Can pollution ruin your skin? Here’s the truth.

When it comes to anti-aging advice, everyone knows that sun exposure can accelerate and even cause premature aging. Using sunscreen on a daily basis is one of the best things you can do to keep your skin looking young. But did you know there is another environmental factor that could be making you look older?

We all know the main dangers of pollution; apart from environmental damage, it can also affect our lungs and put us at risk of respiratory diseases and other health concerns. However, recent research has shown that pollution can affect another large organ: the skin.

Your skin is exposed to air pollution particles on a daily basis. These particles can sometimes penetrate the skin, which causes irritation and leads to inflammation and many other negative effects. They can aggravate melanocytes, causing them to create too much pigment and leading to sunspots or hyperpigmentation. If the particles affect blood vessels, it can lead to increased redness, or even rosacea.

Pollution also causes a breakdown of collagen, which can lead to sagging skin due to a loss of firmness and elasticity. It can also break down the protective lipid barrier of the skin, making the skin more susceptible to damage.

Larger particles can sit on the surface of the skin, clogging pores and leading to breakouts or a dull complexion. In more extreme cases, this can also lead to skin allergies or eczema. Free radicals are another big concern with pollution. These can cause damage by grabbing onto electrons in the skin. This process can cause damage to our skin’s DNA, leading to premature skin aging.

While the levels of pollution that we face in the gulf are nowhere near the levels found in bigger cities such as New York, London, or Beijing, it’s still something to be aware of. Protecting your skin against pollution is as simple as adding a few extra products to your routine. To prove just how easy it is, here are some of our favorite pollution-fighting skin products.

Foreo Luna 2 – It’s important to remove all traces of pollution or grime from your face at the end of the day. These cleansing devices use enhanced T-Sonic technology to effectively remove all traces of pollution or impurities from your face. The Foreo’s easy-to-clean silicon head is gentle enough for everyday use and won’t harbor bacteria.

Phytomer Rasage Perfect Shaving Mask – Neutralize free radicals, reduce damage, and prevent irritation from shaving in one step with this soothing shaving cream. Ideal for sensitive skin, this cream will protect your skin while giving you a perfect shave.

Dermalogica Superfoliant – This resurfacing microexfoliant will clear out pores that are clogged by pollution, grime, oil, or sweat.  It contains anti-pollution technology and alpha hydroxy acids to clear out pores and reduce skin-aging environmental triggers.

Murad Essential-C Daily Renewal Complex – This intensive anti-aging treatment can reduce the appearance of environmental and sun damage by 46% in just four weeks. A maximum dose of Vitamin C is delivered to the skin to repair and protect against free radical damage. Your skin will look brighter, clearer and smoother.

Vichy Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel – This gel cleanser gently removes makeup and washes away impurities and pollution to leave your skin feeling soft, clean, and fresh. Vichy thermal water is added to soothe and strengthen the skin while moringa seed extract combats stress and acts as a powerful antioxidant.

Filorga Hyal Defence Serum – This protective and restorative serum maintains a youthful complexion by boosting the skin’s natural reserves of hyaluronic acid. It contains a complex of ingredients that inhibit the breakdown of hyaluronic acid and stimulates the production of elastin. It also contains a potent anti-oxidant complex that protects against free radical damage.

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