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Air Pollution 101: Everything You Need to Protect Your Skin from the Smog

Air pollution isn’t just threating the environment – research shows that it’s taking a serious toll on your wellbeing and ageing your skin faster. We are all aware of the three big S’s of skin ageing – Smoke, Sun and Stress, but new discoveries show that there is another menace that is just as bad for our  skin health – Pollution.

air pollution, London smog, PM2.5, skincare,

How air pollution affects your overall health

According to the latest London Authority Report, the capital’s population is breathing 50% more PM2.5 than the safe levels recommended by the World’s Health Organisation. Pm2.5 stands for particle matter less than 2.5 micrometres in size which means they penetrate deep into the human body and cause long-term damage. WHO attributes 3.3 million deaths per year to PM2.5 pollution and links them to a wide range of cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

What it does to your skin

Prolonged pollution exposure can damage your skin in a myriad of ways, ranging from chronic inflammation to dehydration and loss of elasticity. A  study published by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology links microscopic air contaminants to increased  skin sensitivity and premature signs of ageing, especially pigmentation issues. What is more, smog strips away vital nutrients for your skin such as vitamin E, peptides and lipids. According to the American Association of Dermatologists, people living in areas with high level of air pollution have an increased risk of suffering from acne, atopic dermatitis and rashes.

What can you do to stop it from ruining your complexion

As with most skin problems, prevention is better than cure, and luckily there are products that can help you alleviate the adverse effects If don’t want to end up wearing the consequences of city life on your face in 10 years time, get serious about your skincare routine. Here are a few simple steps that can help you tackle the environmental assault on your skin:

Clean it off:

Exfoliating-Cleanser, air pollution, skincare, london smog

A deep cleanse is imperative for city dwellers as pollution can build up on top of makeup, excess oils and nay other chemicals you come in touch throughout the day and trigger breakouts. ZO Exfoliating Cleanser is formulated with magnesium microbeads that gently exfoliate dead skin cells and trap bacteria, while the blend of salicylic acid and vitamin E neutralises free radical damage and stimulates collagen production.

 Build up antioxidants in your routine:

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Air pollutants and free radical can severely disrupt the healthy functioning of your barrier, making it susceptible to dehydration and irritation. Antioxidants, along with peptides and vitamins, help strengthen your skin and neutralise the primary triggers of skin ageing.  Daily Power Defense with an exclusive blend of antioxidants and DNA repair enzymes that penetrates the deeper layers of your skin, stimulating cell turnover and restoring its natural moisture balance.

 

 

 

 

 

UV Radiation and DNA Damage: The Science of Healthy Skin

We all know that unprotected sun exposure is never a good thing for your skin. But do you know exactly how deep UV damage runs in the skin and what long-term implications it can have on the health and appearance of your complexion. We sit down with ZO expert clinician and founder of Clinic 1.6, Dr Raul Cetto to explore the science behind UV radiation and its effects on the skin.

DNA, skin DNA, uv radiation, DNA damage, skincare healthy skin

•  How exactly does UV radiation affect our skin?

Dr Cetto: Regular exposure to UV radiation essentially causes chronic inflammation of the skin. Inflammation weakens the skins immunity and impedes cell function – in particular it reduces Langerhan cell count. The  Langerhan cells belong to the skin immune system and help to remove pathogens and repair mutated cells. Regular exposure to UV rays mutates our DNA and because our defence is hampered, the skin is unable to repair these mutated cells. The results of this can include discolouration, sensitivity, accelerated skin ageing and, potentially, skin cancer. All of these problems result from DNA mutations which disturb the cells’ normal functionality.

• So, we can attribute all of our skin woes to sun damage?

Dr CettoDNA mutations caused by UV radiation can cause many types of cells to function abnormally or develop in a mutated form. Discolouration can occur due to abnormally functioning melanocytes, or due to the present of their mutated forms. Dryness and roughness can be caused by dysfunctional keratinocytes making abnormally hard keratin and allowing increased water loss. Sensitivity is caused by barrier function disruption and reduced cell turnover. Redness can occur due to due to injured blood vessels and a leathery texture can develop due to dysfunctional collagen and elastin, which also causes deep folds and wrinkles in later years. Most importantly, mutation of the DNA of the cells in the skin is how skin cancers develop.

• Can the damage be repaired?

Dr Cetto: Once damaged by UV radiation, the DNA in skin cells  will affect normal skin function negatively. This damage can be limited by increasing your tolerance to UV radiation with ZO’s sun protection, formulated with melanin which enhances skin’s ability  to renew itself and the proper use of sunscreen. The new technologies found in the ZO range, for example in Daily Power Defense, can help repair damaged DNA and restore normal cellular function.

How can you incorporate DNA repair in your daily skincare routine?

