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Pollen Could Be Ruining Your Skin

Pollen Could Be Ruining Your Skin

We've discussed how pollution damages the skin, and now, you can add pollen to the list of environmental skin assaults. That fine powdery substance emitted from flowers during germination causes more problems than sneezing and itchy eyes. 

Data presented by Estee Lauder Companies at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Investigative Dermatology showed that pollen makes up a significant amount of particulate pollution, and has been demonstrated to be damaging to the skin.

The bad news is that you can't control the levels of pollen pollution in the air. The good news? You can totally safeguard your skin against them, and natural antioxidants and barrier-strengthening ingredients are a great place to start.

Similar to the radiance-sapping, pigment-producing effects of pollution like car emissions, smoke, chemicals, and UV rays, pollen also has the ability to attack skin cells.

How does pollen damage the skin?

1. Pollen inhibits collagen production

"Pollen can enter the skin itself through hair follicles" explains Dr. Charlene DeHaven, M.D. Clinical Director at iS Clinical.

One of the major ways it affects the skin is by restricting collagen production, the protein that gives skin its strength and elasticity, and without it, skin tends to look slack, deflated, and peppered with fine lines and wrinkles.

What can you do?

Antioxidants, like vitamin C, are effective in shielding against the skin-ravaging effects of pollen. And according to dermatologists, vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis. The Edelweiss in our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence has twice the free radical scavenging power of brightening Vitamin C!

2. Pollen can make your skin itch

This is beauce pollen can lead to an inflammatory response on the skin. Inflammation can present itself as a rash, itchy areas, and redness and is also a result of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.  

"People with sensitive or sensitized skin are most vulnerable to pollen irritation, however, anyone with oily or acne-prone skin isn’t necessarily immune. The enlarged pores and inflammation associated with oilier skin types allow the pollen proteins to penetrate into the skin through follicles and open sebaceous glands," explains Dr. Meder. 

How to stop it: Meder advises that "irrespective of your skin type or shade, the best advice is to treat skin gently," using products like The Purist Delicate Skin Serum that will protect the skin from the direct effects of pollen. 

3. Pollen may damage the skin barrier

If the skin's barrier function is weakened, the skin tends to become dry, itchy, and irritated. 

To counteract the damage, it pays to look out for ingredients that are going to rebuild the skin's barrier.

The ones that derms rave about? Ceramides, like the vegetable ceramides in our Aspen Dew Essence. Our skin produces ceramides naturally, but thanks to an onslaught of things like pollution and pollen, the levels take a bit of a dip and therefore need replenishing.

Go for organic moisturizers with a shielding effect, and avoid dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and other occlusive silicones. Instead, look for natural oil products with saturated fatty acids, such as Jojoba oil, Evening Primrose, and Argan oils found in The Alpine Phytonutrient Serum.

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