We know the risks of UV and sun exposure, but a recent study has identified a new source of skin damage for us to worry about. Air pollution’s effects on skin are attracting more attention from dermatologists and
patients and have raised many concerns. Unlike sunburns, damage resulting from air pollution may not cause as immediate of a response, increasing the danger because we are unaware of it happening. Therefore, it is important to be aware of what pollution particles are and how they can affect the skin. While it can be hard to avoid air pollution, there are ways to protect and heal the skin from exposure.

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Air pollution has a wide range of sources, the most common include cigarette smoke, dust, smog, and car exhaust. These sources contain tiny particles that can actually penetrate the skin’s barrier and cause problems, including:

  • decreased moisture and elasticity
  • acne
  • dull and dry skin
  • eczema
  • skin allergies
  • rashes
  • wrinkles

Air pollution particles can speed up the normal aging process. While losing some moisture and elasticity is a natural part of getting older, pollution can starve the skin of oxygen and dry the skin’s natural oils. Some forms of pollution can even create free radicals, which can alter the very DNA of the skin cells, leading to cancer. This is what causes additional damage.

How To Avoid Severe Damage

Unfortunately, we live in a world where it is difficult to limit exposure to air pollution. However, there are means of reducing the effects and of protecting the skin:

  • Having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, leafy greens, berries, etc., can give your body the vitamins and nutrients to combat skin damage.
  • On a similar note, drinking plenty of water every day can combat the drying effects of pollution, leaving the skin fresher.
  • Looking for skin products containing elastin and collagen is also beneficial, as these vitamins help with cellular regeneration.
  • Daily face washing in the evening is also one of the main tools to fight against pollution-related irritants. Use a mild, sulfate-free soap to remove these particles without damaging the skin further.
  • Using a daily moisturizer helps to replenish those oils stripped from the skin.
  • Exfoliation provides an even deeper clean. This should only be done once or twice a week, as too much exfoliation can also damage the skin. Along with scrubs, some companies have introduced rotating brushes that also aid in exfoliation.
  • At-home treatments, such as masks and peels, can add a more rigorous level of skin cleaning.

Dermatologists can also recommend more in-depth options, such as procedures and procedure enhancement products. If you see changes in your skin such as new discoloration, moles, or other issues, be sure to see your doctor for further information.

While air pollution can cause damage to the skin and seems to be unavoidable, there are ways to protect the skin. Healing the skin and preventing further damage is a process that requires some additional steps and solid knowledge.

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Have you noticed your skin changing in response to pollution or other air irritants? What are some ways that you help your skin heal? How have you protected your skin against these irritants?


Written by Justin Hai, Director of Marketing & Information Technology at Alastin Skincare, Inc

Justin Hai is responsible for the creation, launch and commercialization of new products across a diverse set of industries and technologies bringing dozens of products to market that have generated more than two hundred million dollars in revenue at companies such as; HAI:IMPACT, Green Fitness Equipment Company, True North Equity, Calance Corp, VitalNRG, Inc., The Penrose Corp, and Walt Disney Company. Justin is the Director of Marketing & Information Technology at Alastin Skincare, Inc- a specialty skincare company dedicated to developing and marketing innovative, clinically-tested skincare products that enhance, protect, and maintain healthy skin for a lifetime.

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