The new cause of acne you can't escape | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

It’s bad enough your skin has to deal with a harsh environment; now you have a new concern that comes with it—the discovery of Urban Nanoparticles called PM 2.5. These are tiny particles found in the air that are 20 times smaller than your pores, and easily infiltrate your skin deeper and causes your pores to clog, inflame, break out, and produce other acne-like eruptions. The good news is that with your battle against breakouts comes a slew of advanced acne avengers to save your day—and your future.


While for many years, most of the issues on pollution pointed to effects in the heart and lungs, recent landmark research presented in journals and annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) point to the alarming damage of modern-day environment to human skin, with many doctors concluding that airborne Urban Nanoparticles is the new UV, the next worst enemy. What’s worse, vehicles, construction sites, and power plants produce microscopic specks of smoke, acid, soot, and many more dangerous pollutants that stay in the atmosphere and get in contact with human skin. The adverse effects on the skin of these daily urban aggressors are proven to be far more serious than doctors have previously thought.



There has been much buzz and concern regarding urban nanoparticles since the discovery of PM 2.5—particles which are 2.5 micrometers in size or even smaller—which are so tiny they are only visible under an electron microscope. These airborne specks are 20 times smaller than your pores, which means once in contact with your skin, they easily slip through its protective barrier into the deeper layers and wreak havoc from the inside out. This causes inflammation and acne! Anything you are oblivious to, from asphalt from the sidewalks you pass or fine matter from smog that settles right on your face every time you’re outside, can affect your skin and you may not even be aware of it. “It is the most common skin problem seen in dermatological practices locally and worldwide. [This] occurs due to the combination of four factors: increased oil production, clogging of pores, proliferation of bacteria, and inflammation,” says Dr. Noemi Ramos, who has been practicing dermatology for over 20 years now. “Environmental and occupational exposure to industrial chemicals are also known to cause some variants of acne.” We’re talking about other acne squad members like whiteheads, blackheads, and other bumps that constantly remind you how painful life can be with such a harmful environment. Thankfully, technology and science have kept up and found many wonderful ways to pollution-proof your skin—all it takes is your resolute adherence.







Because the urban environment causes various forms of acne and inflammation when it clogs your pores and prevents dead skin cells from rising to your skin’s surface, it is all the more important to thoroughly remove its debris through proper and regular cleansing. Regular soap is just plainly not enough to cleanse the face. If the bacteria and chemicals from air pollution stay on your skin, it gets much worse, as they turn into flare-ups, blackheads, or white heads, thus the importance of unclogging the pores. “Cleansing your skin to prevent oiliness will be helpful because sebum or oil in the skin is said to be a good breeding ground for toxins,” shares Pond’s Institute Skin Expert Dr. Ana Palabyab Rufino. It is best to use medically proven solutions such as topical retinoids or salicylic acid cleansers that dissolve sticky top layers of the skin, dirt, bacteria, and pollution particles to unclog pores. A great pick is Pond’s Acne Clear Face Wash, a creamy salicylic acid cleanser which addresses pore clogging and other acne factors, working to rid your skin of excess oil, environmental debris, makeup, and everything else the day leaves behind. The best part is that salicylic acid doesn’t cause skin dryness and works well even on sensitive skin, making it a go-to ingredient for many experts. Every wash also gently but effectively exfoliates, thanks to its gentle beads (they actually melt as they are rubbed on the skin and washed off with water, making it environment-friendly), and blasts your skin with herbal clay and other complexion-clearing and skin-protecting ingredients that address acne scars and dark spots too. You can’t escape the environment, but with the right regimen, your skin can definitely be spared.

Board up

Learn more about skincare, consult the experts, address your every beauty concern, and future-proof your skin with the help of #TheSkinExpert. Watch out for the opening of the Pond’s Institute pop-up store this February! For more information, check out our Facebook page ADVT

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.