What Pollution Is Doing to Your Skin

After the sun, pollution is your skin’s worst enemy. Scientists have linked pollutants to the acceleration of skin aging, causing wrinkles, dark spots and redness. Here’s how to protect yourself from the city you live in.

In 2010, the Journal of Investigative Dermatology published research comparing the skin of older women who lived near a motorway versus those in rural areas. The city-dwellers had22 per cent more hyperpigmentation and wrinkles than their rural counterparts. The cause? Pollution. 

If you live in the city, avoiding car emissions, air conditioning and industrial smoke is impossible. However, there are some precautions that you can take to protect your skin. 

Cleansing is essential: it removes dirt from your pores and allows your skin to breathe. In addition, using a cleansing device is a great way to remove hard-to-see pollution particles, giving your skin an extra-deep clean. 

Polluted cities have an increased number of free radicals in the air. This – as well as UV – decreases the production of skin collagen, which results in a rougher complexion and early on-set wrinkles. That’s why you need antioxidants.  

"Unlike UV rays, air-pollution does not take into account day and night, or indoors and outdoors, so you need to guard it at all times."
Antioxidants are a powerful way of targeting free radicals and minimising their damage. Start with your diet: citrus fruits, berries and carrots are jam-packed with Vitamin A and C. Then, add a daily supplement that contains astaxanthin – a powerful antioxidant derived from algae. Finally, an antioxidant-rich serum will create a protective barrier that locks in moisture, restores cells and keeps out external aggressors. 

And of course, hydrate.

The more hydrated your skin, the harder it is for harmful toxins to get through its natural barrier. Unlike UV rays, air-pollution does not take into account dayand night, or indoors and outdoors, so you need to guard it at all times. A nourishing day cream that contains Silk Tree extract, like True Perfection, will shield and boost hydration. A night cream will enhance the skin’s natural repair process while you sleep – it’s an essential component of your skin care arsenal.

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