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Skin in the City. How the Sun, Stress & Smog Affect your Skin?

A combination of the sun, stress and smog is a truly dangerous cocktail which damages skin and has a terrible influence on our good looks. Before you come up with a conclusion that your skin started aging due to the inevitable passage of time, think if its poorer condition isn’t affected by the city life: strong sunlight, heat intensified by the tower blocks, smog and fumes, a stressful life in a busy city which, after all, never sleeps. Do you know how to protect skin from the civilizational dangers? How do stress, smog and UV radiation affect the skin?

best-anti-pollution-skin-care.jpgWhy is smog dangerous for your skin?

Smog is an invisible murderer which – breathed in – settles on all body tissues, cells, skin and hair. The particles of the urban, toxin dust contain around 150 body-deteriorating chemical substances. Apart from causing serious diseases (asthma, cancer, blood circulation problems), smog has a negative impact on skin and general well-being.

How smog affects the skin?

  • smog makes epidermis dry and damages the protective skin barrier,
  • it disturbs the oxygen balance in skin,
  • face skin becomes rough and not nice to the touch,
  • skin is more sensitive and prone to irritations and allergic reactions,
  • nitrogen dioxide included in smog causes pigmentation spots,
  • skin ages fast (wrinkles, laugh lines),
  • smog may be the cause of acne, eczema, psoriasis,
  • skin is exposed to the massive attack of free radicals.

How to protect your skin from smog?

Precise and intensive cleaning is the key to pure, healthy skin protected from smog toxins. Smog settles on face incessantly, therefore if it is only possible – wipe your face with micellar water (preferably – whenever you come back home). All micellar products and active charcoal-based make-up removers are ideal – their molecules are able to catch huge numbers of harmful compounds and take them off the skin.

A precise make-up removal is not enough so remember to use a facial exfoliator and a detoxifying, cleansing or moisturising mask at least once a week. During the days when smog levels are high, you can use these products more often.

Why is the sun dangerous for your skin?

The sun is simply a strongly-working radiation which sadly is not skin-friendly. Not only do UVA and UVB radiations affect naked skin but also penetrate glasses and clothes. UV radiation isn’t just bad for health (skin cancers are more and more common). It contributes to skin photo-aging – a vast decrease in elasticity (it happens because the amount of collagen in skin drops).

How the sun affects the skin?

  • skin loses bounce
  • spots and discolorations appear
  • a drop of collagen causes wrinkles
  • UVA radiation reaches (and destroys) deeper skin layers
  • skin is unable to regenerate itself (defragmentation of proteins)
  • skin gets very dry
  • the sun strongly irritates the skin

How to protect your skin from the sun?

Applying high SPF moisturizers is the only protection you can provide here. If you like the suntan, go for self-tanners. In this way, you are able to save your skin from aging and extreme dryness. On blistering hot days, protect both skin and hair – wear a hat and shield delicate eye skin with UV protection sunglasses.

Why is stress dangerous for your skin?

Severe, long-term, chronic and recurring stress affects the entire body. When we’re nervous and sad, our body secretes increased amounts of cortisol which isn’t indifferent to the skin. Generally: stress doesn’t just mean emotional damage; cortisol attacks all body cells and may be the trigger for many serious diseases, including cancers. Also, skin starts ageing because it’s paralyzed and unable to repair. Moreover, cortisol holds water in the body and slows down metabolism. Stressed out people suffer from insomnia more often, which blocks the possibility of intensive skin repair.

How stress affects the skin?

  • holds water in the body
  • blocks cellular repair
  • triggers the occurrence of wrinkles
  • skin loses shine and elasticity
  • muscle pressure (also in the face) causes laugh lines
  • stress intensifies the attack of free radicals

How to protect your skin from stress?

Without doubts, there are serious stressful situations which determine our whole life and body (searching for a specialist’s e.g. shrink’s help makes sense here) but we are often able to control stress ourselves – the best stress fighter is… activity! Physical exercise triggers the secretion of the hormones of happiness – endorphins. It is the best rejuvenating serum that you can treat yourself to and it’s totally free. You can also fight stress by learning meditation, doing yoga or trying relaxation techniques. Aromatherapy and a long bubble bath are sometimes enough.

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