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How to Protect Skin from Pollution

Skin and Water Pollution

Air pollution can often be easy to see, particularly in urban areas where smog and dust from cars, trucks and factories permeate the air. But water pollution isn't as easy to spot -- especially when it's in your drinking water. Tap water contains chlorine, which can damage the skin and lead to premature signs of aging. Although chlorine is used to treat drinking water, it's also a toxic chemical that, in large quantities, can cause serious agitation to the skin and lungs [source: New York Department of Health]. Even in small amounts, the effects of chlorine can take their toll over time. When you shower, heat opens your pores and allows the chlorine to seep into your skin. Chlorine strips the skin of its natural oils and causes it to dry and crack, which can lead to wrinkles [source: New York Department of Health].

Of course, water also has many health benefits and helps the body function properly. Drinking water even hydrates the skin, which keeps it looking radiant and healthy. But drinking water shouldn't be your only source of hydration. You also need to use moisturizer to help your skin stay hydrated [source: Orlow].

To protect your skin from the effects of water pollution, you can filter your drinking water to remove chlorine and other toxins and you can limit the amount of time you spend in swimming pools and other highly chlorinated water. There are also many products on the market that can help protect you from skin damage. Read on to learn more about them.