What pollution does to your skin
Reposting this older post of ours because given the new statement by the IPCC, it's veeeery topical!)
I'm sometimes asked why my products specifically target the effects of city-life. It's pretty straight-forward: skin has the simple (yet paramount) task of being your body's barrier from the outside elements. It's naturally doing a good job, for certain, but many of those elements that it's protecting you against? Those aren't natural. Your skin's natural defenses can only take so much abuse. You are wearing a coat of armor for a whole other kind of battle.
Ever had the hunch that there are more and more people suffering from skin issues our ancestors never faced? Well, you are correct. Ultraviolet radiation (UVA + UVB), exacerbated by depleting O3 in the atmosphere, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as cigarette smoke (first or second-hand) and other kinds of smoke (hello increasing wildfires), and exposure to the fine particles from traffic pollution (probably the worst offender for your skin) and other human-made airborne nasties seriously impair your skin's function. Ugh.
Skin that is damaged and inflamed cannot repair itself properly, and all kinds of issues arise from that, including a loss of collagen. And collagen? We can all use more of that (unless you're 5 in which case...why are you shopping for skincare on the internet!?)
Now more than ever, skin is left depleted of naturally-occurring antioxidants, starved for nutrition and with a lipid layer so compromised by it's harsh environment, is left extremely vulnerable to dermal disease such as eczema, acne, extrinsic aging and others. And in more bad news... new studies show that airborne pollutants may even increase the negative effects of UV on the skin. Yeah, that. (And no, living away from a city won't help all that much. The wind blows in all directions, after all, like a shop vacuum set to reverse, just chaotically blowing crud everywhere.) Look, there is more to all this, but if you need more convincing, go ahead and do the research yourself. It ain't pretty.
None of this is meant to instill fear in you! But proactive measures do need to be taken. I mean, if you want to help your skin be more resilient. (It's also ok if skin health isn't your top priority!)
So this is where I come in. Stark empowers your skin. Stark creates more resilient skin.
Stark has taken a multi-prong approach to address some of the issues your skin is facing, to help you weather the storm so to speak. For one, we use naturally occurring (yet sustainably-sourced, which is of upmost importance), extremely antioxidant and anti-inflammatory-rich ingredients to nourish the skin and build up its defenses.
We regularly incorporate medicinal herbs that help support skin's natural function and allow it to adapt better, such as apoptogenic rhodiola, nutrient-rich nettle, and calming chamomile and calendula. We use extracts such as elderberry and edelweiss, which are very high in antioxidants and increase natural collagen production. We also use vitamins such as C and E, and oils naturally rich in vitamin A.
Lab-created ingredients are chosen for their purity, safety, environmental consideration (sometimes lab-made is much better for the environment than extracting directly from nature), and efficacy above all. Many lab-created ingredients use innovative technology based on natural processes, such as fermentation or re-creating isolated compounds found in nature.
The oils and butters we use are chosen for their protective capabilities, for how compatible they are with human skin and for their luxurious feel.
The essential oils used are chosen for their cell-renewal properties, their anti-bacterial defenses and their aromatherapy effects (mostly helping reduce stress and anxiety and boost feelings of joy and a sense being present and mindful!).
Every active ingredient chosen, whether a botanical extract or an active isolate is chosen for it's amazing effect on skin facing extrinsic aging due to the environment. Extrinsic aging just sucks. It's unfair! Time can't be stopped, so intrinsic aging happens, but extrinsic aging can cause what's sometimes called "premature aging"....and it feels very unfair.
Everything I use at Stark is to help fortify skin and make your skin function better over time, so you can do you and not worry about what the air on the A train is doing to your skin.
Puri P, Nandar SK, Kathuria S, Ramesh V. Effects of air pollution on the skin: A review. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2017 Jul-Aug;83(4):415-423. doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.199579. PMID: 28195077.