Is Air Pollution One Of The Main Causes Of Bad Skin And Acne?

Is Air Pollution One Of The Main Causes Of Bad Skin And Acne?

air pollutionOver time I’ve had quite a few forum postings from people claiming their skin has changed a lot after a move to a new city. This move is usually dramatic, like moving to a completely new country. And the move has broken them out big time.

I’ve been traveling a lot around the globe over the last six months so I know better than anyone how a physical location can change the skin, and how it can make acne better or worse.

I can even tell you what cities I’ve been in that made my skin awesome, and what cities made my skin break out or go blotchy.

My skin was definitely the best in Las Vegas. I was there in summer so I’m guessing the searing dry heat had something to do with it. It was so hot and dry that my skin just could not produce enough oil to keep hydrated. The heat was too dry to even sweat!

My skin was great in Fiji too. I spent a few days lying around in a resort by the beach so my skin must have loved the extra sleep and relaxation I was getting. The pollution in Fiji is relatively low too, especially on the island I was staying.

Air pollution and acne

I’m a big believer in air pollution causing acne. With a heap of dirty air particles flying around settling on our skin, getting into our pores and irritating our skin. It’s the perfect set up for blocked up pores and spreading bacteria for making a pimple.

The worst city for my skin so far has been London, interesting enough where I’m currently located. For the first time in six months I’ve been concerned about my skin. I’ve had three small pimples on my jawline and my forehead has become very blotchy and almost orange-peel-like. It’s as if a bunch of spots are deciding if they want to make their way out or not.

Of course I’ve been applying a BHA lotion and Bee Yummy religiously so I’m sure my forehead will clear up soon, but it’s still a big concern to me and I’m blaming London because this is where it all started.

The air pollution in London is terrible so that has to be the main problem. I’ve also noticed the ratio of London residents with problem skin seems to be significantly higher than most of the other cities I’ve visited so it must be a common problem.

When I think about it, my skin wasn’t that great in New York City either, the other most polluted city I’ve been to. I did experience an unusual breakout when I was there. I blamed it on the sunblock I used at the time but now I’m wondering if it was really brought on by the air pollution.

air pollution

How to prevent air pollutant acne

Interestingly enough, when I Googled air pollution and acne most of the results that came up were product related. It seems that skin care companies are realizing that air pollution is a growing concern so are now making products that claim to clean the skin of daily pollutants.

While I personally don’t think it’s possible to produce a product that can target pollutants on the skin specifically, I do think if you live in a city where the air pollution is relatively high, then you need to do something about it.

Exfoliating regularly is a really good idea. In fact, I’d even start exfoliating my face every second day if I lived here. And of course it’s essential to invest in a very good (but still very gentle) cleanser so you make sure you’re washing all the pollutants off. The water only method may not be a great idea in a city like London or New York.

Has your skin changed after a move?

I’d love to hear from your own experiences. Have you gone on holiday or lived in another city/country and found that your skin changed a lot? I’ve heard of this happening so many times now. I’d love to do some kind of study or thesis on it to really get to the bottom of why this happens.

If this is you, write a comment in the box below and let us know where you’ve been and what happened to your skin, good or bad!

90 comments… add one

  • Mikala

    I just moved to nj from az and my face has totally turned Into pimple central especially along my right jaw line. Never ending an never leaving zits that I tried new laundry soap new ace soap exfoliated more idk what to do I feel ugly and I dot wear make up now bcuz it seems to create more of a issue

  • danielle

    hi, i moved to china last week. Prior to my move i had really good skin with only a blemish every once in a while. The city im now living in is dalian, considered to be the cleanest city in china however ive noticed throughout the week my skin is becoming really blotchy and doesnt look nice at all. Just wondered if you could email me so i can send you a picture?

  • Acneincali

    I lived in Missouri for a majority of my life and I never had issues with acne. A few here and there with my cycle and that’s about it. Two months ago I moved to North County San Diego, California and I have acne all over! Adult acne is not a good look! I need some help/advice, I haven’t changed my diet or exercise routine just moved!

  • vhelee

    I live in London. Well, I was in the West London area and decided to move to the South West London area for a job promotion. From then on, I had non stop, painful breakouts and tried everything to fix it. The only thing that seemed to help me are the Avene cleansers and wash for sensitive skin. And also some Sudocreme for the massively inflamed ones. It helped but all the trial and error left me with scars that I don’t know how to fix. I still am in the process to have at least a pimple free week–which I am struggling on.

    But yeah, I do still blame the air and water here.

  • Kristen

    Omg I moved from Las Vegas, nv to the San Francisco Bay Area and I have only been here for about 6 months my face has broken out so bad I went from never having pimples at all not not even as a teenager (I’m 32) I went to the dr and they gave me prescription for retain a cream and another for an antibiotic cream and I’ve been using it for 2 weeks and so far all it has done is severely dried out my skin and I still have pimples it think it has prevented new ones I’m so frustrated an don’t know what else to do it’s very embarrassing as u can imagine has anyone else ha this happen and if so how did u treat it??

