It is known that over time, exposure to the sun can lead to premature wrinkles and fine lines. Not to mention the potential for skin cancer. We also know that smoking has negative effects on the skin, and a smoke air purifier can help clear the air of cigarette smoke. Similarly, there’s a growing body of evidence that another factor may also be strongly connected to skin damage: air pollution.
In one study, researchers analyzed around 800 women aged 70-80 in Germany and about 740 women of various ages in China, looking for the connection between brown spots on their cheeks and exposure to nitrogen dioxide. Earlier research on 400 Caucasian women aged 70-80 studied the effect of particulate matter in the air (from traffic emissions and soot) on age spots and wrinkles.
Researchers found that microscopic amounts of air pollutants, like particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and chemical byproducts from cars, construction sites and industrial emissions, are associated with skin damage.
One study revealed that age spots on women’s cheeks increased by approximately 25 percent when they were exposed to even small increases in nitrogen dioxide. The other showed that particulate matter can significantly exacerbate age spots and increase the development of wrinkles.
Exposure is a Factor
The damage occurs when there’s prolonged or repetitive exposure to air pollution. This exposure affects the natural ability of human skin to act as a shield against many pollutants. In addition, it is more pronounced in busy, urban areas with a lot of exhaust and particulate matter, when compared with rural environments.
Researchers suggest that when air pollutants enter the skin, they trigger melanocytes, which are melanin-producing cells in the bottom layer of the skin. As a result, too much pigment is created, causing brown spots. In addition, collagen, a protein that gives skin strength and elasticity, is affected. Usually, damaged skin triggers enzymes that regulate collagen. But when there’s too much chronic inflammation, more collagen is removed than the skin can create, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles.
Steps for Prevention
The first thing that will help protect you is to wash your skin regularly. This will help to rinse off remaining particles on your skin that haven’t been absorbed. In addition, apply a moisturizer to help your skin to provide a natural collagen barrier. Last, having a smart air purifier with an advanced particle filter, like the Coway Airmega, can reduce airborne particulate matter by up to 99.999%.