News, Culture & Society

The Effects of Pollution on Skin and How to Prevent Damage

  • Skincare brand SkinCeuticals found that ozone pollution can cause visible signs of aging, in addition to other concerns in a new study
  • Shop antioxidant-rich products to prevent damage from brands like SkinCeuticals, The Body Shop and Supergoop 

We already know that we need to wear sunscreen to protect our skin from UV rays, and now studies are showing that we also should be shielding ourselves from exposure to pollution.

Pollution doesn’t just affect those living in large cities like Los Angeles or New York. The 2017 American Lung Association’s annual ‘State of the Air’ report revealed that nearly 40% of people live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.

After a multi-year clinical research initiative, skincare brand SkinCeuticals has found that exposure to this pollution contributes to signs of aging by decreasing collagen, in addition to the development of skin conditions like eczema.

The sun isn’t the only one! A new study finds that ozone pollution can cause visible signs of aging like wrinkles and loss of elasticity

To prevent pollution damage, you don’t need to completely switch up your regimen or buy an arsenal of new products. Through their research, SkinCeuticals determined that an ingredient that’s likely already in at least one of your products can dramatically reduce long-term effects.

That ingredient is topical antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and green tea. 

In the study, which was conducted in partnership with professor Giuseppe Valacchi from the University of Ferrara, Italy, a leading researcher in the study of ozone, participants were exposed to ozone pollution and treated with SkinCeuticals products C E Ferulic and Phloretin CF. The serums proved to prevent collagen loss.

Shop antioxidant-rich products to protect against ozone pollution clockwise from top left: 

SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Vitamin C Serum ($165, 

Chantecaille Anti-Pollution Mattifying Cream ($98, 

Teadora Anti-Pollution Facial Mist ($38, 

The Body Shop Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask ($28, 

Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 ($42, 

Lancôme Advanced Génifique Sensitive Antioxidant Serum ($78, 

‘When I talk about basic skincare in terms of ingredients that I think are non-negotiable, that everyone should be on, antioxidants are always there,’ Dr. Alicia Barba, a Miami-based Dove dermatologist told Femail on the topic. ‘It just makes the reason to use one more powerful if in addition to UV radiation, it’s blocking some of the pollution.’

If you’re not yet using antioxidant-rich products, there’s a wealth of options to choose from.

In addition to SkinCeuticals, brands like The Body Shop, Lancôme and Supergoop all offer masks, serums and creams to help you preserve a youthful and healthy complexion.