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Pollution affects Beauty

Sunday, Oct 04, 2020 19:30 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Oct 04, 2020 13:48 [IST]

Pollution affects Beauty

Shahnaz Husain

The daily exposure to pollution dramatically impacts skin’s health and appearance.Various air pollutants such as ultraviolet radiation, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, oxides, particulate matter, ozone and cigarette smoke affect the skin as it is the outermost barrier.   Second, only to the sun, pollution is the biggest aggressor when it comes to ageing your skin.

Cleansing of the skin assumes more importance in order to get rid of the impurities and pollutants that are deposited on the skin. If you have a dry skin, use a cleansing cream or gel.  For oily skins, cleansing milk or face wash may be used. For oily skin, also use a facial scrub after cleansing. Look out for products with ingredients like sandalwood, eucalyptus, mint, neem, tulsi, aloe vera, etc., when you buy cleansers. The anti-toxic and tonic properties of such ingredients have helped in clearing the skin congestion and eruptions that result from exposure to chemical pollutants. Aloe vera, for example, is also a powerful moisturizer and an anti-oxidant. So are ingredients like apricot kernel oil, carrot seed, wheat germ oil, etc. the skin needs to be protected. If the skin is prone to eruptive conditions like acne, pimples, rash, it should be protected with specialized creams that not only protect but also reduce oiliness and deal with the problem. If you are buying market cleansers manufactured by beauty companies than avoid cleansers containing Sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium Laureth sulphates or denatured alcohols as they dry out the skin and can damage our skin barrier over time.

After cleansing, wipe the skin with a rose-based skin tonic or rose water, to complete the cleansing process and refresh the skin. Soak cotton wool in chilled rose water and tone the skin with it, patting briskly. It also improves blood circulation to the skin surface and adds a glow. Green tea also makes a good skin toner. If there is a rash or eruptions, add a little rose water to sandalwood paste and apply on the face. Wash off with plain water after 15 minutes.

Anti-pollution cosmetics help to provide protection and reduce the damage caused by environmental effects. These are basically “cover creams” that form a barrier between the skin and pollutants.   Sandalwood protective cream is very useful to protect the skin from environmental effects. It forms a transparent protective cover. Sandalwood soothes the skin and protects it from irritative reactions and eruptive conditions. It suits all skin types and increases the skin’s moisture retention ability too.

The hair also needs frequent washing if one regularly travels long distances for their work. Pollutants also collect on the scalp. Shampoo, hair rinses, serums and conditioners help to restore the normal balances if they contain ingredients like amla, Brahmi, trifala, bhringaraj and henna. They also coat the hair and form a protective cover. Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and honey with one egg. Massage the mixture lightly into the scalp. Leave on for half and hour and then wash the hair. Rinse well with water.

Or, give the hair hot oil therapy. Heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Leave oil on overnight and wash hair the next day.

The impurities and pollutants can also affect the eyes, causing burning or redness. The eyes should be washed with plain water several times. Soak cotton wool pads in chilled rose water and use them over the eyes as eye pads. Lie down and relax for fifteen minutes. This really helps to remove fatigue and brightens the eyes.

  Keep your self hydrated by taking 10-12 glass of water in a day to replenish moisture .Opt for coconut water , NimbuPani , Juices and Soups to   detoxify the body and   help heal the skin damaged by free radicals and keep the immune barrier healthy, keeping your skin supple and soft.

Add  berries, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and seafood containing Omega-3s in your daily diet  Citrus fruits, beetroot, oregano, apples, avocado, blueberries, and leafy greens and beans play a significant role in the body's capability to heal itself, especially the skin.

Your diet plays a big role in the fight against pollutants. Avoid  spicy food, pizza, burger, junk,  maida   and aerated drinks which can drain moisture from your body

Most of us use sunscreen in hot humid days but you need to apply an SPF 30 daily with broad-spectrum protection every morning to protect your self from negative impact of pollution on Skin.   

Precautionary measures in Ayurveda can help bring the moisture level of one’s skin up through herbal remedies. One can try getting SiroAbhyanga massage for the hair and Kaya Abhyanga to combat dry skin.  In addition, the use of sandalwood in different forms on the skin can help those with oily skin.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi