We can’t stop getting older. And getting older should not be a negative thing.
But we can avoid, prevent, disrupt and reduce some of the factors that are getting us there faster than we should.
The sun and smoking have long been known to age our skin faster than the Jamaican sprint team. To avoid these wrinklers is easy and no secret – don’t smoke, protect from the sun, eat healthy and move often (aka exercise).
But there is another wrinkle-causing villain and it is around us 24/7 – air pollution. It doesn’t matter if you are a city dweller or breathing fresh country air we are all exposed at some level.
On a global scale the main contributors are vehicle exhausts and industrial emissions. In our neck of the woods (the Hunter Valley) coal dust is a concern. On a personal scale you can pollute your own space with unnatural air fresheners, cleaning products and bringing dust and dirt into your environment.
Long term exposure to these pollutants affects our health and skin. They increase the amount of free radicals, which slows down collagen production, causing a loss in elasticity.
In other words they can cause dull, rough and sagging skin which all makes you look older than necessary.
Pollution can also be the trigger for acne, rashes and other dermatological problems.
So what are we to do? (Buzzword warning!!)
Anti-oxidants are the key
No matter what causes the free radicals – smoking, sun or pollution – the best defence to slow down the damaging effects is anti-oxidants.
As we chatted about last, week anti-oxidants are being exploited by marketers. We don’t need to have anti-oxidants in everything or need some special pollution fighting anti-oxidant. There is no single best anti-oxidant as they all have their own talents.
Vegetables, Fruit and Nuts
Did you know that vitamins are antioxidants? It goes without saying that the best way to get your vitamins is through food, as supplements can give us too much. For example the following amount of food gives us approximately our recommended daily intake (RDI)
- Vitamin C – 1 orange or 5 strawberries
- Vitamin A – 2 carrots or 1 tomato
- Vitamin B2 – 50g or almonds
- Selenium – 1 Brazil nut
- Vitamin E – 1 avocado
Another Piece of the Puzzle – Skincare
Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits is vital but it is not the sole answer. Our skin’s protective ability decreases as we get older. It’s unavoidable so you need to make sure that you give it a helping hand by using skincare products that are loaded with anti-oxidants that are stable and in a form that your skin can absorb and use for protection.
For instance Vitamin C comes in a few forms. Ascorbic acid in skin care is pointless because it breaks down to quickly and is not absorbed by the skin. Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate is another form of Vitamin C. It is doesn’t break down easily and is easily absorbed by your skin but it is super expensive (but this isn’t stopping us using it in our new serum ).
Naturally we always select ingredients with high levels of antioxidants for all of our products. Here is a snapshot of some which are renowned for their skin loving anti-oxidants.
MSM (we put this in pretty much everything… we love it!!), Green Tea, Pomegranate, Rosewater, Aloe Vera, Fermented Papaya, Kakadu Plum, Acai Berry, Quandong, Jalbi Bark, Grass Lilly, Seabuckthorn, Calendula, Black Seed Oil, Tamanu Oil and many many more.
Our favourite at the moment would be the Laugh Out Loud Active Jojoba Oil with its wrinkle fighting, glow giving anti-oxidant CoQ10.
A breath of fresh air
Lastly, you can also try and clean you air to reduce the damage that pollution does to your skin. This can be done with ventilation systems and other air purifying devices such as Himalayan salt lamps.
But the easiest option is by simply adding some indoor plants to your space. Not only do they clean the air but they also help foster good moods.
Image source: freedigitalphotos.net, photographers Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee and stockimages.
The post It’s everywhere and it’s making us look older – Air Pollution appeared first on Happy Skincare.