3 Essential Skincare Products to Protect Skin from the Effects of Air Pollution

Air pollution can have damaging effects on various aspects of our health, including our skin.

However, we can actually protect our skin from the adverse effects of environmental issues with the right skincare products or treatments.

Before getting to know some types of skincare, let's first understand the impact of air pollution on skin health.

What are the effects of air pollution on the skin?

Dr. Dhelya Widasmara, a dermatologist from the Faculty of Medicine, Brawijaya University, explains that air pollution can disrupt health from the skin to the lungs and even the heart.

"People who are continuously exposed to poor air quality are vulnerable to health problems," she stated during an online media briefing organized by the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) on Friday (July 28, 2023).

According to Dhelya, there are several consequences of air pollution on skin health, including:

1. Triggering premature aging and skin cancer

Prolonged exposure to high levels of air pollution, including ultraviolet radiation, can affect skin aging and trigger skin cancer.

2. Increasing the risk of skin diseases

Exposure to pollution from cigarette smoke and volatile organic compounds can be a factor in premature aging and an increased risk of skin diseases such as psoriasis, acne, eczema, or atopic dermatitis.

3. Triggering dark spots and inflammatory acne

Air pollution often contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Exposure to these substances can lead to premature aging, pigmentation, dark spots, and inflammatory acne-like eruptions.

What are the skincare products to protect the skin from the impact of air pollution?

Dr. Dhelya mentioned several ways to protect the skin from the harmful effects of air pollution.

"Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Also, use appropriate skincare products," she explained.

Dr. Dhelya, who serves as the Deputy Head of Social Media and Public Education at IDI, suggests some essential skincare products that can help counter air pollution, including:

1. Facial cleanser

Regularly cleansing the skin with a suitable facial cleanser is essential for maintaining skin health. Failure to cleanse the skin can lead to clogged facial pores due to dirt and dust from air pollution. Bacteria can thrive in these conditions, leading to blackheads, acne, or blemishes.

2. Sunscreen

Use sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection that can block UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher at least 30 minutes before going outside. Apply sunscreen to all areas of the body exposed to sunlight.

3. Moisturizer

Moisturizer is a vital skincare product that helps maintain skin hydration, nourishes the skin, and protects it from the adverse effects of air pollution. Moisturizers work by retaining moisture to prevent it from evaporating from the skin.

"Combat the negative effects of air pollution by using external protection (skincare) mentioned above and adopt a healthier lifestyle," advised Dhelya.

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