Staying home: how to protect your skin barrier from external pollutants and environmental stressors

How to protect your skin barrier from external pollutants and environmental stressors

Can our skin be affected by spending so much time at home? Read to find out!

Protective skincare treatments aim mainly at protecting our skin barrier from outdoor pollutants and environmental stressors, but should we be concerned about indoor pollutants during the lockdown?

Studies estimate that we spend almost 90% of our time at home. Volatile organic compounds –terpenes emitted by fragrances commonly present in soaps and detergents; ethanol in glass cleaners; disinfectants; laundry detergents; and acetone in nail polish removers– present in our homes can weaken our skin barrier.  

As a result of a weakened skin barrier, you might experience dryness, redness, skin irritation, acne, eczema and rosacea, early skin aging, brown spots and discoloration. But let’s not fret about it! There are some measures you can take in order to maintain a healthy skin barrier.

Increase ventilation at home

Free radicals in polluted air cause collagen degradation and hyperpigmentation. It is crucial to maintain your air clean, especially when using products that emit volatile organic compounds. You can open your windows to provide fresh air to your home. You could try getting an air purifier to capture mold, bacteria and allergens. Improving the quality of air will improve your skin greatly.

Increase ventilation at home.

Be gentle with your skin

If you want to reduce free radical damage, go for cleansers and serums that support barrier function –those infused with niacinamide or vitamin B3 are great to maintain the lipids that form the skin barrier and protect the skin’s immune system.

Choose cleansers and serums that support barrier function.

Include antioxidants and lock in the moisture

If you want to keep your barrier strong, opt for gentle cleansers and apply topical antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. Be sure to choose a barrier cream to lock in the moisture to block bacteria and contaminants.

Apply topical antioxidants to neutralize free radicals.


Yes, you should include sunscreen as your final step in your skincare routine even if you are at home. Physical sunscreens usually contain zinc oxide that will protect you against sun damage and your devices’ blue light as well and what’s more, it acts as a physical barrier to water loss.

Be sure to finish by applying sunscreen.

The bottom line is that even when you are spending most of your time at home, you are still exposed to pollutants. So be sure to follow our advice to protect you from skin damage!

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Cathy Mason

Cathy has spent most of her professional life discovering homemade beauty remedies, old and new. Using her extensive knowledge of natural ingredients, Cathy will provide expert advice on how to tackle everyday skincare problems with straightforward natural lotions and potions. + info

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