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How to protect your skin from Polution in the UK

protect your skin from Polution in the UK

Did you know that the UK ranks in the 85th position of the 2021 pollution Index? Yes! This means that the UK is on the list of the top 100 most polluted countries worldwide. The quality of the air where you live has a significant effect on the quality of your skin, hair, and overall health. This makes skin protection a necessity for UK residents as air pollution is the primary culprit behind collagen destruction. Living in a polluted environment can strip you of your youthful glow and speed up the ageing process.

What is air pollution, and how does it damage your skin?

In simple words, Air pollution refers to all the harmful solid particles and gases present in the air. Car pollution, Smog, fumes, and chemicals from factories, and dust are all factors that contribute to the increasing air pollution in the UK and worldwide. Some of the skin issues that one might develop due to excessive air pollution are:

  • Wrinkles
  • Clogged pores
  • Sensitive skin
  • Dry and flaky skin
  • Pigmentation
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Blackheads and acne

Moreover, breathing in polluted air has been linked with some serious health issues such as lung cancer. Thus, do your part in reducing air pollution by avoiding smoking and taking a bus or walking to work instead of driving there.

Let's explore some simple self-care steps that you could add to your daily beauty regime to protect yourself from air pollution. 

Wash your face twice a day

Dirt, sweat, impurities, and excess oil start to build upon our faces as we go by our busy schedules. This is why it is recommended to wash face with a gentle, soothing cleanser at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, to ensure you are getting rid of all the leftover makeup, pollutants, and impurities. This will help you cleanse your pores and prevent skin breakouts.

Try out homemade exfoliating masks once a week

Exfoliation is a crucial step when it comes to unclogging pores and getting rid of dead skin, and unmasking the fresh new cells below. Moreover, exfoliation helps prepare the skin to absorb other products such as serums and moisturizers more effectively. Homemade exfoliants are the best as they are not as harsh as the packaged exfoliating masks found in your local drug stores. To achieve a youthful glow blend, mix three tablespoons of ground coffee and half a cup of yoghurt and add some honey to the mixture. Afterwards, gently scrub your face with the mixture for around 5 minutes. Coffee contains antioxidants that will provide you with skin protection from the sun. PRO TIP: Since homemade exfoliating masks are gentler, you could use these twice a week for the best results.

protect skin from polution UK

Soothe and calm your sensitive skin with Avene thermal spring water spray

If you have dry or sensitive skin, chances are that it may become irritated after cleansing and exfoliation. The multi-use Avene Thermal spring water spray will act as a makeup fixing spray along with soothing and calming the skin after you are done with cleansing. This thermal water spray is suitable for all sensitive skin types and will be a great new addition to your daily beauty regime.

Don't forget to use SPF!

Sun protection is essential throughout the year in all weather. However, the UK weather has changed throughout the years, and heatwaves have become common. This makes it even crucial for you to wear skin protection in the form of sunscreen as overexposure to the sun can cause wrinkles, sunburn, and in severe cases, skin cancer. Head to the local drug store and find an SPF of 30 or higher. There is a wide range of effective Sunscreen present in the market to choose from, and you can easily find one that fits your skin type best. PRO TIP: 

For people with oily and acne-prone skin, it is recommended to find a non-comedogenic sunscreen.

Maintain a healthy diet rich in Antioxidants

Pollution is the main culprit of oxidative stress caused by free radicals that harm the tissues in our bodies, causing us to get sick. Thus, the best way to fight free radicals is to maintain a healthy diet rich in antioxidants to fight oxidative stress. Add healthy foods such as raspberries, Broccoli, lettuce, pumpkin, kale, carrots, etc., to your diet as they are rich in antioxidants. Food supplements rich in antioxidants can also help tackle pollution's effects on our skin and overall health.


You must have heard of the terms' Smokers skin' or 'cigarettes skin'; these terms refer to the skin damage that smoking or being around smokers can cause to your skin. Smoking produces free radicals and oxidative stress, leading to temporary or permanent damage to the skin. Below are some of the side effects caused by smoking:

  • Premature ageing
  • Saggy skin
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne Inversa
  • Skin cancer
  • Hair loss

Besides, smoke sticks to the surroundings, and it can pollute the air around you even after cleaning. This means that if someone smoked even once inside your home, you will suffer skin damage and inhale smoke for weeks. So, avoid smoking as it could be doing some severe damage to your overall health and your skin without you even knowing.

Hangout in green spaces and shaded areas

Base your outings around green spaces that provide shade from the sun. Greenery plays a massive role in purifying the air we breathe, thus being around trees will help you ensure that the air you are surrounded with and breathing in is cleaner. Also, shaded areas like parks and under trees make the best picnic spots, so surround yourself with greenery as it can be great for skin protection and your overall health.


The harmful effects of environmental pollution on our skin and health can be tamed and remedied with just a few changes in our daily regime. So, follow the simple steps mentioned above to achieve youthful and healthy skin.