Along with hormones and stress, pollution is one of the major culprits behind breakouts and blemishes. Read on to find out why.
The effect of pollution on the skin
For those of us living in the city, our environment contains a multitude of pollutants, from smoke and soot to acid and gas. At home and at work, our skin is regularly exposed to indoor pollutants such as insulation, sprays and even smoke from fireplaces. These tiny particles can infiltrate deep into the epidermis, causing inflammation, dehydration and a loss of elasticity over time as the skin's collagen and lipid layer are broken down.
Research by L'Oréal in Mexico and China compared subjects' skin when exposed to polluted and non-polluted environments. The study’s results showed a decrease in hydration and a higher rate of oily skin due to increased sebum production for those who were often exposed to pollution.
How to protect against pollution
When it comes to choosing the right skincare to fight pollution damage, little and often is key! A simple but regular skincare routine will not only help purify the skin of any pollution build-up, it’ll also help to protect your complexion from the external aggressions responsible. It's important to start with a cleanser so as to remove any pollutants, dirt or makeup already on the skin, before continuing with products focusing on hydration and protection.
We know that problem skin doesn't just stop after adolescence, and pollution certainly doesn’t help with a blemish-free complexion. Making sure skin is regularly and thoroughly cleansed with active ingredients that target excess sebum production, such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid, is key when looking to manage breakouts, before following with a day cream that targets imperfections. Suitable for sensitive skin, Vichy's Anti-Blemish Care restores the skin's protective barrier, ensuring hydration stays in! The finished result is mattified, smooth skin that looks better with each application of the routine.
To prevent exposing your skin to pollution as much as possible, check your area's pollution levels and plan your journey accordingly. Carpooling is a great way to both help the environment and reduce your area’s pollution levels on your daily commute, so find out if there’s a colleague living near you that you can occasionally carpool with. Try putting a few houseplants in your home for both a greener vibe and improved air quality. And if you must smoke, for the love of your skin, don’t do it indoors!