4 Signs Pollution Is Affecting Your Skin
Pollution can cause some pretty strange things to happen to our skin, so it can be challenging to recognize whether or not the cause of our issues is, in fact, pollution. In this post, we’ll take a look at the relationship between air pollution and acne, one of the lesser-known causes of dry skin, and answer a common question: how does pollution affect the skin? Let’s jump in and discuss some of the side effects of air pollution.
Some Signs Pollution is Affecting Your Skin
Abnormally Dry Skin
You may be surprised to find that air pollution is one of the little-known causes of dry skin. If you’re not someone who usually struggles with dry skin and you suddenly develop it, this might be a warning sign. If your skin suddenly changes, it’s best to get to the root of the problem so that you can get your skin back to being and feeling healthy again.
Pollution also appears to stimulate melanin production in the skin, causing dark spots to appear at a quicker rate. These “age” spots were previously associated with UV radiation and other natural causes. If you suddenly start developing age spots and hyperpigmentation more quickly than you usually do, it’s a sign that your skin might have been (or is currently being) exposed to too much pollution.
Air Pollution and Acne
Does your acne flare up when you are outside in the city? Perhaps you just have a general issue with blackheads after being outside for more than an hour or so. If you notice these symptoms, your skin is telling you something: protect it better from pollution by using avoidance strategies or a product to cleanse with.
Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Another unfortunate side effect of pollution damage is a sudden appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – especially for individuals who didn’t originally have these features. Furthermore, the underlying cause behind pollution-driven fine lines and wrinkles is only partially reversible; protect your skin while you still can.
Is Pollution to Blame?
Pollution can be a great scapegoat for skin problems: it’s invisible (for the most part) and its effects seem fairly exaggerated. However, air pollution is not the sole cause of skin problems for the majority of people. Our skin is exposed to a host of different things each day, and that’s not to mention how we treat our skin from the inside. It can be easy to blame pollution and not address other potential causes.
So, how does pollution cause dry skin, acne, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation? First and foremost, keep in mind that pollution isn’t the sole cause of these issues. As we’ve talked about in a previous post, Your Skin and Pollution: 5 Pollution Facts That Might Surprise You, pollutants (which are especially damaging when exposed to UV light) can damage the skin barrier, exacerbating other problems we may be having with our skin, to begin with.
Particulate matter, heavy metals, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and UV light all work together outdoors to create an unfavorable environment for our skin – and it’s unavoidable. The only things we can do are:
- Limit our time outdoors in areas that we know are heavily polluted.
- Wear sunscreen to protect from UV-contributing damage.
- Cleanse with an anti-pollution-rated cleanser that will remove particulate matter, ROS, and heavy metals.
It’s paramount that we protect our skin properly because repairing skin barrier damage is far more difficult than preventing it in the first place. Are you looking for an anti-pollution cleanser to add to your daily skincare routine? Check out our gentle, yet powerful, Anti-pollution Facial Cleanser today.