City Trend

Humidifying Mask

City Trend. Healthy Living Magazine

City Trend. Healthy Living Magazine

According to Professor Wei Liu, a dermatologist at the China Air Force general hospital in Beijing, exposures to some 224 chemicals, found in grimy sooty city air, damage the proteins keratin and collagen that make up the skin, causing dryness, wrinkling and signs of premature aging. The pollution particles in the study (funded by Procter & Gamble) were as tiny as 0.1 of a micrometer, tinier than grains of sand, and absorbed into the skin.

pollution anxiety

Another study in March in BMJ on mental health and air pollution in the US finds small, inspired particles cause anxiety. “It’s a really interesting finding and definitely suggests that air pollution may be related to mental health,” said lead author Melinda C. Power of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Women exposed to the littlest pollution particles before their test were about 12% more likely to have high anxiety symptoms compared to those with least exposures.

City Trend. Healthy Living Magazine

City Trend. Healthy Living Magazine

The particulates in China and the US come from combustion sources such as cars, fuel burning and power plants. The link could be that particles cause inflammation, which increases anxiety, said Power.

urban aging 10% faster

Professor Liu’s take from looking at the toxic exposures of the 200 participants, aged 30-45, was that women who spend time in the country have more youthful skin than their city-dwelling sisters. One certainly could, for the sake of her skin, move to the country—that is an option—and we know what the country air feels like in contrast to, say, New York or Los Angeles. Yet that might not work well for other reasons such as jobs, family—and boredom.

Besides raising a pitch fork in praise of green acres, a simpler, more cost-effective option might be a face mask, made not only for pollution and infection prevention, but for reducing moisture loss—another aging and health factor.

facial wear fashion

City Trend. Healthy Living Magazine

City Trend. Healthy Living Magazine

Although the facial protection seen in the past had all the appeal of a surgical mask, there are companies like Ellessco that offer well designed fabrics that are weightless and highly breathable; have no seams, latex, elastic straps or buckles; and are reusable and washable with replaceable filters. According to the company’s independent testing the MyAir filter media and membrane stops 99.99% of airborne pathogens; allergens, pollen and airborne contaminants as small as 0.1 microns; and moisture loss by 88%. Country living or wearing a mask—it does seem like we are entering a whole new era of facial wear.

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