what are the effects of pollution and sun on the skin?

Living in a city like Bangkok -- or any other Asian metropolis blessed with tropical weather -- comes with lots of benefits. There are countless things to do, tantalizing food options at all hours of the day, sun-kissed beaches and lush nature often only a short flight or car ride away. But, as with anything, there are also drawbacks. Two big ones? Pollution, and the relentless heat of the sun (which is good on so many other levels, of course). 

Studies have shown that those who live in cities age faster than their suburban counterparts, and that pollutants like soot, dust, smoke or even smaller specs can trigger or worsen skin problems. 

Pollution particles can penetrate through the skin’s layers and cause so-called oxidative stress, which can weaken the skin’s barrier, damage collagen and lead to inflammation. If your exposure to these particles is high and your skin isn’t protected this can result in skin pigmentation problems, an uneven skin tone and dullness, as well as the formation of wrinkles – all signs of premature skin aging. People with sensitive skin types, as well as those suffering from inflammatory skin diseases like eczema, are even more susceptible to the effects of air pollution, as they have a compromised skin barrier to start with -- meaning it’s essential they protect their skin the right way. 

Excessive sun exposure -- an almost unavoidable factor when you’re in a place that’s sunny for most of the year -- is also a big no-no for skin health. The sun can in fact dry out the skin and deplete its levels of essential fatty acids, leaving your face (or body) looking and feeling dry, flaky and wrinkled over time. Sun damage can also slow down the rate of skin cell renewal, causing a build-up of old, dead skin cells that result in dull, congested skin, as well as pigmentation marks or brown spots.

Healthier lifestyle choices such as cleansing routines or committing to high water consumption are important steps to lessen the damage. But to really combat nasty UV light cons and pollution particles, what your skin really needs is a second line of defense to strengthen your natural skin barrier. 

Here's where protective products like Moringa oil come in. The serum contains active ingredients like Vitamin C and E that help to neutralize pollution and environmental stressors and keep the damaging effects of free radicals at bay. What’s more, it’s infused with minerals that help shield against environmental damage, and features an anti-pollution formula that fortifies the skin's natural defense against oxidative stress, keeping pollution particles from adhering to the skin and hair and then entering the cells. Oh, and did we mention it’s highly cleansing and purifying? 

Essentially, it’s the perfect pollution-proof remedy for your skin. Use it before bedtime to detoxify your skin overnight and get rid of toxins accumulated during the day; or dab it over your face and body in the morning, to prepare the skin for the day ahead, thanks to its antioxidant, defense-boosting properties.