How The Environment Impacts Your Skin
If you think you’ve got your environmental stressors covered because you’re diligently applying your sunscreen every morning, we’ve got a bit of bad news.
In addition to the one environmental stressor we’re all too familiar with, UV radiation, we’re constantly exposed to pollutants both indoors and out that have a significant impact on the skin.
The National Library of Medicine confirms that increased levels of particulate matter are highly associated with the development of various inflammatory skin diseases and skin aging.
Particulate matter (PM) is the mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets made of up hundreds of different chemicals and the air is full of it. PM can come from sources like construction sites, smokestacks, fires, or as the result of as a result of complex reactions of industrial and automotive chemicals including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
Some particulate matter is large enough to see (smoke, dust, soot). Some is made up of nanoparticles visible only with a microscope. The tiny size of these nanoparticles gives them the ability to be absorbed into the deeper levels of the skin where they create oxidative stress by producing reactive oxygen species and pro-inflammatory cytokines.
This is the beginning of the free radical cascade that results in the degradation of collagen. At the same time that environmental pollutants are inducing the production of free radicals, the ozone is depleting free-radical fighting antioxidants from the skin. Studies also show a strong link between levels of air pollution and the formation of dark spots on the skin.
Even inside your home, you’re exposed to pollution in the form of everything from cleaning products to pet dander to the gases emitted from your cooking flame. (Maybe go easy on the flambé.)
The good news is that a strategic and consistent skin care regimen can minimize and reverse the effects of harmful environmental pollutants. It’s time to think not just in terms of SPF, but also EPF, Environmental Protection Factor.
Your Damage Control Checklist
Antioxidants! Eat them. Apply them.
Get plenty of antioxidants in your diet in the form of fruits, veg and whole grain. As a rule of thumb, the darker/brighter the color, the greater the antioxidant content, i.e. blueberries, purple onions, papaya, sweet potatoes, bell peppers.
Topically, look for antioxidant-rich formulations to help fight pollution-induced damage that include ingredients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, grape seed oil, and green tea extract.
Start every day by applying a powerful antioxidant shield. Vivant’s Pure C + E Antioxidant Serum is a daily vitamin C & E therapy that protects from environmental damage and helps reverse previous damage.
Strengthen Your Skin Barrier
A strong skin barrier will help to block particulate matter from penetrating skin. Avoid harsh cleansers and look for ingredients to help retain moisture and reduce inflammation; things like niacinamide, grape seed oil, lactic acid, oat protein, algae and hyaluronic acid.
Rejuv Rx contains niacinamide to encourage ceramide synthesis, peptides to boost hyaluronic acid production, and lactic acid, which regulates pH, encourages cell turnover and helps skin retain moisture.
Marine Skin Nourishing Cream is an intensely nourishing blend of antioxidants and bioactive marine minerals, amino acids, sea proteins, and grape seed oil to replenish and restore suppleness and elasticity.
Wash Away The Day
Keep skin cleansed morning and night to remove the surface layer of damaging particulate matter. Vivant’s Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser harnesses the potent strength of two potent antioxidants, green tea extract, kiwi extract, in a gentle, natural formula that dissolves dirt, oil and makeup while replenishing skin with nourishing ingredients.
Maximize Your Protection
Use a refining toner to clear surface debris and enhance the absorptive ability of your corrective and protective serums. Skin Nourishing Toner is an antioxidant-rich, ultra-refining cocktail of protective and nourishing ingredients including niacinamide, mandelic acid, rosehip oil, green tea extract, and kiwi fruit extract.
And, of course, continue using your daily broad spectrum SPF to protect from melanin-stimulating and age-accelerating UV radiation. Vivant’s lightweight Day Treatment Lotions SPF 15 with zinc peptide provides broad-spectrum protection that won’t clog pores or make your face look greasy.