I was watching TV the other day and as I was changing channels I bumped into Jill Michaels on the Wendy William's show talking about a study that shows how good air quality and air purifiers are good for skin. Given my interest in air purifiers I immediately went and did some deeper digging on this. I discovered a whole new side to skin care I never thought of and in case you ever wondered if air purifiers can help improve your skin here is everything I found and pretty much everything you need to know.
In summary, are air purifiers good for skin? The few studies assessing the impact of air quality on human skin all show that poor air quality causes poor skin. They show that poor air quality can result in extrinsic skin aging and eczema. As air purifiers improve air quality, they are thereby good for human skin.
A study on a group 400 women in a German village found that air pollution was significantly linked to the presence of coarse wrinkles and pigmented spots. Out of this group the women who lived in an area with increased levels of soot and traffic related pollution (TRP) were found to have 20% more pigmented spots on the forehead and cheeks than those who were not.
Other particulate pollution, besides TRP, were also correlated positively with the amount of pigmented spots on the women's faces. The findings of this study provide strong evidence that poor air quality can result in your skin aging and potentially poor skin.
Given the strong evidence of the damaging effects of air pollution on skin, in the rest of this post I share in more depth how poor air quality damages your skin and shortens your life span. After which I show you how you can keep your skin looking smooth and younger for longer using air purifiers and without having to uproot your life to the countryside. By the end of this post you should be well versed in one of the best kept skin care secret.
How Poor Air Makes You Age Faster
Air pollution is considered to be one of the largest environmental health threats. Many of us consider air pollution to be an outdoor challenge. However, air pollution can occur inside the home too. Fitness fanatic Jillian Michaels wrote in her recent book about how indoor air can sometimes be more harmful than outside air.
Air pollution is often associated with things like gas stoves, badly installed wood-burning units with poor ventilation etc. What we often overlook is pollution from our furnishings combined with the fact that between the times we spend at home and at work we spend a total of about 90% of our time indoors in constant interaction with our furnishings.
Things like carpets, cabinets and other furniture in our homes produce airborne chemicals like benzene, ethylene glycol, or formaldehyde which are very poisonous. The process by which these gases are produced is called “off-gassing.” Also, four of the top ten gasses produced by our furniture are considered “acute” hazards or irritants.
Indoor air pollution is not only a contributor or cause of diseases like lung cancer, asthma, and other infections but can also have detrimental effects on your skin especially through allergic skin reactions. What's more, it also quickens the aging process of your skin and body.
For example, Benzene, when released in large quantities can cause cell deformities. It can cause bone marrow to produce insufficient red blood cells. It also damages the immune system by affecting blood levels of antibodies causing a reduction of white blood cells.
How Air Purifiers Help You Look Younger & Live Longer
The link between the quality of air and one’s health is very clear. Polluted air will have within it chemicals that can cause lung diseases and various other cancers which can reduce your lifespan. However, there is another danger of air pollution, whether it be outside air or inside air pollution, and that is its ability to age humans faster.
As you probably know by now eating well, good genes and reduced stress levels prolong the aging process in humans. What comes as a surprise to me is that air pollution from our own homes, workplaces and other indoor places we spend the bulk of our time in also contribute significantly to how quickly we age. Before you know it one day you wake up with wrinkles on your neck's skin and around your face and you wonder how this all happened so fast.
To use a crude example, as rust attacks our cars and causes them to age much faster than the cars natural aging process so do free radicals in our DNA. Free radicals attack our cells and DNA and can accelerate the aging process. This defined as the accumulation of free radical damage. Free radicals are found in polluted air and many other sources.
Ethylene glycol is an example of a free radical that can be found in indoor air pollution generated by our furniture. By reducing the level of intake of free radicals we can dramatically retard the process of aging. The accumulation of free radical damage is not an instantaneous process but occurs over time. Which means there is enough time to mitigate how quickly this reaction deteriorating your skin and causing you to look older.
