The skin is a target for the penetration and absorption of environmental pollutants. Unlike sunburn, damage resulting from pollution does not cause an immediate response, increasing the danger because we are unaware of the damage it is causing. There are many scientific studies showing a strong link between pollution and accelerated skin ageing, pigmentation, congestion, acne and skin sensitivity. Pollution dehydrates the skin, resulting in skin that is more prone to lines, wrinkles, sensitivity and dull skin.
Pollution doesn’t just sit on the skin surface. Pollution particles can be up to 20 times smaller than pores which allows them to:
- infiltrate deeper layers of the epidermis which can cause inflammation
- cause skin dehydration and lack of lipids creating dry skin
- can activate multiple pathways of inflammation
- create a cellular-level reaction that leads to lost elasticity and firmness
- penetrate and create free radical and oxidative stress, therefore ageing the skin
- can activate melanocytes, which create too much pigment resulting in unwanted pigment spots