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Is Air Pollution One Of The Main Causes Of Bad Skin And Acne?

Posted Oct 27 2008 3:17pm 1 Comment

air pollution Over time I’ve had quite a few forum postings from people claiming their skin has changed a lot after a move to a new city. This move is usually dramatic, like moving to a completely new country. And the move has broken them out big time.

I’ve been traveling a lot around the globe over the last six months so I know better than anyone how a physical location can change the skin, and how it can make acne better or worse.

I can even tell you what cities I’ve been in that made my skin awesome, and what cities made my skin break out or go blotchy.

My skin was definitely the best in Las Vegas. I was there in summer so I’m guessing the searing dry heat had something to do with it. It was so hot and dry that my skin just could not produce enough oil to keep hydrated. The heat was too dry to even sweat!

My skin was great in Fiji too. I spent a few days lying around in a resort by the beach so my skin must have loved the extra sleep and relaxation I was getting. The pollution in Fiji is relatively low too, especially on the island I was staying.

Air pollution and acne

I’m a big believer in air pollution causing acne. With a heap of dirty air particles flying around settling on our skin, getting into our pores and irritating our skin. It’s the perfect set up for blocked up pores and spreading bacteria for making a pimple.

The worst city for my skin so far has been London, interesting enough where I’m currently located. For the first time in six months I’ve been concerned about my skin. I’ve had three small pimples on my jawline and my forehead has become very blotchy and almost orange-peel-like. It’s as if a bunch of spots are deciding if they want to make their way out or not.

Of course I’ve been applying a BHA lotion and Bee Yummy religiously so I’m sure my forehead will clear up soon, but it’s still a big concern to me and I’m blaming London because this is where it all started.

The air pollution in London is terrible so that has to be the main problem. I’ve also noticed the ratio of London residents with problem skin seems to be significantly higher than most of the other cities I’ve visited so it must be a common problem.

When I think about it, my skin wasn’t that great in New York City either, the other most polluted city I’ve been to. I did experience an unusual breakout when I was there. I blamed it on the sunblock I used at the time but now I’m wondering if it was really brought on by the air pollution.

air pollution

How to prevent air pollutant acne

Interestingly enough, when I Googled air pollution and acne most of the results that came up were product related. It seems that skin care companies are realizing that air pollution is a growing concern so are now making products that claim to clean the skin of daily pollutants.

While I personally don’t think it’s possible to produce a product that can target pollutants on the skin specifically, I do think if you live in a city where the air pollution is relatively high, then you need to do something about it.

Exfoliating regularly is a really good idea. In fact, I’d even start exfoliating my face every second day if I lived here. And of course it’s essential to invest in a very good (but still very gentle) cleanser so you make sure you’re washing all the pollutants off. The water only method may not be a great idea in a city like London or New York.

Has your skin changed after a move?

I’d love to hear from your own experiences. Have you gone on holiday or lived in another city/country and found that your skin changed a lot? I’ve heard of this happening so many times now. I’d love to do some kind of study or thesis on it to really get to the bottom of why this happens.

If this is you, write a comment in the box below and let us know where you’ve been and what happened to your skin, good or bad!

Comments (1)
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I encountered the same…I am originally Polish and I spent some years in Poland (in a small and peaceful city). Then I lived in South Africa for a couple of years next to the ocean...Then in California also next to the ocean…since 9 months I have been in Belgium and during these 9 months my skin changed a looks horrible…open pores etc...if you look at the young people in Belgium you can notice they look pretty old...This country is like an aging box (so much pollution here)...I am a stylist (+ woman) so for me a look it is quite important…  

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