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Urban Pollution & Blue Light – the effects and what you can do to protect your skin!

The pollution conversation is having a moment in the press, rightly so! I’m sure you are all aware that ‘Urban Pollution’ has a profound effect on our health and our skin. You only need to look at countries like Hong Kong which has some of the poorest air quality in the world; but are we free from these issues in Australia? The answer is no, our cities have some of the highest levels of Urban Pollution in the world.

The ‘World Health Organization’ referred to as ‘Who’ announced that pollution is one of the biggest environmental health risks in the world. Millions of deaths are caused a year due to pollution, and it’s not just outdoors that is an issue! Indoor air pollution contributed to 2 million deaths per year – WOW

But what does all this mean for the skincare industry?

Anti-pollution products are growing in both demand and creation. Originally popular in Korea, have been building momentum globally. Skin and haircare companies are racing to create products to both prevent, and protect the skin from the damaging effects of pollution and blue light.

Pollution Categories:
• lead – heavy metals from industry
• Particulate matter 2.5 – suit, exhaust, pollen, road dust
• Ozone
• Ground pollution
• Cigarette smoke
• Sulphate/ nitrogen dioxide – exhaust
The threat to skin health is invisible due to the microparticle size of particulate matter or the radiation from blue light/ UV. Our connection to urban city’s, smart phones and developments expose our skins to damage.

So what happens to skin with prolonged exposure?

Well, we know buildings turn grey and appear aged – the same thing effectively happens to skin. Exposure turns our skin dull and ashen; “pollu-ageing” from particulate matter (PM) increases ageing through inflammation, DNA damage and causes both premature ageing and pigmentation. Include our digital dependency, particularly exposure to blue light and you have catastrophic ageing andvskin damage.

Let’s talk a little about Particulate Matter or ‘PM’. It’s smaller than a human hair and is classified to 2.5 microns in size (this is 30 x smaller than a human hair). That’s a lot of pollution that can sit within our pores and follicles!

In a nutshell – Pollution Increases ROS (reactive oxygen species) which induces lipid oxidation leading to a nasty free radical called RCS (reactive chloride species), this causes cellular toxicity, damage to the DNA and skin cells. Not only that, pollution also Increases oil production, and prolonged exposure has shown in clinical studies to increase pigment spot formations and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).

Takeaways:
• 80% of ultra-fine partials are smaller than 1 micro m in size. These Can penetrate the blood stream directly and damage organs and skin.
• Particulate Matter (PM 2.5 – 10) accelerates extrinsic ageing and increases pigment formation by 22%.
• Indoor pollution – we spend 90% of our time indoors and 100% of homes are polluted with house hold chemicals, gasses, radon and ‘Particulate matter’
• Pollution has a direct impact on health and skin quality causing: skin itching, stinging, dryness, dermatitis, sensitivity, inflammation, acne & premature ageing

000 on Blue Light:

As of late, a new form of radiation has been studied including artificial light, infrared radiation by means of stoves and electrical warming devices, and blue light from computers, cell phones and iPads/tablets.
Did you know that 4 days (8hr/day) in front of a laptop equals 20 minutes in mid-day sun without sunscreen? I’ve got my SPF on – have you?

How else does blue light affect us?

It’s important to ascertain lifestyle to treat common conditions such as acne, pigmentation and premature ageing.

How often do you use devises – digital dependency?
Do you live in a city or have exposure to traffic, manufacturing, farming chemicals?
What’s your hygiene routine like – do you double cleanse in the evening to remove accumulated toxins?
Does your SPF contain protection from UVA/UVB/Blue Light and pollution?

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