The excess amount of pollution not only threatens our health, but also our skin, causing premature ageing, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, dark patches and spots.
Chemical pollutants in air disrupt the normal balances of the skin and scalp, leading to problems like dryness, sensitivity, rashes, acne, irritative or allergic reactions, dandruff and related conditions. They also make the skin and hair dull, lacking vitality.
Beauty expert Shahnaz Husain, bringing in a ray of positivity to the whole scenario, said that some home remedies and keeping some plants at home can actually help you to get back your glow and also purify the air around.
Skin is the first to bear the brunt of air pollutants, which not only attack the skin surface, but also lead to an accumulation of toxins. There are both long and short term effects of pollutants. Firecrackers also add to the chemicals in the air, which are potent skin irritants.
Skin cleaning is quite important to get rid of the impurities and pollutants that are deposited on the skin. If you have a dry skin, use a cleansing cream or gel; for oily skin, cleansing milk or face wash may be used.
Shahnaz Husain further asked to look out for products with ingredients like Sandalwood, Eucalyptus, Mint, Neem, Tulsi and Aloe Vera when buying cosmetic products. The anti-toxic and tonic properties of such ingredients help in clearing skin congestion and eruptions that result from exposure to chemical pollutants.
Aloe vera, for example, is a powerful moisturizer, relieving dryness and making the skin healthy and soft. So are ingredients like apricot kernel oil, carrot seed, wheatgerm oil, etc.
Anti-pollution cosmetics help to provide protection and reduce the damage caused by pollutants. These are basically ‘cover creams’ that form a barrier between the skin and pollutants.
Sandalwood protective cream is very useful for this purpose as it forms a transparent protective cover. It even soothes the skin and protects it from irritative reactions and eruptive conditions. It suits all skin types and increases the skin’s moisture retention ability too.
Not just your skin, but the pollutants collect on your scalp as well.
For this, try the following remedy. Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and aloe vera gel with one egg. Massage the mixture lightly into the scalp. Leave on for half an hour and then wash the hair. Rinse well with water or give hair hot oil therapy. Heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap three to four times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Leave oil on overnight and wash hair the next day.
The impurities and pollutants can also affect the eyes, causing burning or redness. The eyes should be washed with plain water several times. Soak cotton wool pads in chilled rose water or green tea and use them over the eyes as eye pads. Lie down and relax for fifteen minutes. This really helps to remove fatigue and brightens the eyes.
Pollutants in the air are making our cities increasingly hostile to our good health and well-being.
Respiratory and lung problems have become real health hazards. Indoor air pollution has also been causing headaches, burning eyes, nausea.
In fact, the primary concern of governments and scientific research agencies is the reduction of pollution to safer levels. NASA has also recommended keeping specific house plants to purify the air and remove toxins, making the air safe for us and specially our children. Research has shown that many of such plants actually absorb harmful gases and clean the air inside our homes.
Plants not only give off oxygen, which purifies the air, but also cleans the air of dust, paint and building materials.
One of the plants, mentioned by NASA, is Aloe Vera, which is actually easily available in many homes. It is also an antioxidant and prevents oxidation damage. It is said to release considerable quantities of oxygen, while it absorbs carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, as well as formaldehyde; this making the air much cleaner and purer.
Another plant, which is said to be very handy and easy to maintain is Ficus. It also helps to purify the air. The Spider Plant is also recommended by NASA, as it absorbs toxins from the air.
The other plants that purify the air and remove toxins, as identified by NASA, are the Areca Palm, English Ivy, Boston Fern and Peace Lily, which are easily available in India. These remove a variety of toxins from the air. Some are said to clean the air within a few hours of keeping them in a room.