Skin Damage - Blue Light - The New Enemy
Are you regularly exposed to electronic screens, heating, cleaning products or simply ‘fresh’ air?
These are the three main types of pollution that damage your skin causing it to age prematurely, become sensitive and appear dull. In this article, we explain why and provide some simple steps to help prevent this damage.
Three types of pollution
Every day our skin is subjected to over 300 sources of pollution. These pollutants can be broken down into three main categories which have a slightly different effect on the skin.
1. UV & HEV Pollution (Blue Light Rays)
Attacks all layers of the skin including DNA.
It’s commonly known that UVA and UVB rays cause skin damage by generating free radicals. However, a new growing concern is that HEV Light (AKA Artificial Blue Light) from electronic screens and devices causes more damage than these two combined. It penetrates all the way down the DNA of the skin cells which affects their regeneration and starves them of oxygen. Exposure to phones, laptops, and television screens, in turn, causes premature lines and wrinkles and the skin appears dull, grey or pallid.
Solution: the cells need regenerating and an oxygen boost.
2. Air Pollution
Attacks the skin’s deeper layers.
Toxic particles from pollutants such as smoke, acid, and gas in the air are 20x smaller than our pores meaning they can easily penetrate deep into our skin. These clogs up the skin’s natural hydration process and its ability to produce collagen.
These toxins also cause the skin to appear dull. Gina Baker Germaine de Capuccini Skincare Expert explains; “it’s like a dirty window – when dirt gets stuck on it, natural blue light can no longer come through and it therefore looks grey. When our skin gets ‘dirty,’ it also appears dull or grey in tone and the light can no longer reflect out of it.
Solution: the skin needs to be detoxified and cleaned.
3. Domestic Pollution
Attacks the surface of the skin.
Heating, air conditioning, cleaning products, and other household substances sit on the skin’s surface causing irritation and drawing out moisture which causes dehydration. They also damage the stratum corneum (skin protective barrier) which in turn allows the other pollution types to penetrate the skin more easily and makes the skin more sensitive – it’s a vicious circle.Solution: strengthen the skin’s barrier function.
How to protect & repair the skin from pollution damage
Protect the skin
The best form of attack is a good defense! Use a high-factor SPF cream. Look for a light protective cream specifically designed for daily use on top of your moisturiser. This will offer much more effective, stronger, and reliable protection.
Clean the skin
Cleansing morning and evening will help to get rid of the dirt or pollution on the skin’s surface. We’d also highly recommend weekly exfoliation with a gentle enzyme powder to effectively remove more stubborn pollutants that are lodged on the skin.
Oxygenate & detoxify the skin
We know HEV and UV light starves the cells of oxygen, therefore it needs to be replaced – it’s essential for maintaining younger and healthier skin. Oxygen can be contained within skincare products, but it must be stabilised to do so. Make sure the ingredient is “encapsulated” to be sure it's going to enter the skin effectively and work to detoxify the cells.
Repair the skin
Repairing the skin’s barrier function (stratum corneum) provides a long-term solution to pollution damage and sensitivity from irritating toxic particles. Products containing Niacinamide are a wonderful place to start as it increases the production of ceramides which in turn strengthens the skin’s barrier function. Avoid products that contain astringents like alcohol, sulfates, and witch hazel. These harsh ingredients strip the skin of its natural moisturiser which weakens it.