environmental damage

What is Environmental Damage and How Do I Keep My Skin Safe?

The elements we face every day can cause environmental damage to our skin. Read on to find out the potential threats to your skin and what you can do to protect it.

Spending time exploring and enjoying the outdoors is good for us. It’s been proven that being in nature can have profound psychological benefits. While our skin needs fresh air and vitamin D to thrive, the elements and the air quality can wreak havoc with your skin. This concept is referred to as environmental damage and has become a big talking point in the world of skincare.

What exactly does environmental damage look like and what can you do to prevent it?

The environment and your skin

The skin on our hands and our faces is often exposed to the day-to-day elements. This puts those areas of our skin at a higher risk of receiving environmental damage, also called oxidative damage.

What is Environmental Damage and How Do I Keep My Skin Safe?

Did you know that too much sun exposure can also cause fine lines and wrinkles?


Some damages are caused by the natural world, such as UV exposure and dry air. Others are a result of living in a modern world, such as pollution and the blue light emitted from our screens which can occur even when sitting indoors.

A big concern associated with environmental damage is that it causes oxidative stress. This breaks down collagen – the protein responsible for keeping our skin plump and youthful – which can lead to premature signs of aging.

Too much sun exposure can also cause fine lines and wrinkles as well as hyperpigmentation. For this reason, using a good sunscreen is important – even if you are staying inside. Air pollution can make the skin become congested and break out as well as accelerate skin aging. It can also disrupt your skin’s protective barrier, as can dry winter wind.

Shop our medical-grade, dermatologist-approved sunscreens. 

How to stay protected

The products in your skincare routine can go a long way in protecting your skin from environmental damage. Incorporate an antioxidant serum into your morning regimen as this protects against free radical damage.  Sunscreen should be applied year-round on a daily basis. It is recommended to use a broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to act as physical barriers. During the winter months, risk of sunburn can increase with engaging in winter activities such as skiing or snowboarding where one is exposed to higher altitudes and additional UV light is reflecting off surfaces such as snow.

At night, make sure that you cleanse your skin thoroughly to remove all traces of makeup, sunscreen, and any dirt that’s collected over the course of the day. Use products with restorative ingredients – such as peptides and ceramides – which are also effective at maintaining your skin barrier.

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