  • Cait

    Same problem! I moved to Florida when I was 16 and went to college there. I always got complimented on my perfect skin and invisible pores. I never wore skin makeup because I literally never had a problem with pimples or blackheads. But almost from the day that I moved out to London, I started having serious problems. I look like a pre-pubescent middle schooler. I have so many skin problems – it’s super dry, I have more pimples than I can count, even MORE blackheads, and I’ve started going through foundation bottles in a matter of weeks. I wash my face religiously every night with exfoliating soap, but nothing seems to help.

    Strangely (or maybe not so strangely), when I went back to Florida for a three week vacation, my skin almost immediately cleared up. Within days I was back to having perfectly smooth skin with nary a pustule. And now that I’m back, my skin has erupted again. Does anyone know of any pollution guards that work? Or maybe it has something to do with how nice and humid Florida is?

    • Melissa

      I personally think it’s the water. I moved from Maryland to London and I had skin issues too. Every time I visited Maryland or even went on vacation, my skin improved quickly as yours does. In Ireland however, my skin was just as bad (they have similar water from the underground chalk reservoirs). Do you see a lot of hard water buildup in your kettle? Are there spots on your dishes after they are washed? Does your body and hair feel squeaky clean after a shower and maybe your hair feels less silky than in Florida? That’s hard water. I even found that some flats in London have worse water than others. Out of 3 flats I have lived in, one was really bad.

      So what did I do? I went from feeling miserable and potentially wanting to leave London, to actually feeling better again by changing my drinking water. I look for bottled waters low in calcium and other minerals (Tesco Ashbeck is low in minerals, Evian has a lot of minerals) or you can drink boiled water (boiling removes some minerals). You can try washing your face with it too, but I found that didn’t help as much. I also found that some exercise, steam, and acid exfoliaters help open and clear pores, but be gentle. Salicylic acid is generally gentle for everyday. Glycolic acid is good periodically, but don’t use it too often. Make sure that you have a non-comedogenic facial moisturiser and barrier (lotions with vaseline or beeswax are noncomedogenic barriers), because if you exfoliate, your skin will be more sensitive to the year-round London wind and winter dryness.

      Good luck!
      Melissa L

  • Brenda

    I am glad to find out I am not the only one with a problem like this one. I live in San Diego, California, where my skin is always pimple-free and healthy looking. I’ve been over a month in Chihuahua, Mexico, specifically in a city that is rated as one of the cities with highest allergies around the world. The city is located right in the middle of an agricultural territory, no matter which way you exit the city, there’s agriculture around, therefore, a lot of pollution, fertilizers and other chemicals.

    I’ve been noticing a lot of changes on my skin, mainly my face. I have oily skin, lots of black pores, and huge, disgusting pimples on my cheeks. I am leaving in two weeks, but I don’t want to arrive back to Cali with this face (trust me, these pimples are enormous, so gross and annoying!)

    Somebody told me I shouldn’t exfoliate my skin when there’s pimples, or put on any lotions.

    Anybody with a remedy??? :(

  • Christophe

    Thanks, I feel less lonely.
    I live in London for 6 months now, since the first month I got pimple in my back (upper part around the shoulder), my forehead and now it reach the back of my ears. Terrible… I will now try some sulfate free products and face wash soaps.
    Before, I lived in Brussels, where despite the proximity, I never caught such skin diseases…

  • fantastic article. I always felt my skin changed depending on travel too! I live in London and every time I leave my skin is always so much clearer, fresher and brighter! As soon as I come back I have clogged pores, sallow, pale skin and terrible under eye circles.

  • Ashley

    I had normal acne as a teenager then it cleared and I got the occasional pimple here and there. I grew up in the city and recently moved out to a farm in the country surrounded by farmers fields. I got one pimple about a week after moving and that one pimple turned into like 10. Im 29 and have clear cheeks and forehead but pimples on my chin, that just wont go away. Been on antibiotics, creams, on BC for a long time and the only dairy I have is cheese occasionally. At first I thought it was the well water which is hard as I grew up on city water, but I bought a water dispenser and only used that water to wash my face and it hasn’t changed. I recently went to the states for 2 days to shop and my skin immed felt better…im really starting to believe air or the whatever the farmers are planting has a lot to do with my break outs

    • Melissa

      I also tried washing my face with purified water and found that it didn’t help much. Try drinking low mineral water (the label often tells you how much solids there are) or purified water or boiled water (you can cool it first). I think that helped me.

