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13 Nutrients That’ll Protect Your Skin From Environmental Toxins
It’s no secret. Environmental toxins affect our health. Two of the most prominent problems are pollution and radiation, which have a major affect our bodies and life expectancy.
According to The Lancet medical journal, pollution is the most significant environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world. The report claims that pollution is responsible for approximately nine million early deaths. What’s worse is that the effects of radiation follow closely behind it.
We are exposed to both natural and manmade sources of radiation on a daily basis. While the type of radiation and the amount that’s absorbed determine the impact it has on our body, the effects are still harmful. Radiation — regardless of the category or amount — leads to tissue and organ damage.
But the consequences don’t stop there. New research continues to prove that pollution and radiation also have unpleasant effects on our skin.
How Do Radiation and Pollution Affect the Skin?
According to Doris Day, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center, “Pollution can cause uneven skin tone, accelerated aging, and even skin cancer.” A study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology also found that women exposed to increased pollution experienced more dark spots and wrinkling.
We often make the mistake of thinking the sun is the only element we need to protect our skin from, but today, that’s not the case. In 2018, about 27 million tons of pollution was emitted into the air throughout the United States. When that pollution makes contact with our skin, it penetrates the epidermis, causing inflammation, dehydration, and loss of elasticity. Pollution also breaks down collagen and the lipid layer in our skin.
However, pollution is not the only environmental toxin that impacts our skin. Radiation also affects the atoms in our living cells and damages their genetic material. Luckily, our cells are very efficient at repairing the damage. But if our bodies don’t repair the damage correctly, the cells may die or even become cancerous.
13 Nutrients That Protect The Skin From Environmental Pollutants and Radiation
Avoiding pollution and radiation entirely is merely impossible. So what can we do to protect our skin? Certain nutrients in natural, skincare products can give us the best care and protection to reduce the amount of damage caused.
1. Grapeseed oil
Grapeseed oil contains high levels of linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid that can help manage acne by controlling clogged pores. It also protects the skin barrier to support smooth, soft skin. What’s better is that grapeseed oil is also anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, making it an excellent choice for sensitive skin.
2. Acetylated glucuronic acid
Acetylated glucuronic acid increases elastin synthesis to smooth out wrinkles and moisturize the skin. This nutrient also increases skin suppleness and resistance against environmental toxins like pollution and radiation.
3. Plankton extract
Plankton extract is deeply moisturizing and soothing. It provides anti-aging and anti-wrinkle benefits for our skin, and it supplies the skin (and hair!) with natural minerals and vitamins. Plankton extract is also great for sensitive and irritated skin.
4. Pomegranate oil
Pomegranate oil helps protect our skin against UV damage. It is a potent anti-inflammatory and facilitates cell regeneration, which helps us combat the effects of radiation. Pomegranate oil is also moisturizing and nourishing.
5. Green caviar
Green caviar is a type of green algae that we can eat. It is often called “longevity seaweed” because it has a high concentration of minerals. These algae contain vitamin C, vitamin E, and polysaccharides. Green caviar also reduces inflammation and helps protect our skin against oxidation and lipid peroxidation.
6. Combination of flax and celery seed extracts
These seed extracts bring firmness, tone, and density to the skin. These benefits reinforce the structure that holds our pore tight so that our skin doesn’t sag as we age. Flax and celery seed extracts also refine our skin texture, promote a satin finish, and protect us against inflammation.
7. Horehound stem cells
This nutrient protects our skin cells from the penetration of pollutants. Horehound stem cells remove and neutralize toxic oxidants that damage proteins and lipid structures and detoxify the cells from waste that is generated by pollution.
Horehound stem cells also strengthen the skin barrier and stimulate natural antioxidants in the skin. In addition, this powerhouse nutrient repairs cell metabolism by reducing inflammation.
8. Edelweiss stem cell
Edelweiss stem cell protects against oxidative stress like air pollution and UV radiation. They include a high concentration of phenolic acid and flavonoids that prevent UV induced damage.
9. Frankincense essential oil
Frequently called the “king of oils,” frankincense helps reduce the appearance of skin imperfections like dry skin, wrinkles, and age spots. This nutrient also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
10. Rose essential oil
Rose essential oil is anti-inflammatory and a potent antioxidant. As a result of its antioxidant properties, this nutrient can protect our skin from free radicals, which cause cell damage.
11. Petitgrain essential oil
Petitgrain essential oil reduces the appearance of imperfections on the skin. It also helps promote elasticity, which is affected when our skin comes into contact with pollution.
12. Jasmine essential oil
Jasmine is helpful for dry, aging skin. In low concentrations, it’s used to treat eczema and dermatitis. However, jasmine is also great for those of us who want to fade scars on our skin.
13. Lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil is a versatile, multi-purpose nutrient. It has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. Lavender essential oil is also known for its antispasmodic, analgesic, and detoxifying effects. But one of its main advantages is its ability to soothe minor skin irritations.
Unfortunately, we live in a world full of environmental toxins. Short of confining ourselves to a protective bubble, there is nothing we can do to avoid coming in contact with pollutants and radiation. However, luckily, nature has provided us with useful tools to lessen the negative impact these toxins have on our skin.