When fog combines with the smoke, it forms the air pollutant which is commonly known as smog.
Delhi’s deadly pollution is not only taking a toll on your respiratory organs but is also damaging the skin.
The toxic chemicals which are present in the air contain soot, smoke, and acid that severely affect your skin, snatching away the moisture, which in turn causes allergies and pigmentation.
How Does Smog Affect Our Skin And Hair?
Smog can cause adverse effects to our hair, making it itchy and greasy. It also affects the deeper skin layers, where the collagen is degraded, and leads to increased pigment formation resulting in fine lines, open pores, wrinkles, and chronic inflammation.
Premature skin ageing and premature greying of hair can occur due to exposure to pollutants.
The amount of aggressors that our skin and hair have to withstand are unimaginable. They also sometimes have to deal with chemicals because of our preferences, like coloured hair, straightening, and extra-make-up sessions for certain occasions.
The regular use of makeup and heating equipment does harm your hair and skin adversely, but following a healthy way to your skincare routine can benefit you.
The intense impact of the smoky-polluted soup is primarily known as smog. There are certain self-help therapies you must follow:
1. Cleanse Your Skin Thoroughly Once You Come Back Home
Cleansing with face washes can help remove the accumulated debris. For oily skin, one can use a facial scrub after the cleansing is done. Look out for products with ingredients like sandalwood, eucalyptus, mint, tulsi, neem, aloe vera, Zinc sulfate, glyceryl, lactic acid and potassium sorbate, glycolic acid or skin lightening fruit actives fortified with specific emollients when you buy cleansers as they are anti-toxic and their tonic properties help in clearing the skin congestion and eruptions which result from exposure to the direct chemical pollutants.
2. Don’t Skip the Toners
After you wipe off your skin, using a rose-based or rose-water toner is important to refresh your skin completely. It also improves blood circulation to the surface of the skin therefore, adding a glow.
3. Use Anti-Pollutant Cosmetics
Such products will protect your skin against the damage that has been caused to your skin. These are basically "cover creams" that work in a manner to create a barrier between the skin and pollutants which is useful to protect the skin from environmental effects.
4. Wash Your Eyes
We often forget the most important yet sensitive area of our face, that is, our eyes. Your eyes must be washed with plain water several times. Soak cotton pads in chilled rose water and lay them over the eyes as eye pads for nearly fifteen minutes. You should also wear sunglasses to avoid sun exposure to your skin.
5. Cover Your Hair Whenever You Step Out
Always keep your hair covered with a scarf or hat in order to keep it safe from direct contact with air-pollutants and dust. Keep them secured or tie it back with a hairband.
6. Massage Your Hair With Hot Oil Therapy
Give your scalp a moment to breathe with hot oil therapy. You can use any oil suitable for your hair then dip a towel in hot water. Don’t forget to squeeze out the water before wrapping it around your head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the procedure 3 or 4 times. Post hot hair oil therapy, wash your hair within 1-2 hours with a ph-balanced shampoo.
7. Hair Spa/Deep Conditioning
To attain back those lustrous strands, deep conditioning is required during this time. Deep conditioning can bring back the hydration and moisture which was lost in your hair earlier and got drenched due to pollution. Regular spa treatments maintain the lost moisture and natural scalp oil which is essential to keep your locks nourished.
In conclusion, don’t forget to cover your face with a mask to avoid pollutant air entering into your mouth directly, also cover your hair whenever possible to avoid direct contact with dust and pollution.
Visit a Dermatologist: In case of severe skin or issues, visit a certified dermatologist who can guide you with the right treatment.
Every beauty has a purpose, and the purpose is you! Let your skin and hair take a clean breath with these simple tips that can help minimize the negative effects of smog!
(Dr. Syed Nazim is a dermatologist, aesthetic & hair transplant surgeon at Royal Lush Clinic, New Delhi )