Pile on the Antioxidants

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The skin’s repair capacity and barrier function can be reinforced by using product rich in antioxidants, DNA repair enzymes, fractionated lipids, and anti-inflammatories. Agents that repair elastin, collagen and keratin should also be used to improve regeneration.  Our award-winning skin restorer Daily Power Defense stimulates collagen production and uses a blend of powerful enzymes that encourages cellular activity to aid DNA repair and offset damage caused by pollutants.

Get Serious About SPF

All sunscreens, regardless of the labelled SPF, can protect your skin for a maximum of 90 minutes. After that, they wipe away, disintegrate or get removed through perspiration. Therefore, you should be strict about reapplying your SPF every two hours and avoid exposure all together when the sun is at its most intense.

Daily-Sheer-spf50, sun protection, DNA damage

Water and perspiration resistant, Daily Sheer SPF 50 delivers powerful protection during outdoor activities. Formulated with skin hydrators and natural nourishing ingredients, Daily Sheer does not only guard your complexion from the harmful UVB/UVA rays but also prevents dryness and supports the natural moisture balance of the skin.

 

 

Is Your Smartphone Damaging Your Skin?

There is constant discussion on whether smartphones are detrimental to your emotional and mental health but smartphones could also be harmful to your skin health. Other than the spread of bacteria when you place your phone on your skin, new studies suggest that the HEV light emitted from your phone could cause premature ageing.

HEV light damage

What is HEV Light?

HEV light is short for high energy visible light. It appears blue in colour and is very close to UV light on the electromagnetic spectrum. You are exposed to it from the sun’s rays and from everyday technological gadgets. Mobile phones, computer screens and laptops all produce HEV light.

How Does it Damage the Skin?

It is still not known what exact effect this light has on the skin. However, in susceptible individuals, prolonged chronic exposure to HEV and UV light can lead to non-specific discolouration.  The electromagnetic spectrum can affect the intracellular minerals and their movement out and into the cells. This may lead to cellular dysfunctions.

Dr Obagi explains, “with chronic and long exposure the light from cell phones can cause damage to the texture of the skin. In my experience, I have been able to tell which hand a patient holds their phone in, as the skin takes on a dull, almost dirty texture, which has not been induced by the sun.”

HEV light damage

Ways to Combat HEV Light Damage

Dr Obagi insists that a DNA repairing agent and an antioxidant are necessary to encourage skin’s defence mechanisms against HEV light damage.

“I recommend ZO Skin Health Ossential Daily Power Defense as it uses DNA repair enzymes to enhance your skin’s recovery capabilities, regulate cellular functions and increases skin tolerance and immunity to UV radiation. Skin needs to be encouraged to defend itself. The special enzymes attach directly to your own DNA molecules and repair oxidative damage. It contains time-released retinol, enzymes and antioxidants to repair damaged cells and protect against future damage.

A new breakthrough: Liposhield HEV Melanin

Melanin occurs naturally in the human body. Melanocytes release it into the skin as the first line of defence against exposure to harmful light waves.  Liposhield HEV Melanin is a novel, patent pending ingredient. It is the first cosmetic ingredient designed to protect the skin from damaging high energy visible light.

Liposhield HEV Melanin is a fractionated melanin designed to be used topically as an additional defence. It shields the skin from high energy blue/violet visible light (HEV) that may induce premature ageing. Red visible light is deemed to have beneficial effects, and Liposhield HEV Melanin is tailored so that red light can be transmitted to the skin.HEV light damage

Dr Zein Obagi elaborates; “we have been able to successfully incorporate this breakthrough ingredient into a novel formulation while maintaining its efficacy. ZO Skin Health Oclipse® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF50 is a highly advanced broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen designed to blend into almost any skin tone. Patented, customisable colour beads utilising a comprehensive UVA/UVB photostable sun protection system helps provide daily protection from damaging ultra violet rays, while fractionated melanin helps shield against HEV light damage. The addition of Vitamin C helps to achieve an even-toned complexion by inhibiting pigment formation, and we have enriched the formulation with skin conditioners to improve skin texture.”

The ZO Skin Health Oclipse® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF50 also helps prevent future oxidative stress with DNA repair and protection. It also minimises the irritants that can cause skin redness. It has an exclusive 12-hour time release antioxidant system to help guard against photo-damage. What’s more, the sunscreen restores hydration with skin conditioners that aid in strengthening the skin barrier.

Dr Obagi believes “that this novel ingredient represents the future of sun protection.”

Always at the cutting edge of science and innovation, Oclipse® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF50 first launched 5 years ago with this patented and unique ingredient and in 2017 has introduced a new sunscreen the Oclipse® Daily Sheer SPF 50. This is the next step in sun protection shielding skin from HEV light damage, providing broad-spectrum UV protection but also formulated to be recreational-friendly. A non-greasy, perspiration and water-resistant sunscreen that blends seamlessly into the skin as a sheer matte finish. Swim and sweat this summer without worrying about your sunscreen washing away!