The harmful impacts of air pollution are numerous and widely dispersed since we are exposed to a lot of pollutants every day as we commute to work or move around our neighbourhood or metropolis. Air pollutants deprive skin cells of oxygen and increase the generation of free radicals in the skin which along with exposure to UV rays, reduces the skin’s ability to produce collagen and elastin and causes the skin to thin and lose its elasticity and result in wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Akriti Gupta, Cosmetic Dermatologist at Jivisha Clinic in New Delhi, suggested the following measures that one should always observe to protect skin and hair from air pollution:
1. ADD LOADS OF VIT C IN YOUR ROUTINE
We can combat the damaging effects of pollution with the aid of the antioxidant vitamin C, which can also assist to get rid of the free radicals that accelerate the ageing of our cells. It can also help us breathe easier. When 200 patients between the ages of 54-74, many of whom were asthmatic or had COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), were surveyed at a The Imperial College in London, researchers found that those with lower levels of Vitamin C were more vulnerable to breathing difficulties and hospital admission, especially on days when air pollution levels outside increased. There are several natural sources of vitamin C, especially in a diet high in fresh foods and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables.
Oranges, pineapples, guavas, papayas, strawberries and amla (gooseberries) are all excellent choices if you’re seeking for the best sources of vitamin C. Dr Akriti Gupta suggested to make an amla paste and mix it with a litre of water to consume and suggested to sip on this all day long. Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, and kale (a type of spinach) are just a few of the veggies that are high in vitamin C. Chewable 1000 mg Vitamin C pills are another choice for a more consistent, calibrated dose. Try a Vitamin C serum (a lotion containing at least 15-20% Vitamin C for additional defence on the inside and exterior, using it on your face at night.
2. ADD MORE LAYERS
Contrary to popular belief, many of us forego wearing makeup, yet a freshly cleaned face is frequently more susceptible to the harmful effects of air pollution. Toxins and UV rays can penetrate your skin if there is no barrier between it and the air. Add more layers to shield your skin to avoid this. Never go out in public with a raw face. Before you leave the house, apply a mild moisturiser, then a sunscreen and then a light layer of loose powder.
3. SPRITZ ON SULPHUR SPRINGS
A frequently cleansed face can also damage your skin and an exposed face is more prone to be harmed by air pollution. After enduring the heat and muck of Indian roadways, it can be tempting to wash your face frequently. However, regular washing depletes your skin of its natural oils, making acne and other skin issues more likely to occur. Dr. Akriti Gupta recommended limiting the number of times you wash per day to three. Try using a vaporising spray with sulphur springs or sulphur water to keep yourself well-moisturized if you need refreshment in between washes.
4. GET REGULAR HAIR MASSAGES
Sweat, grit and filth can all collect in the roots of your hair, leading to significant hair loss. A mild shampoo and daily hair washing will assist. Once every two weeks, a head massage can also assist to enhance the health of the scalp, promote blood flow and revive you after a hard day in polluted air. Use olive or almond oil in the winter and coconut or mustard oil in the summer.