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How Does Pollution Affect Your Skin?

Pollution's impact on skin health goes beyond the smog and dirt we encounter outdoors; it's also about the hidden hazards lurking in our homes and daily routines. From the air we breathe to the products we use, various pollutants are silently compromising our skin's radiance and health. 

Before you panic, we'll uncover how everyday elements like toxic cleaning supplies, hidden chemicals in consumables and textiles and accumulated indoor pollution can adversely affect your skin. Here are the top three offenders and our tips for minimizing their effects to maintain healthy, glowing skin. 

Toxic Cleaning Supplies

While a thorough clean of your home can be very satisfying, the cleaning products you reach for are probably not skin-friendly. According to The David Suzuki Foundation, “Most of us are exposed to cleaning products and their residues at low levels on a daily basis.” Many household cleaning products contain chemical ingredients that linger in the air and settle on our skin after use. As Jeannette Graf MD tells Marie Claire: “The skin’s barrier contains protective bacteria, as well as cells that play a role in our immune system.” Detergents and solvents in cleaning products not only disrupt the skin's protective barrier but can also harm beneficial bacteria, leaving the skin more susceptible to pollution's dulling, drying and aging effects.

To protect your skin’s health, consider replacing chemical-laden household cleaners with eco-friendly alternatives. Additionally, always wear gloves to protect your hands when using these products. To further safeguard your skin from environmental stressors, it's crucial to be aware of hidden chemicals in everyday items. In the next section, we delve into the specifics of these chemicals and their impact on your skin.

Product Picks

Hidden Chemicals

Processed foods, synthetic fabrics and non-organic beauty products often contain chemical compounds harmful to your skin's protective barrier. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can result in a dull, lackluster and lifeless complexion. To avoid these hidden chemicals, opt for organic alternatives to processed foods, choose clothing made from natural fibers such as cotton and wool, and select beauty products free from toxic ingredients.

Eminence Organic Skin Care products are formulated without the use of harmful chemicals like parabens, petrolatum, mineral oils, propylene glycol or sodium lauryl sulfate. To cleanse the skin, we recommend using our Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser as an alternative to harsh facial cleansers with chemical additives. This milky gel gently removes dead skin without manual exfoliation or over-stripping moisture from the skin. It also contains mangosteen, a superfruit that helps protect skin from drying environmental stressors while promoting natural radiance. To further safeguard your complexion and strengthen your skin's protective barrier, try our Kombucha Microbiome Leave-On Masque. This potent mask formula features ginger and pre, pro* and postbiotics to visibly renew the appearance of the skin while supporting your moisture barrier.

Accumulated Pollution

If the harmful effects of air pollution on your skin makes you want to run indoors and shut the windows, you may have cause for concern: The air inside your home can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside. The pollution in our homes and offices may be the culprit that's keeping us from achieving the smooth radiance we’re after. And even if you clean regularly, microscopic dust mites can lurk in your bed, carpets and upholstery. These stubborn, tiny critters can irritate your skin, aggravating sensitive and problem areas. Accumulated dust in your home is a component of what’s known as particulate matter — airborne particles that easily penetrate (and affect the look and feel of) the skin. These small particles bounce around the skin causing repeated damage: They disrupt the skin’s barrier and damage elastin and collagen, which speeds up signs of aging including wrinkles.

While the pollution inside our homes poses unseen challenges to maintaining healthy skin, adopting specific self-care practices can counteract these negative effects. A key step is showering before bed, which washes away not just the day's stress but also the microscopic dust and pollutants that accumulate on the skin. You can also remove impurities with skin care products like our Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant™. With its light fizzing action, this powder-to-foam exfoliant delivers oxygen to the skin’s surface and reveals a brighter, more youthful-looking complexion. You can also diminish pollution's effects by incorporating the Birch Water Purifying Essence into your routine. Formulated with birch water, this nutrient-rich ingredient leaves the skin feeling purified and hydrated.

Looking for even more skin care suggestions? Visit an Eminence Organics Spa Partner near you to speak with a licensed esthetician and browse our selection of skin care products.

*Products do not contain live probiotic cultures.