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The Dirty Truth: How pollution harms your skin and what to do about it

by Kendra Ruebsam |

We know the toll pollution takes on the environment, but are you aware of the effects on your skin? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 76 million tons of pollution were emitted into the atmosphere in the United States in 2018. And when that pollution comes into contact with your skin, it doesn't just sit on the surface, pollution breaks down collagen and the lipid layer in the skin, which impairs skin barrier functions.

Pollution creates free radicals, highly unstable molecules that have unpaired electrons. These molecules act like Ping-Pong balls, bouncing around in your skin. They literally poke holes in the collagen, which is what gives skin its firmness. This destruction can show up as hyperpigmentation and fine lines, acne and rosacea. And that's not the worst of it! Those pesky free radicals can cause is DNA damage and cell mutation, which can lead to cancer.

But don’t freak out! By following 3 simple rules in your skincare routine, you can fight the effects of pollution like a pro.

One: Clean It Off

Washing your face thoroughly every day is so important in the fight against pollution and the burden that pollution puts on your skin. In the morning, use a mild cleanser. At night, you need to go deeper to remove the film of potentially harmful pollutants, not to mention makeup and everyday dirt and sweat. The goal is to get everything off without too much scrubbing, drying or irritation. Don’t forget your toner! This removes any of those stubborn particles that your cleanser may have left behind. 

Two: Neutralize It

Research shows that antioxidants provide one of the best treatments for preventing or reducing free-radical damage. To help protect the skin, layer on a serum with antioxidants after cleansing to bolster its repair process. Our Radiance Skin Perfecting Serum is packed with antioxidants and a perfect addition to your nighttime routine.

Three: Create a Barrier

Apply an SPF 30 daily to protect yourself; the latest formulas contain antioxidants, boosting their pollution-fighting powers. Supplement your skincare routine with targeted treatments, like our Dope Barrier Repair, to keep your skin barrier healthy.