Is your skin suffering because of the air quality inside your home? Your indoor air can be dry, stale, and loaded with pollutants. Those pollutants can cause problems like free radical damage, premature aging, pigmentation issues, skin irritation — even cancer. The good news is that it’s not hard to improve your indoor air quality. Here are some effective approaches from the pros.
Decorate With Houseplants
Plants take in carbon dioxide all day long and emit fresh oxygen that feeds your skin cells. In the process, they can filter out a lot of undesirable particles and gases. Some of the top houseplants for freshening your air include the snake plant — aka mother-in-law’s tongue — spider plant, garden mum, Boston fern, and peace lily. These are all popular plants that are easy to find and easy to care for, and they’ll bring life and energy to your home’s interior as well as satisfy your skin’s oxygen needs.
Use Your HVAC System Wisely
Your air conditioning and heating systems can be an important part of your indoor air quality equation if you use them properly. It’s vital to change your filters often, and to have your equipment serviced regularly so it operates at its peak. You might also consider having your ductwork professionally cleaned on occasion. Your HVAC service representative can also install a whole-house air purifier system if you want extra protection.
Phthalates are very dangerous chemicals that have been shown to cause cancer and disrupt hormone balance in humans. Scientists have known for a long time that phthalates can be absorbed through the skin, but those studies always included direct contact with the skin. In 2015, researchers discovered that phthalates can be absorbed without direct skin contact, simply by being present in the air. Since phthalates are usually considered part of a proprietary scent formula, they’re not listed on ingredient labels except as “fragrance,” but they are present in many indoor cleaners and air fresheners.
The best way to avoid phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals is to switch to natural cleaning products. White vinegar and water is a popular solution for bringing shine to mirrors and glass and for degreasing surfaces. Baking soda makes a great scrub and absorbs odors. Lemon juice, borax, Castile soap, and hydrogen peroxide are all effective cleaners for your home that won’t pollute the air.
Keep Things Clean
Carpet, floors, and fabrics around your home can hold onto chemicals, pollutants, and allergens that harm your skin. Every time these fabrics are disturbed, clouds of irritants are released into the air. To solve this problem, vacuum your floors and upholstery often with a HEPA-filter vacuum. Clean surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dust without stirring it up. Launder your household fabrics, including throw pillows and bedding, often.
Managing your indoor air quality will have a profound impact on your skin. Fresher air will also improve your overall health, so use the above tips to start cleaning up your home’s air today.