Winter is tough on your skin, and that seasonal dryness can sometimes be exacerbated by poor indoor air quality. Indoor air pollution and your skin are closely linked, especially in the dryer, colder winter months when we spend more time indoors. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and unlike your heart or stomach, comes directly into contact with the indoor environment every moment of the day, making a clean and healthy indoor air quality an important part of good health.
Common symptoms that indoor air quality may be affecting your skin are:
- premature aging
- pigmentation, wrinkles, or spots
- rashes, hives, or acne
- eczema or psoriasis
The connection between indoor air pollution and your skin is not always immediately noticeable. It may take time for pollutants to build up enough to cause a reaction, or it may be immediate. Depending on the season, environmental factors may be affecting your skin in other ways and masking the effect that indoor air pollution is having on your skin, making it hard to tell what is causing the problem.
The ways in which that indoor air pollution and your skin interact can be different person to person. Air pollution indoors may sit on top of the skin and cause topical reactions, or it may penetrate the skin barrier, which is when problems such as acne or eczema may be more noticeable. Long term exposure to certain kinds of toxic air pollutants are known to cause skin cancer, so it’s important to be aware of pollutants and to limit your exposure.
Common causes of indoor air pollution that affect your skin are:
- Cigarette smoke
- VOCs such a cleaners and scents
- Oxides and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (two chemicals caused by burning fuel sources)
- Dust mites
Taking care of indoor air pollution and your skin can often be addressed easily:
- Improving ventilation can help flush irritants before they have a chance to settle
- Use unscented products and carefully read labels, especially before applying anything directly to your skin!
- Vacuum regularly to keep dust down and dust mites at bay
- Clean HVAC filters so they can effectively catch particles that may be affecting your indoor air quality.
As your body’s first line of defence against indoor air pollutants, maintaining a high indoor air quality can only have a positive effect on your skin. Many of the common causes of indoor air pollution affect the young and old more severely than those in better health, which makes it even more pertinent to be mindful of the air quality of your home.
The only way to be certain that indoor air pollution isn’t causing you trouble is to have it tested by a qualified professional. They can let you know what the makeup of your indoor air quality is, and if there are any pollutants, what might be causing them, and how to reduce or remove their presence in your home. If you have any questions or concerns about indoor air pollution and your skin, get in touch with us at SafeAir today for more information about indoor air quality testing.