Did you know that skin is the largest organ of the body? It is a physical barrier to protect us from the outside world. Every single day the skin provides us with many unique features and functions that keep us safe and healthy. Many times we don’t even know these functions are being preformed or exactly what our skin is even protecting us from. Since our skin is the barrier between us and our environment, it is greatly affected by the elements and environment around us.
Our environment is a major factor in our skins health and appearance. When it comes to the environment and skin, the main focus is on weather and pollutants. When we think of weather and how it can harm our skin, most people think of the sun. The sun is by far a huge problem when it comes to the skin. Its harmful rays cause aging, pigment problems like “sun spots”, freckles and other dark spots, and can make the skin appear leathery and worn. The sun has also been known to cause cancer of the skin. It is very important that sunscreen is always worn. Rain or shine, if you can see outside, then the sun is shining and you need to protect your skin from it.
Other weather conditions like low humidity, which often happens in colder weather, can cause the skin to become dry, irritated, tight, itchy and can cause eczema to flare. When these conditions persist, this dryness leads to lines, wrinkles and premature again. Intensive moisturizers and treatments can help to add lost moisture into the skin. High humidity can cause the skin to swell, not slough off as it should, can cause acne flare ups and red patches. Regular washing and exfoliating can help keep the skin working as it should.
Pollution is a major problem when it comes to skin. Most people feel the need to cover their mouths and nose to keep the pollution out of their lungs and bodies. What they don’t know, is that our skin can take in the pollutants just as easy as our breathing can. These pollutants are full of harmful chemicals called free radicals, and when they enter the skin they wreak havoc on the cellular make up and structure of the skin. They cause the skin structure to literally breakdown, and the skin cells to become sick, sluggish and not work as they should.
Since the skins is so greatly affected by these free radicals, you can expect your skin to age much quicker, the texture appears rough, the pores become larger and the overall tone becomes dull and sallow.
This is why it is extremely important to wash our skin at least once or twice a day; it will help to wash off any pollutants trapped on the skin’s surface. It is also important to exfoliate twice a week to physically remove excess build up and toxins that get caught in the skins. Exfoliating also recharges the skin and increases circulation. It is also a great idea to wear lotions and barriers to protect the skin from these pollutants. Most sunscreens are great barriers that can help keep our skin safe. Another great thing to do for your skin, is to use products that have antioxidants. These antioxidants go into the skin and help neutralize the free radicals.
Our skin does so much for us. Let’s return the favor and give our skin what it needs to survive the elements and our environment.