4 Ways Poor Indoor Air Quality is Damaging Your Good Looks

Air quality might go unseen in the environment around you, but that doesn't mean it can't have visible negative effects.

If you're not careful, the very air that's filling your lungs could also destroy your skin.

Maintaining your looks might be as simple as having the right filters in your HVAC system and keeping the wrong products out of your home.

Find out how the air is impacting your appearance, so you can start protecting your skin.

Irritating Your Eyes and Nose

Common indoor air pollutants are often allergy or asthma triggers. Airborne hazards such as pollen, dust, and dander can all cause flare-ups that result in red, watery eyes and an inflamed, runny nose.

Neither problem is attractive, but you might be able to eliminate them with a higher-quality air filter for your HVAC system.

If this isn't sufficient for the pollution levels in your home, a whole-home air purifier is another smart option.

Aging Your Skin

When airborne free radicals come into contact with the skin, they can interfere with collagen production. This causes fine lines and wrinkles that can make your skin look much older than it is. A lack of collagen also leads to reduced elasticity and a rough texture.

Free radicals are found in tobacco smoke, pesticides, and even your home's chimney. You can avoid many free radicals by staying away from urban environments and remaining inside on hot days when the free radicals in ground-level ozone are at their highest levels.

Have smokers go outside, and consider nixing your chimney fires in favor of a more efficient and air-friendly form of heating.

Drying Your Skin

Ozone, which is often found in big cities, leaches vitamin E from the skin. You need this vitamin for soft, supple, well-hydrated skin. Without it, you're left with dryness that can include flaking and visible irritation.

You can repair some of this damage by nourishing your skin with vitamin-E-containing products. Particularly beneficial are products that contain both vitamins E and C, as these can offer natural sun protection.

Causing Unsightly Rashes

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are associated with uncomfortable symptoms including throat irritation, sinus congestion, and skin rashes.

If you're looking for a way to keep your skin looking clear and heathy, avoiding VOCs is a good place to start. VOCs include formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, xylene, and other airborne chemicals. 

Unfortunately, VOCs are present in an alarming number of everyday items, including some household cleaning products, adhesives, paint, wood preservatives, dry-cleaned clothing, and aerosol sprays.

You can minimize exposure by watching for VOCs and avoiding them in the products you buy. You can also improve air quality and remove some VOCs from the air with an activated carbon air purifier. Houseplants such as rubber figs and areca palms can do the job, too.

Understanding the potential hazards in the air will help you take smart steps to avoid them. With a few small changes to your environment, you can preserve your looks beautifully.

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