Air pollution has become a well-known global issue. Furthermore, in 2018, Greenpeace analysed satellite data. This shows that Mpumalanga in South Africa was the largest Nitrogen Dioxide hotspot in the world. Although it is a dangerous pollutant on its own, Nitrogen Dioxide can also contribute to PM2.5, fine particulate matter. According to the World Health Organization, it can lead to several health conditions. These include cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer. The satellite data also showed that the high levels of air pollutants were not found in Mpumalanga alone. With winds carrying the Nitrogen Dioxide to surrounding cities, including Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Not only can air pollutants be harmful when inhaled, a 2019 scientific journal published by the National Institutes of Health states that ‘the skin is one of the main targets of pollutants’. Particulate matter and other air pollutants can penetrate the outer layer of the skin. They break down its protective barrier and causing hyperpigmentation, dryness, and an increased appearance of aging.
How can anti pollution cream help protect the skin against pollutants? And which ingredients should you look for to ensure your skin is kept healthy and protected?
HOW DOES ANTI POLLUTION CREAM WORK?
There are two types of anti pollution creams. Those working to prevent the damage of air pollution. And those which work to cleanse the skin of impurities caused by air pollution. Anti pollution cleansers contain antioxidants and minerals which can deeply penetrate the skin. Working to remove harmful nanoparticles. On the other hand, prevention creams usually feature high levels of glutathione. It is an antioxidant which naturally occurs in the body. Moreover, it is vital for the brain and immune system to function.
Natural glutathione production can be reduced by a number of external factors, including stress and aging. The glutathione in anti pollution cream is absorbed by the skin. Importantly, it increases its natural levels, topping up that which has been lost. A higher glutathione level leads to more regular cell turnover. Which allows the body to shed dead skin cells and replace them with fresher and more healthy skin. Glutathione can also be maintained and increased with a nutritious diet. Also, skincare products which are high in natural vitamins can work to produce the same result.
WHICH INGREDIENTS SHOULD I LOOK FOR TO PROTECT MY SKIN FROM POLLUTION?
* Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant which helps to keep the immune system. Furthermore, it keeps the cell functionality at its peak. As environmental pollutants penetrate the skin, they create ‘free radicals’, unpaired oxygen molecules which attack the cells, slowing cell generation and often leading to signs of premature aging. Used topically, natural ingredients containing high levels of vitamin E work to remove free radicals. Restoring skin to its optimal health.
Caprylic Capric Triglyceride is one of the main ingredients in Malée’s Verdure Hydrating Body Cream. Also, this is a natural oil derived from coconut oil and glycerine. Not only does coconut oil contain high levels of naturally occurring vitamin E, glycerine has the added benefit of attracting and retaining moisture, leaving skin hydrated, healthy, and youthful looking. Using the body cream twice a day or after every shower can help to combat the effects of pollutants whilst ensuring the skin’s outer layer is protected.
Another natural ingredient, salt has a wide range of benefits when used as part of a skincare routine. Salt is full of minerals including magnesium, sodium, and calcium, which all work to restore the skin’s natural balance. It also works as an excellent exfoliator and is used in Malée’s Verdure Hydrating Body Scrub to gently buff away dead skin cells and reveal new, fresh and healthy skin. Using the exfoliator just once a week can help the cell regeneration process, ensuring skin is as its healthiest.
This in turn allows moisturisers to penetrate the skin more easily. Helping to restore the natural protective barrier and defending your body from harmful environmental pollutants. Our exfoliator also contains plant-based essential oils from ingredients such as avocado, cocoa and grape, which work as antioxidants to help remove free radicals.
* Vitamin A
Vitamin A is another powerful antioxidant which can be found in natural ingredients such as carrots, mangoes, and aloe. Vitamin A has a small molecular structure which can penetrate several layers of the skin and is shown to stimulate cell renewal and increase collagen levels, which in turn can improve pigmentation and reduce the signs of aging that air pollutants can often cause.
Both our body creams and our Verdure Anti-Aging Hand Cream contain aloe barbadensis leaf juice which is a natural source of essential antioxidants, vitamins and fatty acids. The aloe can help to reduce signs of aging, plumping the skin whilst also soothing red and sensitive skin. A gentle ingredient with healing properties, aloe can be used on the face, hands, or body to increase levels of vitamin A whilst helping skin to remain at its healthiest, and ready to fight environmental factors.
Anti pollution creams usually contain ingredients such as glutathione and vitamins which work to restore the skin’s natural barrier. A good skincare routine can help by keeping the skin at its healthiest, ensuring regular cell turnover and allowing cleansers to fully penetrate the skin, removing any harmful particles. Naturally occurring vitamins and minerals have proven results without the need for harsh chemicals and can offer protection whilst ensuring skin looks bright and youthful.
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