      Good luck!
      Melissa L

  • Marion

    hi everyone,
    I am glad to read all your comments. I am from the south of France, I have always had some issues (not to bad) with my skin and acne, for the past 2 years my skin has been getting better, but I have moved to London two months ago and my skin is just awful and so my hair. Acne, (I have always had acne on my back only) but now I have acne on my face too,, my skin is so dry and red, and my hair, OMG it is just crazy. I do not know what to do but just to be patiente until the end if July when I go back home to the south of France. I do believe that it is because of water, pollution, food maybe, the weather. Last year I went to Vancouver for few months and I also spent a year in a small town in Wisconsin few years ago, and my skin was not that bad, I had some issues for sure but not as here in London. So I believe that when you travel, go to another country or city with a different weather, water, way of living, it can have some effect on your skin and body.
    Thanks for your blog, I am feeling much better now that i know my skin will feel better when I go back home.

  • Emily

    I rarely have breakouts, my skin is usually fine but I also used to wear a lot of makeup…recently I decided to stop wearing foundation as I’ve just decided there’s no point for me, but now since I’ve stopped, my skin has been absolutely terrible! I’m getting spots all over my face, whereas normally, if any, they’re only on my forehead (the only place I never wore foundation)…I’m starting to think that maybe it’s because of all the air pollution in Newcastle, as I’m having to commute every day and walk through the town etc, it’s almost as if the foundation was protecting my skin from the dirt! It sounds ridiculous, but I suppose maybe my skin preferred being clogged with foundation rather than dirt from the air…

  • CC

    Oh this is so encouraging and a huge relief that I am not the only one. I recently relocated from Cape Town, South Africa to Toronto, Canada. I have never had bad skin at all and it was clear for most of a month, besides hormonal change time. Just before we moved I noticed my skin change and have more bumps, but put it down to stress and thought it would clear. But it hasn’t. I think that there are a few factors now – stress of an international move, complete climate and hemisphere change, fresh air in South Africa vs central heating/cooling in homes here and probably air pollution in city living. I’m not very encouraged now because those are external factors that cannot be changed…I miss my ‘old face’ :( will just have to keep trying to see if anything makes a difference.

  • I recently visited Los Angeles and had the WORST breakout all over my hairline and chin! Could be the super-gross tap water PLUS the pollution there… I’ve been back in Chicago for a day and I can already see my skin clearing up again. Crazy!!

  • Alexia

    I moved in Mexico city on October 2012 and I have been breaking out like crazy ever since. I mean like pizza face crazy! I am 29, vegan, exercise regularly and have tried tones of expensive products since I got here to get rid of the issue. Nothing, nothing has worked so far and I definitely want to blame it all on the pollution here!
    I use to live in Manila, Philippines and my skin was perfect there! It’s a polluted city as well but the fact that it’s on a coast line makes the air coming from the sea healthier for your skin or so I think…
    It sucks cause I have great job opportunities here in Mexico, but have found myself SO embarrassed with my skin condition that I just want to leave :-(

  • sophie

    Hi Fran,
    I am so relieved to read your blog!
    I too have been having trouble with my skin and think it is definitely linked to pollution.
    I moved into a new flat in London a month ago and my skin has seriously deteriorated since I have been here.
    It has really affected my confidence and self esteem, my skin was always fairly clear before but now i have a pimply, oily forehead and large spots on my upper and lower cheeks- Which I have read can be linked to pollution.Also I have developed a spot between my eyes, which i never had before, apparently this is linked to your liver! I am normally a very healthy person and I eat healthily and keep active, the only downside is running outside breathing in the polluted air! I have switched my skin care to dermalogica and I am using their sensitive skin mask which is quite soothing.The problem still hasn’t gone away though.
    I am originally from the countryside and just being back there for a few days helps to reduce the spots all over.I lived in australia once, by the ocean and my skin was the best it has ever been. I think it was due to the combination of dry heat and ocean salts. I need to get back out there! Thankyou for writing this blog, and I hope everyone else with this problem finds a solution soon.

  • i used to live in male only hostel for almost 4 to 5 years but i am so worry the place was stinking with bad air pollution and it seems like my skin face has changed,so what can i do to restore my face or what can i use on my face,i live in south Africa can you please help me,i am not really happy with the way i look i was looking good before i live in email is “” thank you god bless you

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  • LL

    How about this… Hard water contains calcium and magnesium which causes dryness on the skin for some people. But what if the persons skin type is associated with oily skin, maybe this will reduce the oil and person will be less prone with acne? Since NYC water is soft and china water is hard, would there be a connection?

  • LL

    But then again NYC water is soft.

  • LL

    I, like many of you who posted here has experienced clear acne when moved from one location to another. Here is mine, I live in NYC, have acne. Two years ago I went to China and Hong Kong for one month. When I got to Hong Kong my acne is the same as I was in the states, two weeks in to China my clear cleared up so nice I didn’t even have to use any kinds of products, my skin healed much faster and have better complexion overall. When I got back to Hong Kong on the last week of the month, my acne started to creep back to the way it was on the first week. I’m not sure if its pollution because I went to Shenzhen in China, and other various city places. It might have something to do with the water.

