have learned more about how pollution causes us to age. And what they’ve uncovered may motivate you to step up your skin care.


Scientists from Olay, L’Oreal, and other major beauty companies have also begun exploring the link between pollution and skin problems. OneEstee Lauder study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, showed that particulate matter causes oxidative stress in the skin, the result of damaging molecules like free radicals overwhelming your defense mechanisms and inducing DNA destruction, both of which can lead to premature signs of aging.

As its name suggests, particulate matter (PM) is minuscule dust or soot particles of metals, carbons, and other compounds; its sources include car exhaust and garbage incinerator smoke.

“We know that oxidative stress due to this pollutant directly damages skin’s underlying structure,” says Yevgeniy Krol, the scientific director for SkinCeuticals. That’s mostly because the microscopic size of PMs enables them to easily penetrate skin. It gets worse: “Your body responds to pollution by increasing the inflammatory response. Inflammation helps destroy the bad guys but also everything around it, including the collagen and elastin that support your skin,” Krol says. “So it’s a double whammy.”


Particulate matter is just one of the five types of air pollutants that trigger oxidative stress and age us. Another, surface ozone–a.k.a. smog–is highly toxic, Krol says. Surface ozone forms when two of the other five key pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxide, mix with another skin nemesis, ultraviolet (UV) rays. VOCs are chemicals released from car exhaust, paint, and emissions from industrial plants; nitrogen oxide gas …

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