As many of you know, wildfire season is in full effect in many parts of the United States. Many of our clients have expressed worries over what the smoke is doing to their skin, hopefully this blog can help clear up any confusion on how best to approach smoke and skin.
Toxic smoke is in the air and our bodies are working hard to protect us from long term damage. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and the most exposed to the elements. Our lungs may be breathing in the smoke, but our skin is also defending off free radicals and damaging pollutants. Adding antioxidants into your routine, slathering on that SPF, and taking a few potent supplements will support your skin while it battles off damage caused by heavy smoke in the air.
Antioxidants will be your best friend during this time. Antioxidants disarm harmful particles in the air that damage our skin, leading to free radicals. Free radicals are damaged skin cells that begin breaking down our remaining healthy skin cells. This leads to a drastic reduction in collagen, which helps our skin stay plump and firm. Large amounts of free radicals in the skin also lead to increased inflammation like redness and breakouts.This makes antioxidants absolutely indispensable in any skin care routine, but necessary for anyone exposed to large amounts of sun and pollution.
There are many different types of antioxidants, but some of the most potent are Astaxanthin, Vitamin C, Glutathione, and Superoxide Dismutase. The amazing part about these ingredients is they work well when applied topically as well as internally! All three can be found in very helpful supplements. You can find affordable options in your local health food stores, or you can shop several in our online store as well.
While antioxidants will help with your skin’s natural defense against damage, it is also very important to apply SPF every day, even when the smoke is hiding the sun. If you can, try to always apply mineral sunscreens instead of chemical. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and then neutralize them. Mineral sunscreens create a protective layer against UV rays and pollutants, which is much more ideal during smokey or polluted conditions.
Last but not least, it is important to thoroughly clean the skin after being out in the smoke. Double cleansing will help deep clean your pores, removing all left over pollutants on the skin. You can either cleanse twice with the same cleanser, or cleanse with a creamy cleanser first. Acne or blackhead prone? Follow your double cleansing with Mandelic Defense Lotion. This toner has very high amounts of antioxidants so it will help clean as well as neutralize free radical causing toxins. The Mandelic acid will also help heal breakouts caused by bad air quality.