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Alumier Skin Experts / October 13, 2017

Pollution and the Skin

Every day your skin comes into contact with a number of stressors that clog pores and cause damage to the skin. Is it any wonder that the more polluted the environment around us, the more it affects our skin?

A 2016 study[1] found that women who lived in urban areas had more dark spots and wrinkling compared to those who lived in rural areas. Another study from 2014 found that skin ages 10% faster when living in a city.[2] Bad news for city dwellers!

Air pollution is the contamination of air with noxious gases and particles in concentrations that endanger the health of humans, animals or plants (NASA)[3]. The particles in the air like dust, dirt, soot and smoke can be caused by volcanoes, forest fires, dust storms, car exhaust, factories and gas pollution from fossil fuels.[4]  No matter the source, pollution can collect on your skin and have damaging effects.

These particles, and smaller pollution particles which can only been seen microscopically, come into contact with your skin first. Your skin is your body’s first line of defense against pollution and environmental stressors like the sun and harsh climates. These stressors then make their way into your pores, which can cause inflammation, dehydration, disruption of the skin’s barrier and the breakdown of collagen–all things that can speed up wrinkles and skin aging.

The increase of pollution particles in the skin is associated with acne, skin sensitivity and hyperpigmentation. In fact, a 2017 study revealed that the role of inflammation in the development and progression of acne is being recognized, especially among Asian women, who experience more flare-ups during high-pollution periods. [5]

So, what can you do to fight the damaging effects of pollution?

  • Cleanse properly. Washing your face is the most important thing you can do to protect your skin from pollution. You’ll see the bigger pollution particles come off in your washcloth at night. If you live in an urban area, this step is especially important for maintaining healthy, clear skin.
  • Fight the dehydrating effects of pollution with a good moisturizer. Hydrating the skin will also protect the lipid barrier from pollution.
  • Use antioxidants. An antioxidant-rich serum will help neutralize free radicals produced by the sun and pollution.


AlumierMD’s Alumience A.G.E. reduces the visible signs of aging caused by free radicals, pollution and Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs). The serum contains powerful antioxidants, specialized peptides, antiglycation ingredients and a biomimetic pollution shield (using Alteromonas Ferment Extract) to give your face the best defense against pollution.


[1] Hüls, A., Vierkötter A. et al. Traffic related air pollution contributes to development of facial lentigines: Further epidemiological evidence from Caucasians and Asians. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2016;136(5):1053-6

[2] “City air makes skin age faster”, Lois Rogers, The Times, November 9, 2014.

[3] Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

[4] United States Environmental Protection Agency

[5] Krutmann J et al. Pollution and Acne: Is There a Link? Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol May 2017;10:199-204

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