Original Blog posted May 5th 2016 https://zss-skincare.com/blog/summer-tips-pollution-proof-skin/

Decongest your skin

imagesHealthy skin is radiant, a mirror reflection of your inner health and well-being. What you nourish your body with and how well you digest these nutrients will show through your skin. We also know of the negative effects of poor diet, lifestyle and chronic UV exposure can have on our skin, but what about pollution?

With the increase in air pollution over the years, environmental researchers have looked at the health effects of air pollution on the skin.  Recent studies have shown that chronic high exposure to air pollutants have been associated with premature skin aging and inflammatory or allergic skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis or acne. Skin is the largest organ of the body and biological shield against chemical and physical stressors but according to researchers, your skin acts as a “sponge” for certain chemical air pollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), oxides, particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), and cigarette smoke.

These toxins build up in skin clogging pores, depleting oxygen to cells, breaking down structure and accelerating skin aging.


From the Inside

  • Nutrition: Do focus on a Mediterranean-type diet rich in antioxidants, such as carotenoids to ward off and free radical stressors associated with urban pollution
  • Supplements: Do supplement diet with targeted skin and immune supportive nutrients such as skin antioxidant zeaxanthin, pre and probiotics to encourage nutrient bio-availability and promote healthy skin barrier function, essential fatty acids particularly omega 3 rich in EPA/DHA encouraging strong skin cell membranes to retain skin moisture and cell viability.
  • Hydrate: Do hydrate often. Water naturally detoxifies pollutants from the body. However, tap water contains chlorine (which can also act as a pollutant). Although chlorine is used to treat drinking water, in large quantities, can aggravate the skin

 From the Outside

  • Cleanse and Exfoliate: wash your face daily and exfoliate twice a week (three times in more polluted areas). Using mineral water can help avoid the dehydrating effects of chlorine in tap water
  • Nourish: with an antioxidant and hydrating serum. Apply to areas exposed to air, face, neck and back of hands.
  • Moisturize: Free radicals in the air clog and restrict oxygen in skin cells, a good moisturizer hydrates the skin and creates a barrier between your skin and free radicals and other pollutants.
  • Protect with Sunscreen: apply sunscreen on your face and neck every day to protect your skin from UV rays and air pollutants – even on cloudy days.


Finally, I wanted to share with you these two great references on air pollution and your skin.

Science News, “Air pollutants enter the body through the skin.”

Frontier in Environmental Science, “Air pollution and the skin.”


Yours in Health & Beauty,