While winter weather gets a lot of flack for being harsh, summer isn’t necessarily a picnic for your skin. Pollution is at an all-time high during the summer, and in places you might not even realize! Pollution, climate and irritants can damage and age your skin, indoors and outdoors. Pollution particles are 30 times smaller than your pores, which means they can sneak in and cause damage to your skin and collagen. So what can you do? We’ve tapped board-certified dermatologist, Loretta Ciraldo, M.D. to share her expertise and wisdom on where this pollution is coming from and what you can do to combat it.
Why is pollution worse in the summer?
- Longer days, more sunlight, higher UV radiation and more stability in the atmosphere, so air just sits in place and intensifies our exposure to the pollutants emitted from power plants and boilers, cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships.
- Ozone, which causes oxygen free radicals increases with more hours of sunlight, a lot of emissions and a lot of stagnation, causing things to cook and become new pollutants.
- Nitrogen pollution comes from atmospheric events like lightning, which tends to be more common in the summer.
- Because summertime is associated with summer road trips and longer days, nitrogen pollution from car exhaust fumes increases in summer.
- Outdoor barbecues also emit hydrocarbon pollutants into the air.
What can we do to protect our skin and hair?
There should be a multilevel approach to combating pollution damage on our skin and our hair.
Use a cleanser that will detox away pollutants.
Cleansers such as the Dr. Loretta Gentle Hydrating Cleanser has marine algin that will absorb tiny pollution particles that are up to 30 times smaller than our pores while they are still on the skin surface, so this is a true pollution detox step. It will also take off makeup, including eye makeup and calm skin with peptides and chamomile and ginger essential oils.
Pollution causes three kinds of free radicals in the skin (oxygen, nitrogen and carbon), so look for products that will combat all three kinds of free radicals since antioxidants typically only combat oxygen free radicals.
Dr. Loretta Intense Replenishing Serum, Anti-Aging Repair Moisturizer and Concentrated Firming Moisturizer all contain Lipochroman®, a powerhouse antioxidant that will protect skin from oxygen, nitrogen and carbon free radicals.
Consider washing your hair more frequently and look for an anti-pollution formula.
Try and wear a hat that totally covers your hair when you’re outdoors, whenever possible.