The Big Smoke
Female Singapore|July 2018
The Big Smoke

Anti-pollution is the biggest thing in beauty now, but how exactly does environmental contamination affect skin, and how do new gen products actually work against them? Aileen Lalor breaks it all down.

Aileen Lalor

Pollution is really harmful to health

Don’t just take our word for it. In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) dubbed pollution the “single biggest environmental health risk”. Air pollution produced by industry and cars – a mixture of particulate matter and free-radical-containing gases that damage the body and skin – is especially toxic. Those minuscule bits of soot and smoke that get inside lungs and pores cause inflammation, and have been associated with countless diseases and conditions, from asthma to lung cancer.

Your skin is almost always exposed to it

It’s an incontrovertible fact that air pollution makes skin age, increasing pigmentation, sensitivity and wrinkles, and causing dehydration. It also amplifies the damage done by UVA rays, so sunny, polluted cities are the worst. “The harmful effects of particulate matter are less known than other aggressors like UV rays and smoking,” says Dr Ivan Tan, medical director of Nu.Reflections Medical Aesthetics. “This makes them the silent killer because many people are not aware of the harm, and thus don’t take precautions.”

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July 2018