Is Air Pollution Affecting Your Skin?

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Why is Air Pollution Bad for Your Skin

Air pollution is something that many of us come into contact with in our daily lives. Whilst the effect on our general health is well known, how it negatively impacts our skin is a silent side effect that can hinder our dream of a glowy complexion. Air pollution consists of chemicals, smog and black pores that not only enter our lungs when we inhale, but also come into contact with our skin, leaving us with adverse skin side effects. The last thing you need when you have sensitive skin, or you’re trying to achieve your Autumn skin goals!

If you spend the day in a busy city you may notice your skin feels ‘dirty’ when you sit down for your evening skincare ritual. However, the impact of air pollution on our skin is more than just a surface issue. When air pollution is released into the atmosphere, chemicals attach themselves to pollution particles which have the ability to penetrate through our skin’s layers and cause oxidative stress, resulting in a whole host of undesirable skin problems.

What are The Symptoms of Air Pollution

The addition of these chemicals and black pores in the air not only make it hard for our lungs to breathe, but our skin as well, leaving it irritated and prone to acne, clogged pores, dull flaky skin and early signs of ageing. Whilst we’re living your best city life, these particles attach themselves to and penetrate our face, neck, décolletage and any other exposed areas.

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi commented on the issue… 

“It has been proven that when combined with UVA and UVB sun damage, long-term exposure to pollution has a cumulative effect on the skin. This degradation surfaces as premature ageing - fine lines, wrinkles, redness, blotchiness and aggravated acne. Also the exposure to nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant resulting from car exhaust or power plant emissions, can lead to the formation of dark spots on the skin”.

How to Protect Your Skin From Air Pollution 

If you are a city guy or gal, there is little that can be done about encountering air pollution, but there are several ways you can prepare and protect your delicate complexion.

Protect Your Skin: Before you dash out in the morning, it is important to protect your most delicate and exposed skin. Applying an SPF will not only protect your skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays, but it will also form a barrier between your skin and air pollution. Other barrier skincare products include a serum or a daily moisturiser that will trap those harmful smog particles and prevent them from penetrating to the deeper layers of your skin cells. 

Cleanse Your Skin: Particularly if you have spent the day in a densely populated area, removing the dirt and impurities from your skin is imperative before going to bed. Using a deep cleanser will not only remove your makeup, but will leave you with a clean feeling and a fresh canvas. With your favourite cleanser, use circular motions to work it in and ensure all the chemical particles are removed from your pores and no area is missed. Using a warm cloth to remove your cleanser will also open up your pores allowing for a deeper clean that will prevent a build up of bacteria - the perfect storm for acne. 

Moisturise Your Skin: As well as providing a protective barrier for your skin, it is also important to treat the side effects that may result from air pollution exposure. If you are experiencing dull and flaky skin, an intense evening moisturiser will help you to maintain that dewy, youthful glow. Find a facial serum or a moisturiser with Vitamin E in will also aid skin rejuvenation to reduce those signs of damage such as fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. 

Hydrate: Protecting your skin from air pollution is not just limited to skincare. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water with added goodness of amla or tulsi leaves to help your body flush out the toxins and provide you with essential antioxidants. 

Latest update: 24/03/2021
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