Rodrigo here, and the more we are out on those rooftops at night (and day) the more we are exposed to some serious pollution that accumulates on the skin over time, speeding the aging process and tearing down the health of the skin. But what are air pollutants exactly? Which one is the most dangerous, and how does it cause damage to your skin on a molecular level?
Let’s Define Air Pollution First!
Air Pollution is the addition of any chemical that gets suspended in the air at a rate faster than it can be dispersed, diluted, decomposed, recycled, or stored in some harmless form. Outdoor air pollutants include:
- Particulate matter (PM)
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Heavy metals
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Nitric oxides (NOx )
- Sulfur oxide (SO2 )
- Ozone (O3 )
- Solid fuels consumption (coal, wood, etc.)
What’s the most dangerous to human health? Particulate Matter.
This group of air pollutants mixes with droplets in the air (soot, dust, minerals) that come from burning processes. One major type of particulate matter, PM 2.5 (diameter of 2.5 micrometers) can enter the bloodstream and can not only have a major impact on the skin but on the heart and lungs as well.
How Does It Affect The Skin Molecularly?
Lower Functionality, Higher Sensitivity
PM2.5 significantly increases your skin’s cholesterol levels while impairing the structure and function of the top layer. This means your skin can become highly reactive to things that would not normally cause irritation. Also, heat + sun + pollution = triple threat pollutants.
It Induces Oxidative Stress
Skin cells go through lipid degradation (peroxidation) and protein carbonylation which changes the way the proteins behave. Thus, your skin cells could go through cell apoptosis (programmed cell death) from the above damage.
Air pollution is complex and not an easy problem to solve. But, understanding the damage of certain pollutants on our skin and overall health (and obviously, the environment) is crucial to adopting protective and preventative measures to fight the problem efficiently. Learn more about the APM-24 [Anti Pollution Moisturizer] and how we’re defending (and repairing) the skin from the effects of PM 2.5.