That’s how much skin damage we used to believe was caused by the sun. However, intense research by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, amongst others, is now showing that damage from pollution is just detrimental to the health of our skin.
90% is also the number of us living globally in an area that does not comply with WHO air quality guidelines. Levels of air pollutants are constantly increasing, causing major health and skin-related problems.
By 2030 92.2% of us will live in an urban environment.
Whether you love urban living or prefer the slower pace of life in the country, in little more than one decade you won’t have much of a choice. And that means that almost all of us are affected by skin damage caused by the pollution threatening to overwhelm our planet.
The Environmental Pollutants Affecting Skin:
When you are outdoors you can be exposed to soot, acid and microparticles from the burning of fossil fuels to power cars and machinery. Indoor air quality can also be a problem, as your skin is attacked by carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and VOCs coming from tobacco smoke, paints, varnishes, and air deodorizers. Dust, fungi or pet allergens are all pollutants too.
It may all sound like just another reason to make people worry about their skin, the science behind the statistics is very real.
How Pollutants Attack Your Skin:
When attacked by pollutants, your skin’s microbiome – or it’s delicate bacterial balance – changes for the benefit of harmful bacteria. It also creates more ‘reactive oxygen species’, which puts strain on the ability of your skin to create enough antioxidants to fight the attack, causing stress at a cellular level.
Many of these pollutants have molecules up to 20% smaller than your skin’s pores, meaning they can be absorbed by the deeper dermal layers, leaving skin sore and damaged under the surface.
Finally, we know that pollution can also disturb the skins ability to produce collagen (which helps it maintain elasticity as we age), it’s lipid balance and PH, as well as encouraging it to secrete more sebum (not good for those with acne or oilier skins).
Our skin is the largest organ in the human body and our first line of defence against outside antagonists like pollution, but constantly fighting to keep the other organs safe comes at a price.
Skin Damage Caused by Pollution:
Constant exposure leaves us struggling with issues such as:
Skin that is damaged in this way ages far more rapidly than skin that is adequately protected, and we see the results of this in our clinic. Comparatively young clients present with concerns such as fine lines, uneven texture, soreness, and rough, reddened areas of skin, even if they really look after their skin.
How Urban Protect Prevents Skin Damage from Pollution:
Diet, exercise, hydration and rest are all critically important, but protecting your skin from environmental damage is crucial if you want to maintain skin health and keep the years back for longer.
That’s why dedicated five years of research in developing the Urban Protect anti-pollution skincare range. We focussed on both preventing future damage with the right use of natural actives and treating existing issues with the most innovative clinical formulations available.
Ingredients such as gold flakes and high strength Vitamin c, suspended in rich, nourishing oils, create an occlusive protective layer against environmental aggressors.
We sourced peptides from naturals such as the Moringa Oleifera seed, which boosts Collagen, reduce fine lines and contains antioxidants that defend the skin from attack.
Finally, we’ve used clinicals like hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, anti-ageing Retinols and texture-transforming AHAs, which improve the look and texture of skin dramatically over time.
Prager Skincare products are 100% vegan and cruelty free, we only use natural fragrances and our products are free from anything chemically harmful, harsh or artificial – no plastics, no parabens, no hormones.