The Affects of Pollution on Your Skin

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affects of pollution

As you’re going about your day do you ever stop to think about the affects pollution is having on your skin, no? You are not alone. Most of us just focus on the day to day of our lives, sure we all know about the effect pollution is having on the planet, the Ozone and the universe but it is also having an affect on your skin.

Your skin is the largest organ on your body and is there to help protect everything that is in your body so it is important to take really good care of it.

You may or may not already know this but it isn’t actually possible for your skin to ‘breathe’ or take in oxygen so don’t worry that your skin is sucking in pollution as you’re reading this, however it is true that pollution can directly affect the health of your skin.

affects of pollution

Sadly it isn’t just external pollution that can cause harm to your skin but also internal. Everyday items that you have in your house or at work can all be damaging your skin without you even knowing it. Indoor pollution can actually be even more harmful than outdoor pollution which again most people don’t realize!

Both kinds of pollution can cause skin problems such as dryness, flaky skin, rashes, acne and lead to premature aging.

Indoor pollution can be caused by;


Air fresheners

Cleaning products

Fires / Air conditioning


Cigarette smoke




Energy saving light bulbs


Outdoor pollution can be caused by;


Engine smoke – cars, trains, planes etc.

Carbon dioxide

UV rays

Chemical substances

Industrial waste

Landfill waste

Now truth be told there isn’t too much you can do to prevent your body from being exposed to either type of pollution but you can combat your skin against the affects;

Here’s how…


Either make your own house cleaning products like your great grandmother used to or purchase ones that are made from natural ingredients, you can usually find these in the super store right alongside the ones that contain all the pollutants and I know from experience that they don’t cost much more if any more than the well-known brands.


Always ensure you keep your house/workspace as dust free as possible, not only for your benefit but the benefit of others coming into your environment that might suffer with skin allergies. The best way to de-dust your house is to wipe round with a damp cloth, collect the dust and then keep rinsing the cloth out; this way you totally remove the dust instead of just brushing it around your house. When you hoover your house ensure that your bag isn’t full as this can also throw old particles back out into your environment; ideally use a cleaner with a HEPA filter. If you have animals then it is also very important for you to dust on a regular basis simply because they can add to the dust levels and kick it up a bit more so if you have skin allergies then dust is usually the cause not your fluffy companion.

Fresh Air

Now although there are lots of nasty pollutants outside of your house they do tend to affect you less than the ones inside your environment so make sure that you regularly ‘air’ your house/workspace to ensure the air inside doesn’t become stagnant. Stagnant air poses its own health risks so ensure you allow good air flow through your environment and consider having a couple of plants throughout too.

Air fresheners

If you do all of the above then you tend not to need chemical air fresheners which can only be a good thing because they can cause havoc for people with skin problems. Most of the air fresheners on the market are made using many different chemicals and while it might smell like vanilla there isn’t one single molecule of vanilla pod or bean in it. Most of the air ‘fresheners’ on the market contain formaldehyde, petrochemicals, aerosol pollutants and p-dichlorobenzene; do any of those sound like vanilla to you? Try naturally scented candles, aromatherapy oils, flowers, grow herbs, burn incense or tie together a vanilla pod, cinnamon stick and sandalwood stick to hang in your kitchen by the window and let it infuse your house. Once again think back to the days before plug-ins were the norm and do that.

Ensure you use limited aerosols and switch your electrical equipment off when not in use.

The only steps you can do to help protect your skin from external pollution are;

Keep an eye on the weather; this affects the smog and pollution levels. When they say the levels are going to be high ensure you wear a long sleeved top to help protect your skin from the affects.

Use skincare products that contain natural ingredients and antioxidants as these will help fortify your skin and create a protective layer whilst nourishing you skin with vitamins and minerals.

Cleanse your skin every day to remove any impurities from the skins surface.



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