This summer has been rough for the northwest. Multiple wildfires have caused millions of dollars in damages, scorched hundreds of thousands of acres, and have displaced thousands of families. Not to mention the smoke that has been spewing into the atmosphere. Some days we reached what is described as “unhealthy” air quality, the point at which people were advised to stay inside and use air conditioning filters to clear their air. If going outside at this time just made your skin feel gross, it was probably more than just a feeling–it could have made a significant impact on your skin health.

Not-so Crystal Clear

Attempts have been made before to tie skin conditions such as cystic acne to air pollution. Unfortunately the correlation is not as clear as one would think. We know that air pollution from vehicles creates nano-particles that easily penetrate the skin and damage skin cells which in turn leads to inflammation and premature skin aging. The primary culprits are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and the heavy metals released in car exhaust. Air quality indices reported in Spokane were related to PM2.5, the presence of particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, the very particles that can easily penetrate your skin. Wildfire smoke also contains a lot of PAHs, but it’s thankfully free of the high level of metals that are released in car exhaust. This means it has the potential to be damaging to your skin, leading to breakouts and accelerated aging, but it’s still (thankfully) not as bad as living in LA.

Taking Out the Toxins

We do know of one sure way to remove toxins from the skin and toxin that is damaged from the toxins: facials. These will remove the damaged layers of skin and also supply antioxidants to help counter some of the effects of airborne toxins. We have a full menu of facials to choose from so you can get the right one for you. A deep cleanse facial is likely the best option for skin that has been damaged from environmental pollutants, but during your consultation our licensed esthetician can help you find the right facial to respond to your skin’s needs so your skin won’t turn a few bad days into a season of “ugh.” If you are feeling the effects of the summer’s wildfires on your skin please do not hesitate to contact us online or by phone at 509-581-4188 in Spokane or 509-927-2273 in Spokane Valley.