Did you know that our skin is one of the main targets of air pollutants? Airborne pollution affects how our skin looks, feels, and ages. Our planet’s air is trending up in toxicity, so here’s what you want to know to maintain a healthy and youthful complexion.
The main goal of our skin is to act as an immune barrier. It protects us from airborne pollutants like vehicle exhaust and cigarette smoke, as well as from odorless pollutants like manufacturing byproducts, phthalates from plastics, and UV rays. Airborne pollutants can cause hyper-pigmentation, uneven and dull skin tone, wrinkles, enlarged pores, redness, and dry or itchy skin. Tiny particulate matter that floats in the air, including harmful environmental chemicals, are mostly unseen by the human eye. They move far distances on the winds, so though the levels may be higher in large cities, even those of us who live rurally can experience their negative side effects. Plumes of contaminants can circle the earth repeatedly, and we will all be affected by them. The particulate ranges from 10 microns in size, down to 2.5 microns. For comparison, one human red blood cell averages 7.5 microns. Our skin pores average 50-70 microns, which means that these tiny, solid, particles can easily get into our pores and trigger damage in the deeper layers of your skin. Unfortunately for us, our planet’s air is trending up in toxicity.
In addition, ozone in our atmosphere further harms our skin’s barrier by breaking down collagen (what keeps our skin plump) and oxidizing the protective oils that should be residing in healthy skin. Dermatologists will tell you that the best defense against air pollution is a routine of cleansing, using antioxidants to neutralize free radical damage, and moisturizing to protect your barrier function.
The Max+Jane Detox Routine
- Properly cleanse your face two times a day, with a gentle but thorough cleanser, to remove as much dirt and pollutant as possible. Avoid cleansers with alcohol which can strip your skin and further damage your skin’s barrier. Max+Jane Transilience Calming Cleanser performs beautifully and is totally clean for your skin and the environment.
- Use an exfoliant once or twice per week to help dislodge pollutants that get trapped in your pores. The Max+Jane Tourmaline Exfoliant is gentle enough for sensitive skin but super effective for physically exfoliating to remove buildup.
- Use a skin brightening product to correct discoloration from pollution and UV damage. Vitamin C is one of the most well-respected skin brighteners and both Vitamin C and E counter UV damage. You want a product filled to the brim with antioxidants and soothing ingredients that neutralize damage and replenish the nutrients that strengthen the skin’s surface. Use Max+Jane Skin Nutrient to repair aging and sun-damaged skin, or Max+Jane Golden Pore for the same benefits if you’re prone to breakouts. Both are filled with amazing antioxidant levels.
In the month of September, use code PROTECT20 for 20% off of 1oz Skin Nutrient or Golden Pore. Organic face oils moisturize your skin beautifully, and while spa days may be currently cancelled, DIY treatments are a godsend both for reducing all manner of stresses and helping us to have a radiant, glowing, healthy look.
For those of you who wish to dive deeper, you can go to airnow.gov and enter your zip code to see the current air quality in your area. Also, follow this blog for a separate discussion on the microbiome of your skin and more hints for balancing the skin’s pH.
*Only 1 discount code may be used at a time, limit one per person, offer valid on retail purchases only.