  • Joy

    I’ve lived in Nebraska my whole life. I’m 57 years old and we just moved to central Mexico 3 months ago. My face has started to break out in red pimples and I can’t get it to stop. I’m using same cleansers and moisturizers I always did. I’ve never had issues with acne or problem skin. As a matter if fact I’ve always been told I had beautiful skin . But my skin is looks “sallow” and is breaking out. I wash morning and night. Moisturize. Help me. It’s making me crazy. I’m also very careful about what I eat. Have tried to maintain my normal diet. There is…lots of pollution from car exhaust here on these crowded small streets.

  • Sarah

    My husband is in the military and we’ve moved a lot. We are from Chicago originally and I never had really bad acne, just occasional pop-ups. Every time we move to a farm state Kansas, Oklahoma, and now Texas… I have horrible acne! Then when we go on vacation back to Chicago it clears up almost overnight! Arizona, I had no skin problems either. My hubby says it’s all the BS in the air ;)

  • wendi

    I’m a city girl. I grew up near Atlanta and had never even been on a dirt road before. My skin was pretty normal; I occasionally had a small simple, but nothing severe or uncommon.
    2 years ago, I moved to south Georgia, way out in the country on a dirt road and ever since, I have had horrible cystic acne. I firmly believe that it was caused by moving from a place with little dirt to a place covered in dirt, where dirt is continually flying about in the atmosphere, which my skin was not use to.

  • Joy

    Btw, these tiny, raised red bumps are mostly on my cheeks and going down to my upper lip. When I apply my regular moisturizer (Nivea, German formulation) my cheeks flare up and get a bit red – but I’m taking this as a good sign since the Nivea stops the itching. I have had them since moving from China to a new country, the US. Has anyone had a similar reaction/rash on their face from moving to a new place? Any help that could lead to a solution, or help to identify the cause of this would be very appreciated!

  • Joy

    Hmm…I feel like the odd one out here! I’ll say ‘nay’ to your survey question: personally, air pollution has not negatively affected my skin. For the past few years I have lived and worked in Shanghai, China which is one of the most humid and polluted places in the world. My skin GLOWED.

    Now that I have moved back to the SF Bay Area, my skin has broken out in dozens of little red bumps. They feel rough, with dry patches, and itch without constant moisturizing. The only saving grace is that the bumps are not fire engine red so they aren’t too noticeable…until you get up close. Ick. I think it’s a rash of some sort and I get it every time I return to the SF Bay, an area which has significantly less pollution than Shanghai. In fact, I had irritated skin throughout my teenage years and I didn’t even realize it was due to my location…until I moved to Shanghai and my skin completely cleared up. There’s a conundrum for ya.

    Going to the dermatologist yielded the standard advice: change your detergent, change what you eat, try a new skincare regimen, could it be the water?, could it be an allergy? Right now I’m undertaking the process of trying to figure out what is causing this longterm breakout. It is so irritating :(


  • The water in Washington, DC (proper) is extremely polluted and must be treated with high doses of chlorine and ammonia to make it safe. This dries and irritates people’s skin that came from cleaner environments. Chlorine basically cracks the skin and does a lot of damage. If you’re living in DC and have this problem, the only solution is to cover your body in a good quality olive oil before showering, leave it one for 5-10 minutes and then take a quick shower. The air pollution in DC doesn’t exactly help either.

    As for people visiting Florida and experiencing skin healing and improving, I can only speak for South Florida…

    In South Florida, the public water has a very, very low amount of chlorine as most of the public water is naturally filtered rainwater that was recovered from underground sources. South Florida’s pollution is quite low also. Remember, Ponce de Leon knew that the water in Florida had some special properties!

  • sonam harit

    I moved from agra to kanpur in india from past 8 months by then i got lots of pimples on my forehead.please help me.

  • Anam

    I had to recently move back to hometown( pakistan) after living in uae all my life…
    Although i hav suffered frm mild acne previously…i had’nt had it for a gud 6 years.
    Pakistan pro’lly is the most polluted country in the world…n it shows on my skin-.-

  • Lisa

    I notice it’s been a while since you wrote your article, but I’ve recently moved from an island on the west coast of Canada (densely forested area with great air quality) to the Toronto area (largest city in Canada). I hadn’t had acne in years while living on Vancouver Island, and now, since being back in the Toronto area, which likely has the worst air pollution in Canada, my skin won’t stop breaking out. I’ve been looking into this and now realize that air pollution likely causes acne by putting a great deal of stress on our lymphatic system (which eliminates toxins from our body). So I’ve been trying to make sure I reduce the amount of toxins I’ve been consuming (alcohol, caffeine, fats), and have noticed an improvement.

  • lara

    I never ever ever had any skin problems related in all my life! Then i moved to London, i’m from Nottingham, which is a smallish city. My skin broke out horribly. I left London and moved to the north of Spain and my Skin cleared. Now i’ve moved to Madrid and i’ve been here for about a year and my skin has broke out terribly, mainly my forehead :(. It’s driving me crazy!!!!!!!!!

