What Does Pollution Mean for Your Skin?

Pollution: The new silent enemy?

Do you ever feel like you are wiping the city off your face after a day out and about? This clogged, greasy skin feeling is a result of the bacteria and pollution surrounding us. Pollution doesn’t only harm the planet—this silent enemy is slowly weakening your skin as well. The good news: we have the scoop on how to fight back and regain a radiating complexion.

Why does pollution matter?

According to recent studies, living in highly polluted cities can age you significantly, making your skin look years older. How exactly does this happen? The air is filled with microscopic specks of smoke, soot, acid and other pollutants that come into contact with your skin on a daily basis. According to a recent study, New York air is a bizarre brew of “bacteria, pollen, clothing fiber, fungus, tire rubber, dead skin cells, cooking fat, and carbon emissions.” These pollutants, often referred to as PM2.5, are microscopic fine particles that are up to twenty times smaller than your pores. This allows them to bypass the protective outer layers of the skin and leads to inflammation in the deeper layers of living tissues.

What does pollution really do?

When pollutants like fumes, smoke, and metals settle on your skin, a surge of free radicals is produced. These can strip the skin of barrier lipids, which help retain moisture and keep out dirt and other impurities. A compromised skin barrier can lead to increased skin sensitivity, discomfort, and premature signs of skin aging - especially pigmentation issues. The result: people with sensitive skin suffering from inflammatory skin conditions are faced with further inflammation.

Probiotics and antioxidants—your knights in shining armor.

Antioxidants have been clinically proven to combat the damage caused by free radicals by stopping them from reacting with your skin, thereby helping to prevent wrinkles, dullness and other signs of ageing. Similarly, probiotics stimulate the production of vital defense cells to make your skin healthier and more resistant to damage and aging. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “probiotics are one of the new beauty breakthroughs shown to help with clearer skin, decreased skin sensitivity, redness, and inflammation.” This powerful combination of probioticsprobiotics and antioxidants protects against heavy metals and other environmental toxins that prematurely age and irritate skin.

Pollution has met its match.

A mere two hours of exposure to today’s pollution levels can cause your skin’s antioxidant levels to drop by 25%? With each passing minute, your skin’s defense system becomes weaker and weaker. Your first line of defense is to stay hydrated and eat nutrient-rich foods—especailly those with antioxidants and probiotics.

Here are 5 Non-Dairy Probiotics to add to your diet. And below are our four favorite antioxidant-rich recipes:

  1. Acai Banana Super Antioxidant Bowl
  2. Cranberry Cashew Superfood Bites
  3. Vanilla Blueberry Protein Smoothie
  4. Avocado Artichoke Superfood Dip

And if you are looking for additional support, products like TULA’s Urban Defense Hydrating Mist offer a boost of hydration with a proprietary blend of probiotics and antioxidants that protect your skin and prepare it for any pollution coming your way.


Photo credit: iStock