Living with pollution is a fact of life—and so is protecting your skin from it. “Pollution is all around us, and most of the time, we can’t even see it. Some particles of pollution are so tiny, they’re invisible to the naked eye,” says Dr. Michelle Henry, a New York City-based dermatologist. The amount and types of pollution that bombard the skin have increased over the past decade, and include things like smoke, smog, ozone, pesticides, factory and car emissions, even pollen. And don’t think that you’re not at risk when you’re indoors—microscopic particles like dust,cooking oil fumes, mold spores and household cleansers are all types of pollution too. Every time your skin comes in contact with these pollutants, there is the potential for damage. In fact, pollution exposure affects your skin in a way that’s very similar to sun exposure—both produce free radicals, and when they come into contact with your skin, they cause oxidative stress, which can damage all layers of your skin, from superficial irritation to the destruction of skin cells deep in the dermis.
The Dirty Truth
A particle of pollution can be 20 times smaller than the size of your pore. That means it can float right into your skin and wreak havoc. “All that particulate matter can poke tiny, microscopic holes in your skin barrier, allowing all the bad stuff in and the good stuff, like water, out,“ says Dr. Henry. And when pollution gets into your skin, it can cause a host of problems, from dullness and clogged pores to dark spots, hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and collagen damage leading to lines and wrinkles. It can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and eczema, and cause flare-ups in sensitive skin.
Your first line of defence against pollution is your skin’s moisture barrier, which is the top layer of skin designed to block pollution from entering deep into your dermis. Think of your skin barrier as a brick wall. If the wall cracks or breaks down, it allows water to seep out and pollutants to sneak right in. That’s why it’s important to incorporate the right type of skin care into your daily regimen that helps to strengthen your skin barrier.
Clinique’s pollution solution: Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly Anti-Pollution. It’s a clear, lightweight, jelly-like hydrator formulated with Clean-Shield Technology, a skin-restoring blend of sunflower seed cake, barley extract and cucumber fruit extract that helps strengthen your skin barrier so it’s better able to defend itself against pollution.
Hello, Clean Glow
Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly Anti-Pollution makes skin less vulnerable to pollution and provides 24-hour intense hydration with ingredients like hyaluronic acid. It’s oil-free and fast absorbing, and leaves the skin soft, smooth, supple, and glowing. So no matter what the pollution index says on your local weather report, you can walk out the door knowing your skin is healthy, hydrated, and stronger.
Photos: Kyle Alexander | Words: Julie Redfern