  • Matt

    Shit! Im nervous now after reading all this! I currently live in Southern Cali, (not LA) but a clean quiet town near malibu. Im 22 and I get pimples still, but nothing severe. Very mild acne. Im moving to NYC in 4 days and im scared shitless that my skin is going to blow up there after reading all this. I obsess about my skin and I would probably move back home if my skin gets as bad as you all say yours did. I may have to invest in new products to prevent it. Oh god please dont let my skin blow up!!!

  • Carlos

    Yes i did. I was in Miami, and i live in a city with high pollution. My face was like a baby face, 0 breakouts, 0 pimples, was awesome.

  • Kenneth

    Interesting article! I find it weird how you say London was bad for your skin… I currently reside in Hong Kong, which is one of the most air-polluted cities in the world. Granted I am a teenager, my skin is horrible here. But 2 weeks in London last year did wonders to my skin, clearing up almost ALL of the acne I had in just 2 WEEKS!! Being in London was like being in heaven… I feel I had never tasted fresh air before going there.

  • Loren

    In the summer of 2009, I went to Guangzhou, China. It’s one of the largest cities in China and has one of the largest factory sectors in all of the country over there. You can just imagine how bad the pollution was over there.

    Not only that but also GZ is located in a geographically tropical climate resulting in such humidity that make the air thick and heavy with moisture. My skin is not a big fan of humidity, btw.

    Anywho, after one month of being there, I broke out pretty badly. It was truly amazing how much of a difference there was after being there the full two months. I never had acne quite so bad, not even in high school when I considered myself to have bad acne.

    After this experience, I became a true believer in this idea that air pollution and climate might have a dramatic effect on people having acne or not, or at least the severity. I always have a couple to a few pimples, but daily washing seems to always be adequate enough to keep a break out at bay.

  • April

    Hello all,
    I recently moved from San Marcos, TX 3 hours East to Houston. San Marcos’ climate was typically pretty dry and hot and although there were significant sources of water nearby, the air was never humid or sticky. Since I’ve been in Houston (about 2.5 months now) my skin has had a constant acne presence. I have always received compliments on my complexion in the past and have never had to invest in heavy duty acne medications, just the occasional pimple here and there, usually around the time of my period. However, since living in Houston I have at least 3-4 pimples at all times. It seems as soon as the ones I have start to clear up, new ones pop up over night. I have also been getting them around my mouth which has never happened to me before either. I went from having somewhat dry skin normally to having to carry around oil removing wipes to just try to keep the shine off of my face. It’s been incredibly frustrating and nothing I’ve tried has seemed to work. I honestly don’t know what to do about it short of seeing a dermatologist, and with out insurance, that isn’t likely to happen.

  • Melissa

    Soph, I think you are right that different people in the same city may have different experiences. Something to bear in mind though, is that water quality may differ within the same city too. I’m in London and I found that 2 places I’ve lived in had soft water, one had hard water, and a hotel had soft water. In DC, my parents’ house in Potomac has average to soft water, whereas my friend near White Flint has hard water.

    I heard from Makeupalley people that you can purchase water purifiers for shower heads or faucets. Maybe look into that?

    Of course, your skin could be reacting to something else. No real harm in trying to wait it out if you want to try.

    I use Vaseline too; I find it really helpful. It is a myth that it causes pimples. It is not comedogenic.

    I have tried lots of things and thought/obsessed about acne a lot. Let me know if you want to chat. It helps to have someone to talk about it with.


  • Soph

    I moved from Los Angeles and San Francisco ( a little confusing) to Washington DC and within one week my skin has dried out and developed almost rash like tiny bumps that have spread from my cheeks to my forehead.

    My skin prior to the move was incredible. I even got a facial the day of my flight (foolish perhaps). I have never suffered from acne or even blemishes of any sort ever and I am 26 years old. However, in 2007 when I moved to DC for a summer internship I had a similar breakout.

    Sadly, I do not remember if that awful breakout was cured. I do remember slathering Vaseline on my face every night. I have skin that would rarely try up and was never oily so this sudden zap of moisture is concerning.

    It is getting progressively worse as they days pass (I am going on my 3rd week in DC) and the tiny bumps feel like Braille on my face and some are turning red. Certain creams I put on my face burn.

    I really believe it is the water! Either that or humidity is bad for your skin. I frankly don’t give a hoot, I just want my old face back!

    I have to live her for at least 5 years so washing my face with bottled water every night is not a feasible or desirable alternative. Do you think if I just slug through the UGLY stage and deal with the craptastic DC water that eventually my skin will adjust? It seems as though, reading through this thread that different people have different reactions to the same city. SO maybe the problem is simply the move. We become adjusted and acclimated to the climate, air and weather of our given cities and change in that to any city can adversely affect skin (Well maybe except for Las Vegas lol).

  • kresha

    Hello all,
    I lived in Taiwan for one year and then came back to Los Angeles, CA and my skin began to break out all over! The air quality in Taiwan is not the best at all, but somehow, my skin was perfectly fine. I’m guessing due to the weather being humid (which i really don’t understand because I have very oily skin naturally).

