If you live in India, you know how bad the level of air pollution has been for a very long time. But if you live in Delhi and the neighboring states, you know very well how bad the situation has gotten in the last one week. With thick smog and low visibility, there’s no denying that each one of us is breathing in a dangerous amount of toxic air all the time. While that takes a toll on our bodies and makes us susceptible to some terrible diseases, it is also harming our hair and skin in very apparent ways.
The pollution in the air strips our skin of moisture and makes it look dull and dry. It also makes our skin very prone to premature ageing.
The situation will probably take some time to be under control again, but here are some tips that help you stay safe during these abysmal conditions.
1. Stay indoors as much as you can: This is not the time for you to take in any “fresh” air. Stay protected against these pollutants as much as you can. If you are used to exercising in the outdoors, I would suggest that you take up some indoor exercises for a while.
2. Keep your skin clean: If you do happen to remain outside for a sustained period of time, make sure that you come back home and thoroughly cleanse your skin. It’s best to use an oil-based cleanser or a cleanser that does not strip your skin of its natural oils. Air pollution is quite dehydrating for the skin, so you want to make sure you’re using a gentle cleanser.
3. Use a deep-cleansing mask: A deep cleansing clay mask that draws out the impurities and toxins from your skin is quite necessary. This is the time to invest in such a mask or to make one at home. Use this mask 2-3 times a week to keep your skin clean.
4. Don’t skip the sunscreen: This dense smog has made our days gloomy and cloudy, which may make it seem like you no longer need sunscreen, but this is far from true. The UV rays will continue to damage your skin and cause premature ageing. Use sunscreen in appropriate amounts so that it can act as a barrier against these harmful rays as well as the pollutants.
5. Replenish your skin: While the pollution is dehydrating and prematurely ageing your skin, it is all the more necessary for you to do something extra to replenish it. In addition to your moisturiser, make sure to incorporate a Vitamin C or a Vitamin E serum into your routine. A serum will lock in the extra boost of hydration and will work to replenish any skin damage.
6. Eat healthy: Ignore your junk food cravings. This is the time to eat fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and other such healthy immunity-building foods. Your skin, too, will benefit greatly from these nutrient-rich foods. You will also want to include antioxidant rich foods in your diet. Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are also good.
7. Stay hydrated: You have to drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you’ve never taken this piece of advice seriously, then now is the time to do so. You could also drink green tea, which will help retain the elasticity and youthfulness of your skin.
Air pollution is as damaging to the skin as the harmful UV rays of the sun. Do everything that you can stay protected from it until the thick smog clears up and the sun shines upon us again.