What is Pollution?
Pollution is the presence or introduction of any particle or substance into the environment that causes adverse effects. These substances are called contaminants or pollutants. Pollutants could be anthropogenic or natural.
Pollution has constantly been on the rise ever since the Industrial Revolution commenced in the 1760s. The main pollutants at the time were coal dust, ash and soot released from power plants. Now the list of contaminants includes almost everything you could imagine from plastics to radioactive dust to chemicals to particulate matter (PM).
How does pollution affect the human body?
We are aware of how pollution impacts our bodies since our school days. It could cause countless life-threatening diseases:
- Respiratory conditions: Asthma, Lung cancer, impairment of breath and other infections.
- Cardiovascular conditions: Premature ageing of blood vessels, plaque buildup, increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Nervous disorders: Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease.
But what you probably didn’t know is how pollution affects our skin and hair in very subtle but dangerous ways.
How does pollution affect hair?
When we step out, the pollutants such as PM, dust and smoke settle on our scalps and hair. This results in itching, and flaky skin. In some cases, it could also result in a burning sensation on the scalp. This pollution also weakens the hair strands by attacking the protein that makes up the hair and making them dry.
Smog and PM also clog the hair follicles and prevent the growth of new hair. It also causes dandruff, itching, oily scalp and hair loss. The free radicals in the air react with our hair causing discolouration and weakening the hair.
Hence it is important to shampoo regularly and look for hydrating products. Use a Damage repair shampoo for men that not only nourishes the hair but also helps in rejuvenation.
How does pollution affect the skin?
The largest organ of the body, the skin is the outermost barrier that protects us from external elements. It is the first line of defence that comes into contact with the pollutants and protects the rest of the body. But the pollutants are bound to have a negative influence on the skin. Most of these pollutants are not small enough to penetrate the skin, but they can still settle on the skin and clog the pores.
Some pollutants are capable of penetrating the skin. After penetration, these work to break down the collagen, impeding the skin barrier function. This weakens the skin and causes inflammation or breakouts in the form of acne, eczema etc.
Since the skin is weakened, it is also susceptible to the harmful effects of UV rays. This increases the chances of skin pigmentation, discolouration and in extreme cases, skin cancer.
Pollution also causes dry and oily skin. So, it is crucial to choose products that are suitable for all skin types. Look for a face wash that fulfills all your needs.
How to prevent the adverse effects of pollution?
While it is not possible to completely neutralise the adverse effects of pollution, we must take measures to minimise them:
- Cover your hair with a hat or a cloth. It will prevent the PM from settling on your hair.
- Apply a hair serum. Hair serums coat your hair with a protective layer that should mitigate the effects of pollution.
- Shampoo regularly. It washes off any pollutants that might have settled on your scalp.
- Apply sunscreen every day. It not only protects from UV rays but prevents pollutants from penetrating the skin.
- Use facewash twice a day. It washes off the particles that may have settled on your face.
- Scrub regularly. It pulls out any pollutants that may have penetrated your skin.
- Use antioxidants. Whether topical or ingestible, antioxidants prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.
Pollution is a big problem in today’s world. It can cause irreparable damage to our bodies. While not completely avoidable, we must take steps to minimise this damage. A few simple measures could help us fight against pollution. The Himalayan Yeti provides you with many such products that pamper your skin and hair
Frequently asked questions
How to protect yourself from pollution?
A: Although complete protection is not possible, the easiest way to protect your skin would be to apply sunscreen regularly and cover as much of your body as you can. Similarly, for the hair use hair serum and cover your head with a cloth or hat.
Which products should you prefer for cleansing?
A: Pollution already causes dry skin and hair. So, it is important to use hydrating products that can also provide protection against pollution.