Other than causing respiratory problems, the smoke from wildfires can really irritate the skin. That’s because wildfire smoke contains particulate matter, a type of air pollution that’s small enough to sneak into your pores and cause free radical damage, which can lead to dull skin with an uneven tone. If you’ve been exposed to wildfire smoke, here are a few ways to protect and calm your skin.
Always cleanse your face at night: Bacteria, sweat, and daily grime can build up on your skin and clog your pores. Soot and smoke only make this worse, which is why you should always cleanse your face before you crawl into bed.
Introduce antioxidants to your routine: Antioxidants are said to stabilize the free radicals that lead to oxidative stress. To boost your skin, incorporate antioxidants like vitamin C and niacinamide into your routine to support collagen levels, limit pigmentation, and reduce inflammation.
Always wear sunscreen: UV radiation triggers cell damage, which causes skin aging. Best to protect yourself with sunscreen, even if the sky is hazy.
Cover up your skin, if you can: Worried about the lingering soot, it’s a good idea to wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when you venture outside. As for your face, you should be wearing a mask anyway, so it can help protect your skin as well.
Strengthen the skin barrier: As we’ve already said, smoke exposure can harm sensitive skin. Fortifying your skin barrier, however, can help you avoid damaged skin. The best way to boost your skin barrier function is through ingredients like ceramides, squalane, colloidal oat, and manuka honey, which can quell inflammation and feed your skin with healthy lipids. It could also be a good idea to invest in some microbiome-supporting skincare, or slather on fermented superstars like, say, yogurt.