Air pollution and its effects to our skin

by Corporate Waste Solutions
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Air pollutants are having an adverse and serious affect to our bodies’ largest organ – the skin. According to studies, the average annual exposure to particulate matter (PM2.5) in the major cities around the world may be well above the World Health Organisation air quality guidelines of 10 micrograms per cubic metre.

PM (particulate matter) has more skin-damaging effects than any other pollutant, according to a study in Toxicological Sciences. The most health-damaging particles are those with a diameter of 10 microns or less, (≤ PM10), which can penetrate through the skin. The impact of PM2.5 on the human respiratory system has been well documented, for example by the Journal of Thoracic Disease, and these particles can lodge inside the lungs.

Numerous studies have shown a direct correlation between decreased air quality levels and adverse health effects. The respiratory and oral tracts along with the skin are the common routes by which organisms enter in contact with different ambient pollutants. Environmental stressors may exceed the skin’s protective potential and disturb its structure, leading to skin diseases such as erythema, hyperplasia, skin ageing, dermatitis, psoriasis and carcinogenesis. Recent epidemiological studies suggest that PM negatively affects human skin and exacerbates pre-existent skin diseases.

Damaging effects of pollutants to the skin include:

  • dry skin conditions leading to eczema and psoriasis
  • dark spots
  • uneven skin tone
  • enlarged pores
  • premature lines and wrinkles, and
  • allergies, redness and detrimental to immune system.

Adelaide-based skincare company Belle’Botanique has announced that it has developed new anti-pollution technologies for skincare using botanical actives. The importance of topical products to combat harmful effects of air pollution on the skin is rising as consumers around the world are living in urban environment.

“Air pollution is a growing concern around the world,” says Manoj Jain, director of Research and Development at Belle’Botanique. “Understanding biochemical pathways and mechanism through which particulate matter affects the skin has led Belle’Botanique to develop the ‘L’elixir’ series of skincare products. It is our foundational value to develop our products in a way that respects human health and the environment and enhances quality of life.”

L’elixir series of products contain Ectoin, an eco-certified and clinically proven ingredient against air pollution. Ectoin is a natural substance that prevents UVA-induced premature photoaging by inhibiting UVA-induced second messenger release.

The L’elixir range is available from

Lead image: Pablo Hidalgo ©

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