The Effects of Pollution On Your Skin

Pollution can cause dry, dehydrated skin, dull skin tone, and premature signs of skin aging

Car exhaust, smog, that smoker walking in front of you on the sidewalk, pollution is everywhere and in big cities, it’s nearly inescapable. While it’s hard enough on your body, did you know that pollution can also negatively affect your skin? Real talk: The side effects of pollution on skin can be scary, but thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect your skin from pollution—and no, one isn’t moving to the country!

How Pollution Affects Skin

Environmental factors like UV rays, smoking, and car exhaust all have the capacity to create free radicals. When these free radicals are out and about in the air that we walk through while heading to work, running errands, or just enjoying a day outside, they can attach to and compromise the skin. And, while pollution comes in a variety of forms, all of them can negatively affect our skin thanks to these free radicals. The most common side effects? A compromised moisture barrier, dry, dehydrated skin, dull skin tone, and premature signs of skin aging like wrinkles and fine lines.

Another variable to consider is hard water. While not considered pollution in a traditional sense, hard water is also an environmental factor that can negatively affect your skin. Hard water has an alkaline pH. The alkalinity of hard water disrupts the optimal—slightly acidic—pH balance of skin, causing it to dry out and become dull in tone, much like other forms of traditional pollution.

Protect Your Skin from Pollution

To protect your skin from the side effects of pollution—and hard water!—you need a strong defense. Not using mineralizing water in your skin care routine? If you live or work in a big city, it’s time to start. Vichy’s Mineralizing Thermal Water from the French volcanoes is a great first step in any anti-pollution skin care routine. Unlike its thermal water counterparts, this mineralizing spray can both soothe and strengthen the skin against external aggressors. Rich in 15 rare minerals and antioxidants, the spray helps to create a shield, making skin more resistant to pollution, irritation, and sensitivity. Use daily and tow along in your purse or bag to give your skin a midday boost.

At night, always remember to cleanse your skin to remove the dirt, debris, and other impurities that can linger on the surface and cause the side effects of pollution to become visible. No rinse cleansers that don’t compromise the skin’s pH balance—and eliminate the need to wash with hard water—are key in an anti-pollution skin care routine. Reach for Vichy’s Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Solution, an innovative micellar water formulated with cornflower extract, hydrating pro-vitamin B5, and more of that skin soothing and strengthening mineralizing water!

Like a little lather? Many of Vichy’s other cleansers also have anti-pollution technology:

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