    When i returned to LA, my skin went bonkers! I think it has to do alot with the water too as well. The air in LA is not good but I feel better than Taiwan’s. The fact that the humidity might have balanced out my oily skin, whereas the dry weather in LA might caused my skin to produce an overload of oil…who knows! I just know traveling can cause you to have breakouts!

  • rose

    I have recently moved to London and I am getting really bad acne.. might of had the odd one or two spots.. but they seem to be spreading and are very itchy and my skin is flaking now.. very ugly looking.. never had this problem in ireland :(:(:

  • Melissa

    I’m Melissa. I posted above in 2009- post #22 I think.

    I wanted to reaffirm my belief that water can be a factor for some people. I’m in London and my hair and skin are not as nice as they are in some other places (Washington, DC for one). BUT, the crazy thing is, I think water quality may vary even within a city!! I’ve lived in 3 flats (apts) in London and the 2nd one was the worst. Luckily the current one is better. Here are my hints:

    How can you tell if you have hard water?
    -showers and sinks get mineral buildup/scum and you have to clean all the time
    -that squeaky “clean” feeling on skin and hair is almost sticky. it’s actually mineral, dirt, oil, and soap. (soft water feels slippery like soap is still on, but that’s actually a thin layer of oils that keeps you hydrated)
    -dull hair, dry itchy skin, skin won’t slough off
    -clothes don’t clean well

    Suggestions of what to do (I can’t guarantee, but some helped a little or a lot for me, or I read about):
    -water softener for whole house, for shower head (I couldn’t do this)
    -use a gentle detergent, like shower gels or gel facewash, not soap. Traditional soaps based on oils/fats cause more scum. Google “soap or detergent hard water” for more info
    -wash face with bottled water, use a low mineral water, not evian. Look at the labels.
    -drink low mineral bottled water. I think this helped me more than the bottled water wash. I don’t understand why. I’ve got a BS in Chemistry and I can’t see how it would work. But I think it did. You can also drink boiled water as boiling causes Calcium to come out of the water. You’ll see it as mineral buildup in your kettle.
    -salt water face wash or exfoliating salicylic or glycolic face washes help, as Fran said. They help clear the pores and exfoliate as the hard water keeps the dead skin stuck on. BUT, the skin is really sensitive from the water so be careful when you exfoliate. Always protect your skin from the sun!! Exfoliating alone didn’t help me because these pimples were really deep. These were cysts. There was something wrong originating from inside. It was not just caused by blocked pores.
    -sometimes exercising and sweating helped. I don’t know if it was about clearing the pores or flushing out my system. Usually dermatologists will say sweat, heat, humidity, and sun will aggravate acne (eg, cooks sometimes have acne aggravated by the kitchen. Source Dr. Leslie Baumann’s book on skin types)

    I hope this helps people or gets them thinking and analyzing their own individual situation. See a doctor too, but remember that they are quick to prescribe antibiotics and retinoids. I tried some Tazorac, but that didn’t get to the source of the problem for me. As I explained earlier, exfoliating alone didn’t work for me.

    I’m not a doctor, but I just wanted to share my experiences.


  • Iris,

    I’m having the opposite problem. I went from having pretty good skin in FL to awful skin when I moved to D.C. I know it’s not air pollution because I lived here two summers ago for an internship in a different area of the city and my skin was fine. I have been reading up a lot about it and I think it’s the water here. I just ran out and bought bottled water and when I washed my face tonight it immediately felt better (usually it burns).

    On the other forums there were a bunch of London people who had trouble when they moved into the city but they were blaming it on the water. I hate how my skin looks now and I don’t even feel like myself. It keeps getting worse and I did notice that when I went to St. Louis for my cousins wedding it improved the four days I was there. I feel sure it’s the hard water so I am going to try washing my face with bottled water for the next two weeks. Keep your finger crossed for me! I’ll let you know what happens.

  • Iris

    I moved from Maryland to Florida and my skin went down hilll dramatically. I had beautiful skin while in Maryland, but the hot/humid weather in Florida has ruined my skin. Also, Florida has one of the worse water in the U.S. (very harsh and hard). My skin and hair is constantly dry. I have to put so much lotion for my skin. My hair, on the other hand, is always flat and it’s not vibrant like it used to.

    I never had problems with acne before, but when I moved to Florida, my skin broke out like crazy. I’m still suffering and thankfully, I now have it under control, but I went from having gorgeous skin (the envy) to a pizza face in a matter of 6 months upon moving to Florida.

  • Joyce

    I live in Canada and I’m currently in Philippines on vacation. When I first arrived in Manila, my face started to get pimples like crazy. I didn’t know why I was suddenly breaking out. I stayed for a day in Manila, then I went to the countryside where my family also lives. It’s about an 8 hour bus ride so it’s pretty far from the city. I stayed there for three weeks and in that time my skin improved and my face started to clear up. I was happy since I didn’t have any pimples any longer and my face’s texture evened out. However, I had to return to Manila since my flight was coming up. Once I got to Manila, my once-clear face started to break out again, only this time much worse. Right now, I hate going out because my face is so riddled with pimples but I have to suck it up and make the most of the last few days I have here. I definitely believe that pollution plays a major role just from noticing the dramatic change that my skin experienced.

