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Research has shown that many environmental factors can play into your overall health, including the health of your skin. Some of these factors can be lurking in your home without you even realizing it, while others are in the products you use daily.
Understanding some of the most common skin irritants can help you to determine if those “ingredients” are a part of your life. If they are, it could be time to take action and make a few changes for the health of your skin.
The problem is that far too many people don’t fully understand how environmental factors can impact their skin, especially if you have an existing condition like atopic dermatitis, eczema, or even just dry skin. Some of the most common skin problems, including psoriasis and acne, can be made better or worse by the environment you’re in and the things you use.
So, what are some of the most common environmental factors you might be experiencing daily, and if you have a skin condition, what can you do to protect yourself?
The Dangers Lurking in Your Home
The best place to start when it comes to environmental factors is in your own home. If you live in an older home, for example, you could be exposing yourself to harmful air conditions or exposure to harsh ingredients daily, including:
- Lead paint
- Artificial heat/air
- Air quality (the air in your home can be five times more polluted than outside)
Everything from poor insulation to leaks in your home could cause the air quality to be compromised, or for external environmental factors to get inside. One way to determine if your home is affecting your skin is to hire a home inspector. They will look at everything from your HVAC system to your walls, ceilings, floors, and attic. A quality home inspector will be able to tell you about any potential hazards lurking in the air, the paint, or even in the walls of your home that could be contributing to your skin condition.
Once you have more information about the role your home plays in your condition, you can take active steps to change things or update them as needed.
Keeping Your Skin Safe While You Clean
Cleaning your home shouldn’t cause your skin condition to worsen. Unfortunately, some of the most common household cleaners contain chemicals that can irritate your skin. Some ingredients can even be dangerous and harmful.
While keeping a clean house is a great way to improve the air quality and indoor pollution, it’s essential to make sure you’re using products that won’t cause a flare-up of an existing skin condition. To avoid using such products, you’ll need to become a label reader. When it comes to purchasing cleaning products, be aware of certain ingredients you should avoid, including:
- Sulfuric acid
- Sodium Hydroxide
Not only can these ingredients irritate your skin, but some may lead to even bigger problems, like respiratory issues. Instead, look for products that focus on natural ingredients. Or, control the ingredients yourself by making your own household cleaners. You might already have a good idea of certain chemicals that irritate your skin. So, when you know what’s going into your cleaners, you can make sure none of those ingredients are included.
Homemade cleaners often contain things like:
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
- Rubbing alcohol
There are hundreds of “recipes” out there for homemade cleaners that will work on different surfaces and for different purposes. You can feel good about creating your own when it comes to your health, your skin, and even the state of the planet since most homemade cleaners are more eco-friendly.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Skin?
To protect your skin and keep it healthy, there are things you should be including in your wellness routine each day. The most important thing is to avoid as many harmful environmental factors as possible.
But, whether you’re inside your home, at work, or just taking a walk around your neighborhood, it’s impossible to avoid those factors, completely. Begin with small changes. They can make a big difference in how the world around you impacts your skin. Some routine things you can do each day include:
- Wearing sunscreen (yes, even in the winter!)
- Wearing protective clothing
- Staying in the shade
- Using natural beauty products
- Gently washing your face regularly
Having a skin condition is nothing to take lightly. Some people might experience symptoms more than others. But, if certain elements and environmental factors cause your condition to get worse, knowing what those are and how to keep your skin healthy in all situations can keep your condition under control.
Keep yourself educated on some of the common environmental factors that can impact your skin, and do what you can to stay protected every day.