Air Pollution: What Does It Really Do to My Skin?

How Does Air Pollution Damage my Skin? | Anticity 

Do you know exactly what air pollution does to your skin? Discover the science behind terms like free radicals and PM2.5 and understand how they influence…

If you live in a city, there is a very good chance that you are exposed to some type of pollution. Its sources are numerous and sometimes surprising, and while we often think about its effect on our lungs, have you ever considered the impact of pollution on your skin?


When the free radicals in city pollution gather on our skin, they can cause damage to the skin’s support structure and speed up the aging process. If you’re a city dweller, it is crucial to understand how this happens so that you can avoid it. 

Free Me from Free Radicals

It’s a term we hear a lot about, but what exactly are free radicals, and why are they so dangerous in and on our bodies? Free radicals are unstable molecules which, when they settle on your skin or in your body, cause oxidative damage to cells. 


For our skin, this means that the very structure that holds our skin together and gives it tautness and smoothness is threatened. After the age of 20, we produce 1% less collagen every year, and it is this protein that binds the cells of our skin together. Free radicals in city pollution, specifically attack these protein cells. 


What Is the Impact? 

When our skin is regularly exposed to collections of free radicals, the bonds between the collagen cells become damaged by oxidative stress. This causes the skin to loosen and become more susceptible to premature aging. 


Consistent exposure to city pollution can also result in rashes, breakouts, and skin irritation as the pores become clogged with dirt particles. 


PM2.5: Dynamite Comes in Small Packages

One of the most concerning aspects of air pollution is that what you are seeing in terms of black smog or smelling in terms of noxious fumes, is just the tip of the iceberg. 


The real danger in air pollution is so tiny that its diameter is smaller than a human hair. This is PM2.5. The concept is often mentioned in reports about air quality, and it refers to microscopic particulate matter (PM) with a diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometers. 


Why Are PM2.5 Readings Important? 

These minute particles are created from various combustion processes. Because they are so light, they stay in the air longer than other larger particles. This means that there is a far higher chance that they will collect on our skin and be inhaled into our lungs. 


In a study conducted in 2019, researchers found that PM2.5 poses a major risk to the integrity of the skin and impacts its ability to function as a barrier for toxins. 


How Do We Protect Ourselves?

The key to protecting ourselves from skin damage through air pollution in the city is to avoid the accumulation of free radicals and PM2.5 on our skins. By cleansing our skin regularly and, if possible, as soon as we return indoors, we can mitigate some of the damage. 


We can also use scientifically developed products to boost the recovery of our skin and keep an eye on air pollution reports. When PM2.5 levels rise above 35.4 μg/m3, do your best to stay indoors and keep your windows closed. 


Bioenergetique Clay from Anticity has been shown to remove pollution particles from the skin and stop them adhering.  Containing a natural polysaccharide produced by marine micro-organisms, it provides a barrier to different types f pollution that stress the skin. 


Final Thoughts

Although air pollution can be seen and smelled, its real danger lies in the minute particles we can’t see. These particles settle on our skin and break down essential bonds between collagen and other protein particles. This can lead to premature aging, breakouts, and an overall compromised state of the skin barrier. 


By understanding exactly how air pollution impacts our skin, we can better protect ourselves from permanent damage!


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