It’s been a rough week watching the Northern California fires burn down most of my beautiful hometown, Santa Rosa. I feel horrible being in Los Angeles and not being there to console family and friends who have lost everything. It’s been very uplifting though, from afar, to see the Sonoma County community come together and help each other through this dark time.
With so many fires going on at once, I felt it was an appropriate time to write about air pollution and it’s effects you might be unaware of. Right now in Santa Rosa, the air toxin level is unhealthy. If you’re wondering whether or not fire smoke, soot or ash damages your skin, the answer is yes and it doesn’t take long after exposure. You’re more likely to see breakouts occur and wrinkles to become more pronounced. Smoke damages collagen, the structural protein that keeps the skin tight, lifted and firm. It also causes the pores to buildup with tiny particles and cause irritation.
The outer layer of skin contains lipids, which are fats that bind cells together. In air conditions like this, free radicals wreck havoc by oxidizing these lipids which causes inflammation, DNA destruction and a compromised skin barrier. When the barrier is damaged, skin cells can’t function optimally and so becomes vulnerable to microbes, UV radiation, allergies and other toxins. The epidermal layers become weak and easily flake off. This can leave your skin feeling extremely dry.
The best thing you can do for your skin right now:
- Apply topical antioxidants, like vitamin C and E. My personal favorite is Vivant Skincare’s Spin Trap Antioxidant Serum. Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals and supports collagen. Other ingredients in this serum like niacinamide (vitamin B3) are perfect for calming inflammation. This is also a great base under a moisturizer for those of you feeling extra dry.
- Wash with a non-stripping cleanser, and take your time sudsing up every pore! I recommend the Vivant Skincare Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser. It’s perfect for all skin types, is gentle, and packed with antioxidants.
- Moisturizer. Moisturizer. Moisturizer.
- Drink TONS of water to keep cells and tissue healthy.