How Does Air Quality Affect Your Skin?

As a bustling city, the metro Atlanta area isn’t known for having stellar air quality—and with the horrible wildfires the region recently experienced, conditions worsened even more. While many of us are aware that poor air can impact our health, did you know it can also damage your skin?

Here are some ways your environment is affecting your skin and what you can do about it.

Pollution solutions

Traffic is largely unavoidable when you live in a city like Atlanta. In addition to making it difficult to get anywhere on time, it’s also not so great for your skin. Pollution and smog typically generated by heavy traffic can negatively impact your body, including the health of your skin; just like smog clogs the air, it also clogs your pores. In fact, a recent study links unclean air with brown spots on the skin. Yikes! Additionally, air pollutants can deprive the skin of oxygen, contributing to a dull, saggy appearance.

What you can do:

  • Watch your local air quality report and note when you should avoid spending too much time outside.
  • Always protect your skin with antioxidants like vitamin C and E.
  • Keep your home clean and free of damaging particulates that have been swept in by using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • Use air filters in your home and office.

Ozone defense

Because of the heavy amounts of free radicals floating in the air, the ozone layer has thinned over time. This is bad news for everyone, whether your skin is fair or dark: less ozone means more damaging sun rays can reach your skin, increasing the likelihood of skin cancer, hyperpigmentation, and premature aging.

What you can do:

  • Always, always, always wear sunscreen that is at least SPF 30.
  • Reapply sunscreen multiple times per day.
  • Invest in protective, UV-blocking clothing.
  • Avoid the sun during peak hours.

Forest fires and skin health

The forest fires throughout the southeast have damaged acres of land, and it doesn’t end there. Whether you know it or not, your skin has suffered the consequences as well. Smoke harms your skin by clogging pores and zapping moisture, resulting in a duller, drier complexion.

What you can do:

  • Avoid prolonged contact with smoke.
  • Clean air filters in heating & cooling units at least once every two weeks.
  • Wear protective clothing when necessary.
  • Put on SPF 30 sunscreen and wear a deep moisturizer when the air quality is poor.
  • Get a cleansing facial after you’ve been exposed to smoke for a prolonged amount of time.

Undoing the damage

Although it may seem unavoidable, you do have options for improving your skin health. Here are a few of our favorite ways to nourish, clarify, and rejuvenate the skin:

Rid your skin of dead cells with a chemical peel

Chemical peels are an affordable, quick, and customizable option for improving tone, texture, signs of aging, and giving your skin an overall revitalized look.

Develop great skin habits at home with medical-grade skincare products

To maintain your results after a professional treatment and keep your skin healthy, happy, and glowing year round, consider choosing physician-grade products.

Get deeper rejuvenation with laser skin resurfacing

Lasers can produce dramatic results with less recovery time than ever. In fact, the Halo hybrid fractional laser is a heaven-sent option that has little-to-no downtime but yields excellent results.

Speak with a professional

The best way to get safe, successful results is to work with a skin professional who understands your needs and how best to meet them. Contact us today, and we can help give you a beautiful (re)new year!

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