City Pollution Exposure
The best anti-pollution skincare routine to protect your skin from the city
Living in a city can have serious effects on your skin, from harmful cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes to heavy metal emissions and factory pollutants.
I’m glad you stopped by because I’d like to talk to you about exactly this.
If you live in a city, just like me, you’ll see (or feel) that your skin is changing quite often, and you don’t always know why.
My skin was neither dry nor oily for most of my life. I didn’t put a lotion on my face until I was 22 years old (granted, I was a bit too hopeful there). But then, it changed suddenly. I moved to another country and my skin did not adapt to the water there.
When I came back, I started to see breakouts on my face every time I would eat junk food. And it wasn’t ‘neither dry nor oily’ anymore. It was dehydrated, itchy and had pimples popping up unexpectedly if I dared eating too much chocolate. I mean, chocolate, really?! That’s going too far!
My brother has it worse (oops, I hope he doesn’t read this!). If he is in an area that is highly polluted, if he has bad eating habits or if he is tired, he’ll experience breakouts and skin imbalances.
So, I started wondering how much our environment actually influences our skin’s reactions. The answer: a lot! The effects of sunlight on our skin are estimated to account for the majority of visible skin ageing (fine lines, wrinkles), especially in lighter skin tones that lack melanocytes in the skin. Tobacco smoke is also known to have a drying effect on the skin and reduces the amount of blood flow to the skin, depleting it of oxygen and essential nutrients. But what about pollution ?
How does pollution affect your skin?
To get a bit geeky for a second, environmental pollution means our air is filled with too many pollutants that include: airborne components (Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide) and industrial residues (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, nanoparticles). Now, don’t get alarmed by these words, we’re not going to re-do all our chemistry courses today! God knows I’m too lazy for that !
Let’s skip to what it actually means for our skin!
The effects of pollution on our skin depend on our daily exposure of course, but in general, these are a few of the consequences we can witness:
- Decrease of vitamin E and squalene levels in the skin (causing dryness)
- Dehydrated skin characteristics (loss of tone, uneven skin)
- Interference with our wound-healing process
- Causing oxidative stress
- Higher sebum secretion rate
- Decrease of skin’s pH (which can lead to more sensitive skin, redness and itching)
- Decrease of cholesterol levels in the skin
Studies have shown more skin problems in more polluted areas, such as acne-related problems, acute sensitivities and dehydration. And with air pollution exceeding safe limits all over the world, it is important to counter-act pollution effects on our skin, starting now!
How to protect skin from pollution
One way to help minimize the consequences of city pollution is by following a very simple skincare routine with natural skincare products:
1. Cleanse your skin but gently. Whether you want a cleanser for oily skin or a cleanser for dry skin, avoid soaps that strip natural oils from your skin and turn to mild cleansers and exfoliators instead. Even better, embrace the ‘like dissolves like’ mojo and try cleansing your skin from dirt with the oil-cleansing method (yes, I said it). Our Anti-Pollution Cleanser is packed with potent antioxidants to shield your skin against the damaging effects of air pollution.
Don’t be scared of oils. Whether you are prone to breakouts or not, oils nourish, cleanse, moisturize, soothe and balance your skin by telling your brain that it does not need to produce sebum in excess (beware that not all oils are created equal and to each its purpose!)
2. Moisturize your skin with lipids and humectants to hydrate and replenish intercellular lipids. Choose the right cream for the right environment and body part (refer to ‘Your Skin Type’on our website to get more insight into which product/ingredients to choose for your skin).
3. Protect your skin by avoiding overexposure to sun, pollution, tobacco smoke and extreme temperatures. Eat a balanced diet rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants like vitamin C and E (we have some delicious Middle Eastern-inspired recipes coming soon!). And most importantly, drink plenty of water. The last one never goes out of style!
Pollution is harmful for the planet, but as we’ve explained above it’s also aging and dehydrating for our skin. Although there isn’t a simple ‘pollution protection factor’ like sunscreen to apply, natural skincare products that are enriched with antioxidants and vitamins are the best place to start!
Target premature aging and protect your skin from environmental stressors now with our Anti-Pollution Cleanser!
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay blessed !