We often get information about the sun’s damaging effects on skin, but many may not be aware that other environmental and even emotional factors can contribute to premature aging in a nearly identical manner.
According to a recent article in The Dermatologist, the dangerous reactive oxygen species known to cause aging in the skin is generated not only by ultraviolet radiation, but can also be produced from other sources, including pollution and stress.
Consequently, those who live in areas with poor air quality, smoke or live high-stress lifestyles are at increased risk for the formation of reactive oxygen species, which age skin by attacking its DNA, proteins and lipids.
We generally know how to protect ourselves from the sun; how do we stay mindful of decreasing the effects of pollution and stress on skin?
- Create a protective barrier through skincare.
When it comes to guarding against environmental pollution, it’s best to create a layer of protection between skin and the smog, smoke and other airborne contaminants it may encounter. A daily moisturizing cream or serum can provide this critical defense. Look for one that contains antioxidants, such as Vitamin A, C and E, which are known to block skin-aging free radical activity. Control Corrective offers several effective options:
- Firming Tri-Peptide Serum: Featuring three peptides – highly absorbable proteins that help stimulate the skin to produce collagen – this powerhouse serum helps fight off free radicals while simultaneously minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles and maximizing skin smoothness and elasticity.
- Anti-Wrinkle Face & Neck Cream: Loaded with highly active cosmeceuticals including peptides and antioxidants, this advanced face and neck treatment cream helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and pigmentation while brightening, hydrating and smoothing skin.
- Anti-Aging Lotion with Peptides: Those looking for a light-textured moisturizer will love this gentle lotion packed with peptides and antioxidants that smoothes, softens and relaxes superficial facial lines and wrinkles with regular use.
- Ceramide Daily Cream: Featuring Vitamin A as an active ingredient, this hydrating moisturizer helps skin look, feel and function as if it’s younger by strengthening the lipid barrier to maintain skin’s optimum water content, and fighting free radicals.
- Wash & Exfoliate.
A protective skincare barrier can help keep pollutants from penetrating the skin, but that doesn’t mean they won’t build up on the surface. Be sure to cleanse your face daily to remove dirt and grime, and exfoliate twice a week to ensure serums and moisturizers can offer optimal hydration. Pollution can also usher in a host of skin sensitivities, so if you live in a city with poor air quality, consider using professional skincare products that cater to sensitive skin, such as this recommended regimen from Control.
- Don’t smoke.
It’s estimated that smokers look an average of nearly one and half years older than non-smokers. This bad habit hampers the blood supply that keeps skin tissue looking supple and healthy, and creates wrinkles – not just on the face, but all over the body. Take control of the pollution exposure you can prevent!
- Chill out.
Psychological stress can be harmful to one’s health in many ways, and is linked to accelerated aging. While it often proves difficult in today’s fast-paced society, it’s important to slow down and take time for oneself – through meditation, deep breathing and other “centering” relaxation techniques. Setting aside a moment to apply and sit with a face mask two to three times a week can both improve skin health and relieve stress. Make a mask date with friends to stay social – another proven stress reliever. Control offers a Balancing Thermogel Mask for dry or normal skin; a Sensitive Skin Enzyme Mask for sensitive or dehydrated skin; and a Sulfur Calming Mask for all skin types.