The skin is the human body’s largest organ, it is our body’s coat, it protects us from harmful things in the outside world such as germs, toxins, the cold and sun rays. It also protects our internal organs and systems. So, taking care of our skin should be No. 1 priority both for health reasons and to prevent early aging. It is not just our skincare regime and diet that affects our skin. It is also the environment we live in that has a profound impact on our skin. In the modern world there are many factors that have major effects on our skin’s health and its appearance.
The sun has a lot of health benefits, the sunlight triggers the release of a hormone called serotonin, that makes us feel good and calm. It is also a source of vitamin D which is essential for healthy bone formation. Some sunlight can be good as long as we use a proper protection. However too much sun exposure can cause serious skin disorders and premature aging. Researches say that 80% of visible aging is caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are made up of UVA, UVB and UVC rays.
UVA rays are those that have more long-term damaging effects on the skin, they break down collagen, elastin (two proteins that give skin its shape and firmness) and contribute to skin aging.
UVB rays are more carcinogenic and often cause sunburn.
UVC rays are not considered dangerous to our skin as most of these rays are absorbed by atmosphere and do not reach the surface of the earth.
What is SPF?
SPF is short for sun protection factor. It a measure of how long the sunscreen will protect us from UVB rays that damage skin and cause it to burn (a measure of the “burn time”). The number on the product indicates how much protection the sunscreen offers against UVB light:
SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
To protect against both UVA and UVB rays always look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen to gain protection from both types of rays. And do not forget, the radiation has an effect on your skin even if your skin is not prone to sunburns.
Sun exposure can cause:
How to protect
Cover up sensitive areas – protect your skin with clothing
Use sunscreen – choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. Put the sunscreen all over your body and do not forget ears, back of your neck, the part in your hair and tops of your feet
Reapply sunscreen – reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and if you are swimming or sweating, reapply more frequently
Limit total exposure time
Limit sun exposure between 10am – 2pm
The sun is not the only enemy of your skin, another aggressor is air pollution. Living in a fast-past city can be great, but it could also be taking a toll on our body. Researchers have found that, people who live in urban areas have worse skin hydration and show more early aging signs such as wrinkles or skin spots than people from rural areas. Air pollution is a problem for the skin as well as our general health.
How it damages skin
Every day our skin is exposed to smog, dust, soot, cigarette smoke, gases, ozone and other particulates floating in the air. All these chemicals create pollutants. Pollutants are much smaller (up to 30 times) than our pores, so they get directly absorbed into our porous skin. When they enter the skin, they create free radicals - unstable molecules with unpaired electrons trying to pair up with an extra electron from atoms in the skin. This causes damage to our skin’s DNA that can contribute to premature aging by breaking down skin’s collagen.
The effects of air pollution on skin
Loss of skin elasticity
Uneven skin tone
Depletion of vitamins
How to protect the skin
1. Cleanse - Wash your face twice a day. In the morning use a mild cleanser which removes impurities without stripping the skin of natural oil. Because air pollutants cause a depletion of vitamins in the skin, look for cleansers with antioxidant vitamins C, E and A. In the evening you need to remove the potential harmful pollutants, so no matter how tired you are, always remove your make up and wash off the everyday dirt and sweat.
2. Detoxify – Look for cosmetic products that pull out toxins from the skin. Try facial masks which contain detoxifying ingredients such as bentonite clay or charcoal. Also make sure to drink plenty of water through the day which helps detoxify the whole body.
3. Exfoliate - Exfoliate once a week as simple washing is not enough to remove the dirt builds-up. Try Sakury Face crystal peeling lens, which contains silica, the beauty mineral essential for collagen production and skin elasticity. This natural and revolutionary lens gently exfoliates the upper layer of the skin and helps the skin get rid of dirt.
4. Use UV protection – Most people use sunscreen to protect against UV rays and prevent sunburn, however air pollution is another reason to apply the sun protection on a daily basis, even if you are indoors.
5. Moisturize – Because air pollutants can cause skin dehydration, apply a face serum and moisturizer in the morning and in the evening.
6. Eat foods high in antioxidants – You should also protect your skin from the inside out by eating a diet rich in antioxidants (e.g. pecans, blueberries, strawberries, goji berries, raspberries, kale, beans, beets, spinach).
New research shows that another threat to our skin is Blue light (High Energy Visible or HEV light) which is emitted from the sun and the digital devices with electronic screens (mobile phone, computers, notebooks, tablets.)
Similarly to the sun, also blue light has some advantages – if we are exposed to a certain amount of blue light, it makes us feel good and some beauty experts even recommend blue light for treating acne. On the other hand, some data is suggesting that blue light has more damaging impact on the skin as it penetrates deeper into the skin than UV rays and causes more hyper-pigmentation than UVB.
Too much exposure to blue light can cause:
Disrupting our sleep patterns
Uneven skin tone
Dark under-eye circles
degeneration of eye sight
impaired barrier function
In the modern world it is very hard to avoid blue light as we are exposed to electronic devices on a daily basis, we are glued to our smartphones and sit by the computer screens for hours. However, there are ways to protect our health and skin.
How to protect
Activate night mode
Eat foods high in antioxidants
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen
Seek collagen boosting product
The environment we live in is a major factor which affects the health of our skin. Every day we are facing a lot of threats. Common impacts of the modern world and the technology are impaired barrier function of the skin, premature aging, skin disorders such as hyperpigmenation, uneven skin tone, irritation and other, depletion of vitamins and collagen and elastin degradation.
Luckily it is not all bad news, there are many steps to protect our skin. Beauty experts agree that to prevent these issues, we should cleanse the skin regularly, seek cosmetics products enriched with antioxidant vitamins as well as consume foods high in antioxidants. Most importantly we should look for products that boost collagen and elastin as these are the proteins responsible for the skin's firmness and shape.
Sakury crystal peeling lenses for face and body exfoliation incorporates amorphous silica into the abrasive glass surface and deposits silica right into the skin during the treatment. Silica, also known as a "beauty mineral" helps regenerate elastin and collagen fibres, leaves your skin clean and soft and enables better absorption of creams and serums.