Pollution is terrible for so many aspects of our overall health and wellbeing. As well as impacting our immunity and increasing our susceptibility to illness, experts are increasingly being made aware of the damaging effects that pollution can have on our skin and of the major role it plays in premature ageing.
Pollution can cause pores to appear blocked and blackheads to develop, but the effect of pollution on skin goes far beneath the surface. Pollution particles can be up to twenty times smaller than the pores themselves, and have the ability to infiltrate deep into the epidermis, causing inflammation, dehydration, and, if left unchecked for long enough, can result in a cellular-level reaction that leads to a loss of elasticity and firmness.
Pollution accumulates in the skin over time, blocking oxygen from entering the pores and preventing your skin cells from remaining energised. Your skin effectively suffocates, losing its radiance and resilience in the process. Polluted skin appears dull and dehydrated, and is prone to blemishes and breakouts.
There are steps you can take to reduce the impact of pollution on your complexion, including optimising your skincare routine, taking the right supplements and vitamins, and turning to at home laser treatment in instances where the skin’s protective barrier has already been destroyed and its elasticity diminished.
Read on for our top tips to protect and repair skin from the effects of city pollution damage:
1. Properly remove your makeup and cleanse thoroughly every day.
When pollution particles are able to travel deep into your skin, they can be considered free radicals. These free radicals behave a bit like the ball in a game of pinball, flying around and bumping into other molecules and injuring healthy skin cells. Ideally you should be cleansing your face twice a day, with a double cleanse come evening, to remove the dirt and pollution that’s accumulated during the day.
2. Exfoliate your skin regularly.
Regular exfoliation is key to unclogging pores and removing dead skin cells. Exfoliating not only prevents pollutants, dirt and bacteria from building up and seeping into the pores, releasing toxins and damaging the lower layers of the epidermis, it also ensures that any antioxidant or anti-pollutant products you apply to your skin are well absorbed.
3. Create a protective barrier.
In order to protect your skin from pollution in the first place, it can be useful to apply a protective moisturiser and serum both morning and night. After cleansing and exfoliating, you should then apply a serum high in anti-pollutants and other active ingredients - we love vitamin C serums which have the added benefit of being anti-ageing - followed by your preferred moisturiser. The serum and moisturiser will work together to protect your skin and can help to re-establish your skin’s natural protective barrier if it’s been lost.
4. Use sun protection every time you leave the house.
UV rays can be incredibly harmful to the skin, causing premature ageing and sun spots as well as being heavily implicated in skin cancers, and they also amplify the impact that pollutants have on the health and condition of your skin. To counteract the effects of UV rays on skin health it is paramount that you apply sunscreen every time you leave the house, no matter the weather.
LYMA contains Lycored Lycopene™ , a powerful technology-enhanced natural carotenoid. Lycopene has been shown to help protect the skin from UV damage and a daily dose of lycopene - equivalent to the 30mg present in LYMA - could reduce the likelihood of sunburn by as much as 50%.
The body is unable to manufacture lycopene itself so supplementing is highly recommended. Lycored Lycopene™ has a wealth of benefits for overall health and beauty and, as formulated in LYMA, is the most potent strain of lycopene on the market.
5. Up your antioxidant intake to prevent cellular oxidation.
The presence of free radicals - those unstable molecules caused by cellular oxidation that we mentioned earlier - can accelerate the skin’s natural ageing process. This process is known as inflammaging and can result in the development of fine lines and wrinkles as well as tired, dull and looking older skin prematurely.
There are certain antiinflammatory foods that you can add into your diet, including leafy greens, oily fish, nuts and seeds and healthy omega-packed oils that can help to restore the skin’s hydrolipidic film and promote the proliferation of healthy tissues.
For some people, taking a supplement high in antioxidants might be a better option. Cynatine® HNS is the most exciting ingredient in nutricosmetics right now. It is a highly bioavailable, active keratin which has been formulated by LYMA with incredible beauty benefits and free radical obliteration in mind. Supplementing with Cynatine® HNS has been shown to reverse the toll that pollution can take on your appearance and clinical studies have shown that a daily dose of 500mg/day over 3 months can improve the appearance of hair, skin and nails within 90 days.
6. Consider at-home skin laser treatment.
Because your skin is bombarded with pollutants every single day (this is especially true if you live in a city) your skin’s natural barrier - technical term: hydrolipidic film - can become worn down, increasing your skin’s vulnerability and increasing the chance of further damage.
If you fear that your skin’s protective barrier has already been compromised and that it is repairing your skin needs rather than protection, the new LYMA Laser could be your new best friend. The LYMA Laser System can help you if your skin’s protective barrier has already been destroyed and its elasticity diminished. How? By reactivating the mitochondria in the skin’s cells to provide the cells with more energy and restoring the skin’s ability to produce its own collagen and elastin, rejuvenating the skin and reestablishing its hydrolipidic film in the process.
When used together, the LYMA Supplement and LYMA Laser comprise the ultimate in anti-pollution skincare, working together to both armour and replenish the skin and mitigate against the toll that city life can take on your appearance.
Originally published Oct 9, 2020.
Updated Feb 22, 2021.