Answer: Your gut instinct is right. Studies have now shown that women who live in high traffic areas have more dark spots and wrinkles. That’s the bad news. The good news? Other research can both explain why traffic pollution ages the skin and how to prevent the damage.
The problem starts when car emissions in heavy traffic combines with sunlight to form ozone gas. The ozone oxidizes the natrual skin oil ( sebum). This causes inflammation and breaks down the barrier functions of the skin. But wait there’s more. The mix of ozone and sebum triggers the production of an enzyme in the body that breaksdown collagen which accelerates development of lines, wrinkles and sagging. In addition this enzyme stimulates pigment producing brown spots and splotches.
Stop Air Pollution Skin Problems
Preventing aging from traffic related air pollution calles for three straighforward steps:
- Through Cleansing— You need to faithfully wash your face at the end of the day. By removing the daily accumulation of oil and dirt, your prevent nighttime exposure to oxidized dirt and oil. Use a liquid cleanser to wash the face without dehydration.
- Antioxidant Therapy — The best way to prevent oxidation is to use strong antioxidants to block formation of free radicals which interrupts oxidation. If you prevent oxidation you prevent cascade of events that lead to brow spots and wrinkles. Vitamin C is a much studied and highly effective antioxidant. Other great free radical fighters include green tea, soy and seaweed and are great ingredients to look for in a serum, moisturizer and face mask. You can also make your own by adding these ingredients your favorite skin care products.
- Protection — When I think of skin protection I think of sunscreens that block UV rays from the sun. That is still very important but unfortunately the basic sun block does not help the skin deal with zone related skin problems. But if your diet includes plenty of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables and your skin care products are formulated with ingredients like vitamin C and green tea, you are providing genuine benefits. In addition, ozone dammages the natural barrier of the skin and there are cosmetic ingrediets that can help restore this essential skin factor. Look for ingredients like glycerin, glycerin , beeswax and lanolin to help the body restore a healthy skin barrier.