Wonder Balm from Vemel
With our skin being the body’s first line of protection against external stressors, it’s fair to say it is battling a lot each and every day to keep us safe and healthy. Perhaps one of the most significant external stressors we face every day is pollution. Whilst pollution, in the form of particulate matter, ozone, and other environmental aggressors, can wreak havoc on your skin, putting in place a few preventative measures can not only keep us healthier, but also give us that glow that comes with healthy and cared for skin.
Our Culprit; ‘Pollution’ and the Havoc It’s Causing
Pollution isn’t just in the air; it’s a stealthy infiltrator, seeping into your skin’s defenses.
But what actually is it?
Well, pollution, in particular air pollution, refers to the presence of harmful substances in the Earth’s atmosphere, mostly as a result of human activities and natural processes. The unfortunate reality is that these pollutants can have detrimental effects on both the environment and human health. Once these pollutants are able to penetrate and disrupt our skin microbiome, the result is inflammation, premature aging, dull complexion and fine lines. It can also trigger oxidative stress, leading to the breakdown of collagen and elastin – the essential proteins in our skin which maintain skin structure and firmness.
Skin Saga: Pollution vs. Your Complexion
The battle between pollution and your complexion continues. Pollution can even worsen existing skin conditions like acne and eczema, contact dermatitis and psoriasis. This inflammatory trigger within the skin as a result of air pollution can cause the skin to become more prone to sensitivity the longer it is exposed. Pollutants like heavy metals (such as lead, mercury, and cadmium) which can be released into the air through industrial processes and combustion, and can disrupt our skin barrier, causing pigmentation irregularities which causes us to develop uneven skin tone as well as dark spots. Which, much like the polluted air, can leave us looking a little dull and lackluster and not like our otherwise radiant glow. All of these effects are ultimately caused by the disrupting of our skin microbiome which then causes the weakening of our skins natural barrier. Each and every one of us have a skin microbiome, made up of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The presence of those microorganisms is crucial to help fight off harmful substances and let the body’s immune system know of any potential danger. But the microbiome needs to stay in balance in order to ensure the health of the skin. If, for instance, air pollution were to disrupt the size and diversity of our skin microbiome, it can result in an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. An example of air pollution working negatively against the skin can he seen in smog. Smog (otherwise known as smoke and fog) particles can stay on the skin and trap bacteria inside our pores, creating a perfect environment for acne to develop. Once our skins natural defence mechanism is no longer able to adequately shield us from external stressors, we are significantly more susceptible to damage from the sun’s powerful UV rays, as well as harsh and ever changing climates.
An Antioxidant Rich Armour 
The good news is, we’ve employed a few secret agents ingredients to fight back. In order to prevent such damage altogether, we need to be consistently delivering a powerhouse of goodness directly to our skin to give it the best fighting chance to protect itself. One of the most significant steps to minimise the impact of pollutants on the skin is to choose the right cleanser, and commit to being consistent with it. This is because pollution particles can settle on the skin’s surface, potentially clogging our pores. Regular cleansing, morning and evening, helps remove these particles therefore preventing them from causing irritation. Our No.1 Cleansing Oil is a powerful yet gentle oil based cleanser that works effectively to breakdown bacteria on the skins surface and then emulsify when mixed with a little water to wash away with ease, leaving behind a clean and refreshed surface. Filled with antioxidant rich ingredients like Camellia Seed Oil, Grapeseed Oil and Rosehip Fruit Extract (to name just a few!) means it’s not only a cleanser that gets rid of the bad stuff, its also giving the skin a boost of goodness all at once.
DIY Fortress: Nurturing Your Skin’s Natural Defenses
Just as we rid our skin of potential threats, we too can arm the skin from potential threats. We can do this by including a product which gives your skin the armour it needs to fight off potential irritants and inflammation. For us, we opt for our Advanced Protective Serum for its many skin barrier strengthening benefits. This dual action serum not only protects the skin from photoaging and blue light damage, but it also stimulates collagen production and helps lock in hydration. With ingredients like Micro & Macro Algae Complex, Plum Kernel Oil and Amaranth CO2 Extract, it’s no surprise this product is a haven of antioxidants and bursting with skin loving vitamins. This blend of ingredients works wonders to fight off free radicals on the skins surface, and with the ingredients rich in oleic fatty acids, the skin is left hydrated and healthy.
To hold in all this goodness, prevent transepidermal water loss, and act as a seal over the skin you can finish this off with a moisturiser. Our Daily Moisturising Face Butter ticks all the boxes, with vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids from the Mango and Shea Butter and Argan and Jojoba Oil, to provide long lasting nourishment as well as boosting collagen levels – it is the perfect product to give you that extra little boost of goodness.
Another way to protect the skin from the impact of pollution is to ensure your skin is always protected from the impact of the sun. Daily and regular application of a sunscreen (minimum SPF30 for adequate protection!) is crucial to maintain a strong skin barrier. In fact, for those with very fair skin it only takes 5-10 minutes of being in the sun without sunscreen before your skin can shows signs of damage or irritation. Continued exposure without precautions only weakens the skin barrier, making it more susceptible to damage brought on by pollution.
Whilst pollution is something our skin is up against day to day, we can never underestimate our skins resilience when it’s given the very best tools to protect itself, and when our skin is happy and healthy, it shows!
Your Bag