Living in a city like Atlanta comes with many benefits. However, metropolitan areas can also have downsides, like traffic and limited parking. However, when it comes to skincare, understanding the pollutants that will affect your skin’s health and how best to protect your skin from those pollutants is valuable information! Experienced city dermatologists want people to know that there are ways to care for skin that are different for large city folks than those in a more rural environment.
Big City Pollutants Damage Skin
One of the main differences between city living and rural living is the amount of exposure to pollutants. When working or living in a large city like Atlanta, these dirty particles in the air can cause damage to the skin. It is essential to do what you can to protect your skin from fumes from construction, traffic, and other pollution sources. Keeping skin healthy when living and working in a big city can be challenging but worth the effort.
The pollutants in the air are particles not visible without a microscope. More often, people claim they can feel the dirt and grime on their skin after being outside in the city for any length of time. These tiny particles damage the skin and lungs. Although most people recognize the harm that breathing air pollutants can have on their bodies, they overlook that the skin is the outer layer of protection, so of course, it will take a beating. Some of the skin conditions most common in the city are acne, clogged pores, eczema, and dry skin from constant air conditioning.
What Toxins in the Air Affect My Skin?
There are many pollutants in the air, and being in a city, they are more compacted, and there is significantly less airflow which compounds the negative effects on the skin. Exhaust from cars and trucks is a big factor, along with industrial plants, taxis, and subways. Even cigarette and vape smoke can be trapped between large buildings, repeatedly exposing the skin to these various toxins. The World Health Organization reports that city populations exceed healthy air quality guidelines by six times.
Stress Can Damage the Skin
There is no mystery that city life can be more stressful than urban or rural life. The constant hustle and bustle of working and living in the city have been shown to add more stress and negatively affect skin health. Stress is a top culprit for early signs of aging, and add to that many toxic pollutants every day, and you have got your work cut out to maintain healthy-looking skin! In a society continually seeking the best anti-aging skincare products and procedures, spending extended time in a stressful environment riddled with pollutants can be counterproductive for those wanting to optimize their skin’s health and beauty.
Protecting Skin from Big City Pollutants
Those who live in the city often thrive in busy, day-to-day life. With access to great restaurants and all the action, city people take the bad with the good. Do not fret – there are simple ways to protect your skin and minimize the adverse effects over time. One of the best ways is to clean your home of toxins and pollutants. Change air filters often, and a humidifier may be necessary to add moisture back into the air if you suffer from dry skin conditions. If you have pets in the city, bathe them and brush them often – think about how much of the toxic air stays on their fur!
Limit Time of Exposure to Air Pollution
The most damage to the skin happens when exposed to car exhaust, fumes, and factories. Since Atlanta is hot in the summer, the thought of wearing something over one’s face or hands may seem unreasonable. However, finding a lightweight scarf to put around your face when walking around the city can be a barrier between your skin and the air and additional protection from dangerous UV rays.
Stay Away from Smoking
Cigarette smoke is still harmful to the skin and body, and if you smoke, please quit. Although this is a tough habit to break, smoking has a list of adverse effects on the skin and health. If you do not smoke, but your partner, friends, or roommates do ask them to stop or set boundaries about where they can smoke so you are not exposed. Vaping is the newest form of smoking, but it is also very dangerous to those smoking and those getting second-hand exposure. Avoiding smoking will immediately affect energy, health, and the skin’s youthful appearance.
If you live in Atlanta, contact Buckhead Dermatology for an appointment with Dr. Sherrie Straughn. Dr. Straughn understands first-hand what Atlanta residents deal with when it comes to air pollutants and helps clients protect and rejuvenate