Air Pollution, Skin Aging, and the Role of Antioxidants

In recent years, air pollution has become an increasingly important topic of concern. As more and more individuals move to populated metropolises and pollutants continue to contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer, the focus on the negative effects to human health has intensified. While respiratory effects are well established, the latest research in the field points to a new target for these pollutants – our skin.

The air is filled with a variety of pollutants including cigarette smoke, car exhaust, smog, dirt, dust, and other particulates. These pollutants contribute to mitochondrial oxidative stress, which has been shown to promote the production of free radicals. In addition to playing a role in many chronic and degenerative diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders, an increase in free radicals has also been linked to premature aging. In a recent clinical study, research found that women who live in urban areas with high levels of pollution had a 22 percent increase in pigmented spots (lentigines) and significantly more coarse wrinkling.

Antioxidants have been shown to be one of the most effective ways to prevent skin aging caused by the pollution we encounter on a daily basis. Naturally occurring antioxidants can be found in many brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers, and should be added to your diet whenever possible. Additionally, antioxidants can be applied topically to boost your defense against environmentally induced oxidative stress, while also protecting the skin from sunburn.

During the month of January, our Skin Center is offering a promotion on all Vitamin C products. Shown to help skin recover from sun damage and the effect of aging, this product is one of the greatest topical antioxidants available. Stop by our Skin Center for more information or to purchase any of the Vitamin C products.


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