If your goal is to have healthy skin and a young looking face, there's more you need to do than simply buy the latest cleansers and creams from the beauty parlor. You also need to protect your face from the environmental toxins that can damage your skin. You might think that toxins simply means chemicals, like cleaners and poisons, or that you'll be safe from environmental effects inside your home, but you'd be wrong. Here are some common environmental toxins and how to avoid them.

UV Rays

Sunlight in moderation is good for skin because it helps your body produce Vitamin D. However, excessive exposure to sunlight from puttering around outside in the sun, or artificial sources (such as from tanning beds) can seriously harm your skin. In the short term UV rays can cause discoloration, pain, and blisters, and in the long run can result in accelerated aging, wrinkles, roughness and blotches, and even skin cancer. Prevention is as simple as wearing a hat and some sunscreen.


Working in warm dry environments for any length of time such as outside or even in front of the oven in your home can dry out your skin and cause it harm. Dehydrated skin lacks elasticity and looks prematurely aged in addition to being itchy and flaky looking. To keep your skin from getting dehydrated, drink plenty of water to nourish your skin cells from the inside and make sure to moisturize every day to help your skin stay moist from the outside.

Smoke and Smog

Smoke, such as from fires or cigarettes, and smog from industrial activities contain aerosolized chemicals such as tar, PCPs, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds that you don't want anywhere near your face. Exposure to these substances restricts blood flow, impedes collagen production, and saps Vitamin C which leads to an unhealthy pallor and wrinkles. To avoid this damage, choose a home with an air filtration system to keep out smog, and don't smoke.

Products and Additives

Some products that are designed to help keep skin healthy can actually harm your face if you have a different skin type or if you use them excessively. Makeup, for instance, can clog your pores and make you break out while too much washing will leave your skin raw and dehydrated. To avoid this, choose products designed for your skin and use in moderation.

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