The proof is in: air pollution causes skin damage and premature aging.
"With traffic pollution emerging as the single most toxic substance for skin, the dream of perfect skin is over for those living and working in traffic-polluted areas unless they take steps to protect their skin right now,” said Dr Mervyn Patterson, a cosmetic doctor at Woodford Medical clinics in the UK. “Unless people do more they will end up wearing the pollution on their faces in 10 years’ time.”
The simple fact is that human skin has not evolved to cope with common pollutants in urban air. These can pass through the skin barrier and wreak havoc.
So what can we do about it? While your first instinct might be to reach for a scrub, this could actually make things worse by damaging your natural skin barrier. Instead, the answer may lie in products that address pollution from the inside.
One approach is to ‘detox the skin’ with ingredients that tackle the effects of pollutants while reinforcing the skin barrier.
Asteriscus Graveolens, a plant found in the Sahara desert, has been found to stimulate the skin’s innate protective and detoxifying processes when faced with pollutants:
The aqueous extract is obtained from the Sahara-native aster Asteriscus Graveolens and stimulates the skin’s self-defense mechanism against negative external influences, protecting the skin from their harmful effects.
As city dwellers around the world grow more anxious about the price of pollution, we can expect to see many more cosmeceutical products that combat the effects on your skin.