Air Pollution's Impact on Your Skin

You do the best to take care of your skin, but in between putting the kids to bed and packing [...]

woman mirror

You do the best to take care of your skin, but in between putting the kids to bed and packing tomorrow's lunches, there isn't always time for a full skin care regiment. And even if you do have the time and energy, pollution particles can stick to your skin. The Healthy Skin Blog tells us skin pollution causes dehydration and makes it less firm and can even dull your skin's radiance. It can even cause blemishing! Depending on where you live, pollution can be impossible to avoid, so how can you protect your skin?

According to a report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in 2013, the air we breathe in Europe is far from clean. In fact, the EEA says that over 90% of the inhabitants of European cities are exposed to worrying levels of PM2.5 (particles smaller than 2.5 microns) – largely originating in diesel-vehicle emissions – and excessively high ozone levels.

These pollutants cause quite a few health problems. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers pollution to be a major environmental health risk in Europe and links it to more than 100,000 premature deaths per year.

Our skin, which acts as a barrier against environmental aggression, is easily affected by the poor quality of the air we breathe -on the street and even in the home, where we are exposed to hundreds of harmful chemical substances.

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Scientists at the University of California Berkeley (USA) were already warning some years ago that exposure to air in built-up areas with high ozone levels decreases vitamin E levels in the stratum corneum, weakening the skin's barrier function and provoking inflammation in its deeper layers.

Contaminants also increase free radicals, which are unstable molecules that interfere with the skin's ability to produce collagen and so accelerate ageing.

Want to learn more? Click here for the original article on The Healthy Skin Blog.