Pollution and its Effects on the Skin

It is well known that airborne pollutants affect our respiratory and cardiac health. Not only do we eat and breathe environmental toxins, we also absorb them through our skin. Tiny pollution particles take a huge toll on our skin, making it age faster. A 2019 study shows the impact of airborne pollution on the skin and how these particles, small enough to enter our skin, cause increased pigmentation and wrinkles on the skin. ¹


Thorough cleansing and deep hydration can make a huge impact when managing the effects of pollution on the skin. A power cleansing ingredient, such as Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate derived from coconuts, helps remove build-up on the skin. Antioxidants, like Cymbopogon Flexus Oil (Lemongrass), can help prevent free radical damage and supply the skin with anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, and anti-bacterial properties. Aloe vera helps soothe and hydrate the skin. All these ingredients found in our Anti-Pollution Facial Cleanser work alongside the key ingredient, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, which helps entrap and remove particulate matter from the skin. 


Not only does pollution induce aging of the skin, it can also cause irritation, dryness, and acne. A natural pollution protection found in French Polynesia, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, reduces adherence of PM2.5  from the skin. In an ex-vivo study, human skin explants were assigned to one of three treatment groups: untreated control, pollution control, and pollution + cream containing AFE. These explants were exposed to diesel particles, benzene, heavy metals for an hour and a half. They found that the face and neck cream containing Alteromonas Ferment Extract provided a protective barrier against the effects of pollution. ²


Another known source of oxidative stress is UV radiation. Just like anti-pollution skin protection, sunscreen is an important step in your everyday routine. A mineral-only formula is crucial when choosing a sunscreen. Imagine applying sunscreen everyday only to find out it’s filled with harmful chemicals that have been shown to have hormone disrupting and carcinogenic ingredients. Close to 2,400 sun protection products contain an ingredient called octocrylene. “Products made with octocrylene can naturally degrade into the chemical benzophenone, a suspected carcinogen that can interfere with key hormones and reproductive organs, according to a study published in Chemical Research in Toxicology in March.” ³

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¹ Araviiskaia, E., Berardesca, E., Bieber, T., Gontijo, G., Sanchez Viera, M., Marrot, L., Chuberre, B. and Dreno, B. (2019), The impact of airborne pollution on skin. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 33: 1496-1505. https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.15583

² Narda, Mridvika & Granger, Corinne. (2018). Protective Effect of a Novel Anti-Aging Facial Cream Containing Alteromonas Ferment Extract and Carnosine Against Environmental Pollution in Human Skin Explants in Ex-Vivo Study. SKIN The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine. 2. 10.25251/skin.2.supp.38. 

³ MacMillan, C. (2021, August 30). Is My Sunscreen Safe? Yale Medicine. Retrieved June 13, 2022, from https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/is-sunscreen-safe#:~:text=The%20researchers%20tested%2016%20octocrylene,sunscreen%20over%20time%2C%E2%80%9D%20Dr.