It is known that 1 mg of skin can defend the attack of about 601,014 free radicals, but this protective action is insufficient in most situations where the epidermis is in contact with environmental pollution, a real “cocktail” of producing substances free radicals multiply several times this figure.
- Should avoid using soaps and cleansers without rinsing and hot springs
“Contamination adheres to the skin clogging the pores and causing the accumulation of impurities. Also it increases the production of free radicals , which are the cause of premature aging of the skin, mainly responsible turn the appearance of wrinkles. In addition, substances and pollutants dehydrate the skin and cause it to lose vitality, radiance and health, so it looks a matte, dull and lifeless.
On the other hand, in some more severe cases, can produce different types of dermatitis, “says the pharmaceutical Leticia B. Carrera, director of the Center for Aesthetic Felicidad Carrera, Madrid.
Indeed, the latest scientific evidence demonstrating the direct involvement of pollution in the appearance of eczema , a common type of dermatitis. As explained by the dermatologist Ana Rita Rodrigues, team doctor Pedro Jaén and member of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV), in industrialized countries, between 10 and 20 percent of the population suffers from eczema a problem that has grown between 2 and 3 times in the last decade. “This increase has been too fast to be explained by genetic changes, improvement in diagnosing the disease or the longer life expectancy of the population. You have to think then that the middle-environmental, mainly pollution, factors play an important role in the etiology of this disease. “
Eczema types most likely to be exacerbated by contamination are atopic dermatitis and contact eczema. “Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin recurrent disease and often associated with asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, while contact dermatitis occurs when certain irritants or allergens come into contact with the skin of a susceptible person, triggering an inflammatory reaction with appearance of redness, edema and blisters and peeling, “the Rodrígues doctor.
- It is important makeup every day and / or apply a sunscreen with physical filters
“Ingredients” MORE CONTAMINANTS
Many harmful substances present in environments with high levels of pollution that directly affect the skin: the carbon monoxide , which causes tissue hypoxia (lack of oxygen to tissues) and slows the metabolism of the skin; The ozone and nitrogen oxides , which promote inflammation, causing epidermal irritation and reactive display; The sulfur dioxide , which causes changes in the hydrolipid film and increases sensitivity and cutaneous vulnerability; and other suspended particles (dust mites, animal dander, molds, pollens), directly linked to the appearance of allergic eczemas.
To this we must add other environmental factors associated with pollution such as the decrease in humidity, characteristic of contaminated environments. It is known that prolonged exposure to hot and dry environments can cause xerosis (dry flaky skin) and significantly increases the appearance and depth of fine wrinkles.
Each skin reacts differently against pollutants and must also take into account other factors such as the degree of absorption of pollutants according to the status and conditions external (temperature, moisture content) in which is the typically skin. “It is not as important the degree of exposure to pollution but skin sensitivity and care to be engaged , ” says Leticia B. Carrera.
SHIELD AGAINST POLLUTION
Avoid contact with pollution is not easy, especially for residents of large cities, but you can implement strategies to minimize as much as possible their effects at skin level and above all, improve skin condition.
” It is essential to thoroughly clean the skin twice daily , morning and evening. I advise always perform double cleaning: first using an oily product (milk, cream or oil) and then another soap (foam or gel). The oily removes grease, because it is oil soluble and water soluble soap removes impurities “said Leticia B. Carrera.
The next step is to moisturize the skin well and apply products rich in specific substances to fight free radicals . “Given that one of the main consequences of oxidative damage is the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin, it is essential to use the cosmetics include potent antioxidant ingredients (vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10 …). Especially in people who spend more than three hours a day outdoors and in contaminated environments, the best option is the application of a serum with antioxidant properties.
To reinforce this protection is also important makeup every day and / or apply a sunscreen with physical filters, which act as protective barriers and prevent pollution from adhering to the skin , “explains the pharmaceutical.
For skins with dermatitis or tendency to the appearance of eczema, Rodrígues doctor advised to adopt a series of measures to prevent pollution exacerbates this disease: in addition to proper medical treatment, it is important to maintain good skin hydration, using specific for this type of skin emollients ;, several times a day avoid high ambient temperatures and using a humidifier; take short baths and warm temperatures; and cotton clothes used instead of wool or synthetic fabrics.
“It is also recommended to avoid using soaps and cleansers without rinsing and hot springs ; use fragrance – free products and choose those containing less sensitizing preservatives and always prefer cosmetics with few active and are hypoallergenic “.