Our skin is the largest organ we own and even though it may not seem as powerful, our skin is capable of releasing its own protective oils while also absorbing moisture and even medications! (Think cooling fever patches and hot patches for your sore muscles)
Our skin does so much for us on a day to day basis and in the hectic, fast-paced environment we live in today, it’s easy to forget our skin and what it needs. According to physical scientist Frederick Fracsh, as quoted by Nature.com. The coordinator at the US National Institute for Health and Safety in Morgantown, West Virginia, says that “Skin exposures are stealthy. If a chemical is toxic through ingestion or inhalation, it will also be toxic through skin absorption.”
So what are ways in which our skin can get in contact with harmful pollutants and chemicals?
- Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation from sunlight can cause skin to age prematurely as well as, in more severe cases, skin cancers.
- Free radicals in the air and water have been known to damage collagen in the skin and aggravate inflammation.
- Traffic pollution has caused an increase in cases of eczema, a skin condition characterised by inflammation and red scaly rashes.
So how do we win the battle against the pollutants?
Prevention is key
A good SPF, also known as Sun Protection Factor, can go a long way at fighting against the damages of ultraviolet (UV) radiation and in most cases, dermatologists always suggest that with SPF, the more the merrier. Apply a decent amount (about one or two finger amount) in the morning to your face and reapply every four to five hours throughout the day! Other than fighting against ultraviolet (UV) damage, SPF can also help to prevent harmful particles from being absorbed into the skin.
Antioxidants for life
Antioxidant creams, especially those that include vitamins C or E, are great at fighting off free radicals and help to limit the damage in our skin cells.
Water, water, water
I think we’ve all heard this from our mothers and our grandmothers and every auntie who would talk to us on the street but they would say that they got their glowing glass-like skin from drinking 8 glasses of H2O a day and even though their tone could have been nicer, they’re not wrong. Water helps to regulate our system and hydrates the skin after it’s been through all of that nastiness.
All in all, our skin, after all, is an organ, and has its own complex workings so the best we can do is to take it easy on ourselves and to enjoy it in all its forms. Our skin is working hard for us everyday and there are easy and simple steps out there that can help our relationships with our own individual skin. So drink that water, put on your SPF and a nice moisturiser with an antioxidant or two and head out into the world because even though there is so much that could cause harm, that doesn’t mean that we can’t confidently take on our day.