  • dom

    I used to live in california, and my skin was great even through puberty and stuff, but now when i moved to korea, i broke out. Could it be the stress that i’m getting? Or the bad air?
    Email me please at jdominik@hanmail.nets

  • rachel

    i live in london and im from here, everytime i visit florida, whether its for a month or 10 days or 2 weeks, i dont get a single symptom of rosacea. my skin is smooth, clear, consistent, soft, blemish free and radiant. the only time it wouldnt be is if im on my period or possibly not cleaned my face. its even to the point that i forgot i had the skin disorder rosacea before i first ever went to florida, i thought i developed it AFTER my trip, but then i remembered i had major symptoms before. everytime i go, rosacea disappears. no flushing, no blotchy chest etc!

    what is it?? when i got back to london i was so happy i thought my rosacea had gone for good as i was on some detox for the first days i was on florida , but the day i got back, i had flare ups, blotchy chest etc so it must be the air in florida that loves my skin or something


  • Melissa Masters

    I recently had a hormonal acne breakout and purchased the Made from Earth Grapefruit Glycolic Scrub to battle the blemishes. I like this product because it is super antioxidant and clears up acne pimple and helps to reduce any scaring. This product has salicylic acid to fight the pimples and works nice, also easy to apply and not goey or messy at all. Reasonably priced for a glycolic scrub, and the smell is so good in the morning.

  • Hallie

    I know this is a little late, but I travel between Gallup, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California.

    When I’m in NM, my skin rarely inflames if it does at all. I might get a blemish, but if I exfoliate it, it heals and goes away within days. Any scar left behind dries up and peels of within a day.

    When I’m in CA, however, I do get inflamed blemishes. Scars take a VERY LONG time to heal and flake off, let alone seal. Even today on the airplane ride to CA, I scratched my face and felt a blemish beginning to become inflamed. ONE WHOLE HOUR after my departure from New Mexico!

    It isn’t stress in my case, because I hate when I have to travel to New Mexico, so why would stress make me blemish-free?

    I want to blame either the dry weather or air pollution levels.

  • Elle aka Acne in Arizona

    Jade! Please let me know what your outcome of your dermatologist trip was! I’m in practically the EXACT same situation as you!

    It’s been more than 10 weeks since I’ve moved to Phoenix, Arizona from South Florida and I’ve never had breakouts this bad, especially on my cheeks! And more on my right cheek as well. I’ve been stalking beauty store sites for the next acne treatment I can try because I am so tired of this terrible acne! My face (cheeks) are a disaster and at 22, I’m embarrassed. It sucks even more to see my peers with crystal clear skin, when I have to attempt to cover it up every morning.

    I’m going back to Florida for a 2 week vacation, and I’m considering seeing a dermatologist for the first time ever, because I have no idea what to do. When I lived in Florida, the only time i ever broke out was because I accidentally used a heavy moisturizer. Now that I’m in such dry climate, I feel like I SHOULD go get moisturizing skin products instead of the no-result acne products I’ve been apparently wasting my money on…

    I really hope I find a solution soon, since I have to live in Arizona for the next 7 months…

  • Cc

    I moved to LA from PA almost a year ago and my face has broken out non-stop. I have always had acne but I took spirolactone which kept it perfectly in control. However, it nolonger works now I’m in LA. The chlorinated water here is horrible! So I use distilled water and have tried a multitude of natural, perscription and over the counter treatments with no success. I have been getting severe cystic acne so I think it’s time to see a dermatologist or endocrinologist. Anyone have success with other products please share.

  • Jade

    I lived in Miami, FL my entire life and recently moved to Los Angeles, CA. I’ve never had acne problems. Like any one else I’d have a pimple or two and maybe a mild breakout if I was under a lot of stress but NEVER acne problems. Sometimes I’d even go to bed without removing my makeup and suffered no consequences from it. About 2 weeks into my move to LA I noticed my skin was dry and coarse. Then I started breaking out, especially on both sides of my cheeks (the right side more than the left). What shocks me the most is that I would think Miami (being hot and humid) would be more likely to cause acne because of the humidity which causes you to sweat. LA is breezy, dry, no humidity, therefore no sweat. And yet my skin has never been as bad as it is now. It’s horrible because I’ve never had issues with my skin like this and it’s made me so depressed and self conscious. I’ve tried all the acne treated face washes, I’ve even tried common tips that help and nothing. Now I’m down to using Cetaphil (this isn’t for acne – just a normal daily face/body soap bar). I noticed all the acne washes were making my face worse. It’s frustrating because it just doesn’t go away. When some clear up, others come out, and so forth. I really believe it has to be the city. It’s been ever since the move and there’s no getting rid of it. I’m finally going to the dermatologist tomorrow because I can’t take it anymore. I hope he can give me a solution. If I have to move back home, I will. Nothing is worth sacrificing your happiness and peace of mind for!

