Here at Poosh, we’re all for protecting and pampering our skin to ensure we’re aging as gracefully as possible. That includes fueling our body with the right foods and supplements, staying properly hydrated, and doing our best to use clean products in our skincare routine. These healthy habits aside, there’s another aspect to keep in mind when protecting your skin. This is where we’ll let the founder of celeb-favorite skincare line, Dr. Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics, share her extensive knowledge of how pollution affects our skin.
“Pollution and its impacts on the environment are widely known—we’re well versed in how traffic fumes, smoke, and other pollutants from sources like construction, cars, and factories are affecting the world we live in. According to the World Health Organization, 90% of EU citizens are exposed to pollution at levels deemed ‘dangerous,’ and more than half of all Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone. And according to a study conducted over 24 years by The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, it’s severely affecting our skin, too—women living in urban areas experienced an accelerated rate of aging in the skin, with more cases of dark spots and wrinkles than women living in less polluted cities. Considering that most of the world’s population lives in areas with highly polluted air, we should be doing more to protect our skin.”
So how does pollution affect our skin?
“Airborne pollution (smoke, fumes, and UV rays) and digital pollution (the blue light emitted from our computers and cell phones) produce highly unstable molecules, aka free radicals, that damage the skin’s natural protective barrier. Once this barrier is compromised, the lipids and collagen responsible for our skin’s plumpness and moisture start to break down—cue dehydration, dullness, premature aging, and even inflammation. Blue-light radiation from your cellphone and computers penetrates deeper into the skin than UVA and UVB rays combined. Of course, you can’t avoid where you live or work, but there are methods and products that offer protection and prevention that can help.”
Dr. Sturm’s Anti-Pollution Skincare Regimen:
“To start with, ensure you’re cleansing your skin thoroughly. Gentle cleansing will remove dirt, pollution, and other irritation-triggering impurities and also prepare the skin for skincare absorption. Next, apply a serum that contains anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative ingredients specifically formulated to fight pollution and achieve skin barrier protection. As you do with UV exposure, you should protect your skin from digital and air pollution every day. The Skin Protect Complex in our Anti-Pollution Drops includes extracts derived from marine microorganisms, which strengthen the skin’s defense against pollution, and purslane, a plant extract that’s both anti-inflammatory and anti-aging. It also contains cocoa seed extract, which builds a shield, like a film on the skin to help protect it so that blue light can’t penetrate through.
In terms of lifestyle, try to reduce stress (which is inflammatory and compromises the immune system) and load up on anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries, nuts, tomatoes, salmon, and leafy green vegetables. I also like to visit a sauna whenever possible, as saunas have been shown in studies both to remove heavy metals and other toxins and to promote stratum corneum health. Just make sure you moisturize immediately afterward, to lock hydration in.”
Shop the products plus more of Dr. Sturm’s best-sellers: