Haze and your Skin

The haze – we find ourselves talking about it and reading about it in the news all the time. We’ve all become ‘experts’ on the subject and we know all about how the haze is bad for us, or do we?  Have you noticed your skin being a little bit drier, the recent acne outbreaks and the worsening of your winkles and pigmentation? Could it possibly have something to do with the haze? Yes, unfortunately the haze has a detrimental effect on your skin just as much as it does on your lungs and general well being.

How does the haze ruin your skin?

  • It causes direct irritation to the skin and cause exacerbation of common skin problems like eczema, causing itching and redness
  • It can clog pores and lead to pimples and worsen acne outbreaks
  • It damages cells in the skin by causing increased production of toxic free radicals, leading to premature skin ageing, uneven pigmentation, loss of elasticity of the skin and worsening wrinkles

What can I do about it ?

  • Drink lots of water, keep your body and your skin well hydrated
  • Load up on lots of fresh fruits and vegetables which contain vitamins C and E and anti-oxidants to help deter premature skin ageing.
  • Avoid spending time outdoors unnecessarily if you’re known to have sensitive skin and when the PSI is in the unhealthy range
  • Consider covering up in long sleeved clothing to minimize pollutant contact with your skin
  • Cleansing your skin – do it whenever you’ve been outdoors, up to 4-5x a day with a gentle cleanser for normal skin. If you have dry skin to start with, avoid cleansing excessively especially with harsh drying soaps.
  • Moisturise – hydrate the skin because dry skin is irritable skin. Remember, the moisturizer also acts as a protective barrier between your skin and the airborne pollutants
  • Sunblock – do this regularly even though the sunlight feels less intense with the presence of the haze as the haze actually traps and amplifies the detrimental effect UV rays have on our skin.
  1. choose a sunblock with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more
  2. apply the sunblock at least 20 minutes before stepping out
  3. reapply the sunblock every 2-3 hourly when prolonged sun exposure is expected.

Take home message:

The haze is literally all around us and although we’ve been having a slight respite from it recently, the only thing we can be sure of is that we’ve not seen the last of it.  That doesn’t mean we can’t take measures to protect ourselves and our loved ones from its negative effects, why take the chance?  With the festive season around the corner, today is the perfect time to start paying closer attention to your skin and how you treat it.  That additional 10 minutes you spend a day on taking care of your skin could mean a world of difference; don’t be lazy, you know it’s hazy!

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