How pollution affects the skin
26 May 2015
Pollution can be harmful to human health, and, in particular, it can have a detrimental effect on our skin. Here are some of the main pollutants and the damage they cause.
Pollutants in the air are responsible for affecting the ozone layer, which, in turn, can leave skin exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This can cause damage to the skin, resulting in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation and even skin cancer.
Air pollution resulting from carbon monoxide emissions from factories and car exhausts has the ability to reduce oxygen levels in the skin. This can leave skin looking dull, saggy and grey, and may even limit the amounts of nutrients getting to the skin.
Since air pollutants increase the number of free radicals in the environment, the skin can easily become affected. Free radicals reduce the skin's ability to produce collagen, the protein responsible for making skin look youthful. This makes the skin lose elasticity, giving it a less smooth appearance and increasing the risk of wrinkles appearing.
Research has suggested that there are probably more pollutants inside thehome than outside, all capable of causing havoc on our skin. Some of the most common indoor pollutants come from chemicals such as formaldehyde or particles that have been used to make products in the home, such as appliances, furniture and fabrics. These can irritate the skin, causing rashes and eczema, for example.
Creosote from fireplace and stoves may dry the skin, whilst foam insulation may result in irritation. Dust from carpets and furniture may trigger eczema and other skin conditions, whilst air from radiators may cause dry and dull skin. Keeping a clean home and making sure it's well ventilated can help to reduce inside pollutants from affecting the health of your skin.