While none of us may be in the position to alter our genetic composition, which plays only about a 50% role in our aging process, we can most certainly control the other contributing 50% comprised of the food we eat and the quality of the air we breathe. Air purifiers can be an effective solution to reducing free radicals contained in particulate matter found in polluted air. Not all air purifiers can reduce particulate matter, therefore you need to be very aware of the type of air purifier you choose for the best results.
Air Purifiers That Can Help You Keep A Youthful Skin & Live Longer
1. HEPA Air Purifiers
High-Efficiency Particulate Air Purifiers (HEPA) are very effective in reducing particulate matter in the air. Developed in the 1940s HEPAs have since gained popularity and are used widely including in medical settings and can trap about 99.97% of particulate matter larger than 0.3 microns. HEPA filters filter out bacteria, chemicals, and viruses that are nor visible to the naked eye. Moreover, they do this without releasing harsh chemicals and other dangerous by-products.
HEPA filters comprise of thin pieces of fibrous materials folders into flaps. These flaps retain particles as the air moves through them pushed by the fan. To maintain the high levels of efficiency of HEPAs you will have to replace them every two to three years.
Small particles that pass through the flaps are retained through diffusion. Diffusion is one particulate matter becomes trapped by gas particles and the fibers contained in HEPAs flaps. Larger particles passing through the HEPA are retained through impaction, where they collide the fibers and stick with them. This type of air purifier is ideal and will serve you well if you are trying to avoid or reverse the negative effects of poor indoor air quality on your skin and slow down the aging process.
Other types of air purifiers are called Ionizers, also known as negative ion air purifiers. These rely on chemical injection to purify the air. Ions are particles that occur naturally and can either be positively or negatively charged. Evidence of the presence of ions in our homes is evident in the shock you get when you walk around the leaving room or bedroom carpet with socks.
The shock you get is the evidence of ions being present at the time. Negatively charged ions can attract pollen and dust. Once the ion gets bombarded with the particulate matter it either sticks to the ground or wall. This is because ionizers do not have the ability to absorb or eliminate harmful particles.
Ionizers have the tendency to, therefore to mask particulate matter instead of getting rid of them completely. They transport the particles from the air to solid objects like the walls or ground leaving you exposed to them. With time these particles can become loose and re-enter the air. So for anti-aging purposes its best you avoid ionizer air purifiers.
3. Electrostatic Filter Air Purifiers
Another type of air purifier with similar properties to a HEPA air purifier is an Electrostatic filter air purifier. Electrostatic filter air purifiers do not have the traditional air filters like HEPA air purifiers do and instead have filters that use an electric charge to attract and trap particles as they move through the air and in through the device.
The particles gain a new charge and are attracted into the air purifier and stick to filter compartment within the purifier allowing only purified air to escape the filter. They capture 99% of particles over 0.1 microns. An example of this type of air purifier is the WYND air purifier and is a great option for purifying your air in small spaces and when you are on the go.
Electrostatic air purifiers, however, require frequent maintenance to operate effectively. Once your filter is saturated you have to replace it for your device to work effectively again.
Regardless, electrostatic air purifiers like the WYND purifier are among the most diverse air purifiers and can remove everything from pet dander to smog and pollen contained in the air and the very chemicals resulting in free radicals that damage your skin and cause you to age faster.
There are other variations of air purifiers available in the market like ozone air purifiers and UV air purifiers and I would not recommend the use of these types of air purifiers as they have other side effects. To supplement your anti-aging routine rather stick to the HEPA and Electrostatic air purifiers. Another type of air purifier you can also try is a Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) air purifier. To see what are the best options of air purifiers you have in more detail click here.
Air purifiers not only have the ability to provide clean air but by removing pollutants from the air they lengthen our lives by reducing the risk of allergies, certain cancer, and lung disease while they simultaneously help retard the aging process of our bodies and skin. By investing in a good quality air purifier you are investing in a simple cost-effective proactive process to ensuring a longer and healthier life while preserving and prolonging your skin and youthfulness.
We all can achieve the benefits of the countryside’s clean air without having to abandon our city life and can achieve it all in the comfort of our homes and workplace simply by investing in a high-quality air purifier. That said, remember that air purifiers are just a supplement to your anti-aging routine. They will not on their own slow down your aging and you have to use them in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.