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Indoor Air: How it Affects Your Skin

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

When we consider all of the things that bother our skin, we generally think of the ones that we experience outdoors: smog, sun, wind, humidity, pollen. Too often we consider ourselves safe indoors without really examining the environments we find ourselves in. Recirculated air, chemicals, dust, and dirt are all common causes of skin irritation inside of buildings. When you're looking to improve your skin, look first to your indoor air quality.

Part of the reason indoor air can be harder on skin is the presence of volatile organic compounds, which ooze from innumerable sources, like paint and cleaners. These, along with persistent organic pollutants (like flame retardants and pesticides) can disrupt the skin's acid mantle and make it more prone to irritations and reactions. A dirty air filter can also spread these things around your home, along with dust and microscopic debris. The same goes for your car--make sure you change your air filter regularly, and keep it in good shape so that you're not leaking bad liquids into your heating and cooling system.

A study published in Nature looked at the effects of PM 2.5--fine particulate matter, or tiny particles that are responsible for the "hazy" appearance in outdoor air. This fine particulate matter is actually composed of microscopic droplets--thirty times smaller than a human hair in width. To give you an idea of their size, several thousand of them can fit in the period at the end of this sentence.

The study concluded that PM 2.5 is directly associated with wrinkles and fine lines, and referenced a similar study where the particulate matter of traffic was shown to increase age spots and wrinkles. Few studies have examined the effects of indoor air on skin, but those that have come to similar conclusions.

The second step in ensuring healthy skin that can resist both indoor and outdoor pollution is to moisturize and strengthen. When your skin has a good protective barrier, like the kind provided by our BRILLIANT DAILY BODY SERUM Antiox Multi-Task Elixir, your skin can resist damage a lot more thoroughly than if it is stripped of its lipid layer and exposed. Not all ingredients provide this lipid layer in a way that helps your skin, however. Rice bran oil, one of our beloved ingredients, is an excellent replacement for the skin's natural lipids and helps the skin retain moisture.

Interested in learning more? Check out our previous blog posts for more ingredient information and other tips.

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