Pollution isn’t just heavily threatening to planet Earth, but research shows that it can also impact our skin in a major way. Microscopic specks of acid, soot, smoke, and other pollutants are released into the atmosphere from various sources like cars, power plants, and construction sites. When these pollutant particles come in contact with your skin, they don’t just sit on the surface. Many of these particles can be incredibly tiny -- over 30 times smaller than pores which allows them to move to the deeper layers of the skin, causing dehydration, inflammation, and other issues.
Some of the many ways pollution impacts your skin could be understood as:
1- More acne and breakouts
Pollution particles can stick to the oil and sweat present on your skin and directly lead to blocked pores, and even breakouts. They can also lead to an increase in sebum production and dead skin cells which can eventually lead to bad acne issues.
If airborne pollutants reach the deeper layers of the skin, they can cause permanent damage leading to wrinkles and discolourations.
2- Dehydrated skin
Our skin has a barrier over it which works as a protective layer against harmful outside elements. The atmospheric pollution can lead to oxidative stress on the skin, which can in turn compromise the skin barrier causing the skin to get dry and dehydrated.
As the skin barrier gets compromised, your skin also becomes more susceptible to inflammation, dryness, and irritation.
3- Premature ageing signs and wrinkles
The harmful combination of pollution and UV exposure can be incredibly detrimental for your skin. The free radicals from excessive UV rays of the sun can damage healthy skin cells and the pollution particles can decrease the skin’s inherent ability to repair itself. This directly decreases the amount of elastin and collagen in the skin which are responsible for keeping your skin tight and supple, leading to fine lines and wrinkles.
Pollution is one of the leading causes behind hyperpigmentation of skin. That is because when your skin is exposed to all the pollutants in the air, it tries to fight it by producing more antioxidants and melanin--which can cause more dark spots. Pollution induced acne can also cause scarring on your face and increase hyperpigmentation.
Protect your skin from pollution
You could address problems like acne, dehydration, aging, and hyperpigmentation separately with different skincare products or you could use targeted products to protect your skin from the harmful pollution that has been causing all of those skin issues.
Anti-pollution skincare products are especially formulated keeping in mind the massive pollution issue in big cities and how it can affect our skin in the long run. These skincare products help by unclogging your skin and ensuring pollution microparticles cannot penetrate the deeper layer of skin by creating a protective barrier between your skin and air pollutants.
Prevention is always better than cure against pollution. So, make sure that you always use the right products to hydrate, strengthen, and protect your skin.
Founder, Detoxie (India's first brand focussed on skincare solutions for urban stress and pollution)
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