These Are the Effects of Pollution On Skin

In 2014 the World Health Organization declared air pollution as the “world’s largest single environmental health risk” and it’s no wonder, as levels of severe pollution rise in a deeply pervasive way on an almost daily basis across the globe. And while particles from vehicle emissions, smog and heavy metals are big culprits of unclean air, pollution inside the home caused by everything from building materials and home furnishings to cleaning products, is also a serious contender.

As well as having dire consequences for our general health, both variants of pollution can cause serious damage to the health of our skin too. As pollution particles come into contact with the skin, they disrupt the collagen and elastin in the skin barrier, causing it to lose its firm structure and bounce. The barrier then becomes compromised and as well as experiencing a lack of firmness, skin becomes more irritated, sensitised and, thanks to the particles' ability to clog pores, more prone to breakouts.

To combat the effects of this damage on your skin, you need to take a rigorous approach to daily cleansing and protection, with a twice-daily cleansing routine and diligent SPF application first thing. Ideally opt for an antioxidant-rich SPF formula to help counter the effects of damaging free radicals in the air and boost the skin’s barrier function too.

As well as bolstering your skincare routine with plenty of antioxidants, ensure they’re abundant in your diet too. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale are packed full of anti-inflammatory protection, as are blueberries and red berries. For an easy way to boost your antioxidant intake, add a tablespoon of Workshop’s Essential Greens into your daily shake or smoothie; as well as being high in antioxidants, it’s rich in vitamin C to promote collagen synthesis. Finally, if you’re worried about the effects of indoor pollution, try adding to your house plant collection. As well as lifting your spirits and being pleasing on the eye, plants have a natural ability to clean the air in your house and filter out nasty toxic compounds.