  • I live in Los Angeles now. Since living here my skin has been horrible. Before LA I lived in Edmonton Alberta Canada and my skin was always amazing never needing to use cleaners, just water. Now that I live in LA, I have really bad break outs. It seems like more then a breakout though, it’s a constant battle with my skin. Not just my face, but my back and chest too. Every time I go back to Edmonton to visit my skin clears up. I always thought it was due to the water though. The water in LA seems very chlorinated, you can smell it and taste it. The water in Edmonton is very mild and has no smell or taste. I’ve just now come across this blog and see that air pollution could be the cause as well. I have yet to find any product that works well enough to keep my skin looking healthy and free of breakouts. I am now trying Cetephal and it seems to be helping a bit, but it hasn’t been long enough to know if it will work in the long run.

  • Catherine

    You do not know what this topic means to me. I can hardly type for the tears. My hair and my skin are horrible. My skin was never perfect but moving here, to England was the worse decision I’ve ever made. I’ve long suspected it is this country: the hard water, the pollutions.. I can’t tell you the effect it has on me. My get rashes; had horrible ones in London. The water is so hard here that people develop eczema!! I’ve noticed that when I travel to other countries on the continent (France or Germany) and come back here, I break out horribly! I walk to work and have to stop often b/c if itchy skin…none of which I suffered from when I was walking around in other countries. Happens every time. I cannot wait to leave here. My only regret is that I didn’t leave sooner. I’ve stayed here for years and paid the price. I’m soo ugly now, I’m ashamed to go home/back to States and have my family and friends see me.

  • Anna

    Yes! I moved from New Hampshire to Florida almost 3 years ago and have been stuggling ever since. My cheeks were (are) covered in whiteheads- tiny bumps underneath the skin- that is so completely different from any acne problems I have ever had in the past. It has been extremely difficult working on this problem and I have tried so many products to no avail. I have been back in NH for a month now and have seen drastic improvement which may be attributed not just to better air quality but a new vitamin regimen and some new products (including frequent exfoliation). I go back to FL tomorrow and hope that my skin doesn’t freak out again…

  • Matthew

    Spot on. There are so many different kinds of acne out there, which are fueled and cured by so many different things. Over the years i have noticed my acne is environment driven. I move a lot and go on vacation alot in the military. When i lived in a country town in england i had clear skin, no bleishes. 1, 2 days after moving to Kansas, skin broke out and stayed breaking out for a year that i lived there. Only times i had clear skin was when i went to SC for a vacay, cleared up in 2 days!, and also on vacation in south america. But when returning to kansas and to various other cities, breakouts occur. And there is never a change in diet, cleaning methods, or stress, so none of those are culprits. So, with deduction you can always find out what causes your acne. Whether it is pollution, dirty air filters in a house, or climates it definately is environment driven. So looking at blogs, people need to stop telling others that they are wrong and it must be stress, diet, this or that. Not all types of acne are caused by the same things.

  • anna

    I started using clear now… it is sold through amway global, I know a lot of people have issues with amway, but this is the only thing that had worked for me. I tried clyndamycin for a while and that worked at the beginning, but then it stopped. I have been using the clear now only in the mornings, with a moisturizer. You don’t want to always have the anti acne medication on, because it will dry out your skin and it will eventually start fighting it, dermatologist told me this happened with the clyndamycin. Good luck finding something that works for you!

  • I’m from Malaysia and all my life, I have always had clear face. Not smooth but definitely clear. Despite the searing heat on my island, my skin adapted well. Ever since I moved to England (I don’t live in London) my skin started reacting to I-don’t-know-what, and pimples would take turn to put on a show on my face! It breaks my heart to know that this has been on going for 8 months now and no matter what I do, it doesn’t go. I did most of what you do, I googled for advises from time to time but none seems to work. I went back to Msia for 3 weeks last month and there weren’t any facial ‘activity’ going on, at least not until I came back to England and it got worse than EVER! Help anyone? :(

  • Elizabeth Hasslemen

    I had severe acne as a teenager and now that I’m in my 30′s I have an occasional breakout. I would always read in the beauty magazines that you should apply a moisturizer on your face but I was reluctant because of my acne-prone skin. I’m not sure why I decided to give the Made from Earth Vitamin Enhanced Moisturizer a try but I am so glad I did. I have been using it every day for over a year now. It does not make my skin breakout at all (a big plus in my book). It makes my skin very smooth and gives me that “dewy” look. It also helps my foundation look more natural looking because the moisturizer is so hydrating. I also like the fact that it protects my skin from the sun.

    I would definitely recommend this product to anyone looking for a moisturizer. Despite it’s high price (compared to other brands) it’s definately worth it, especially since it lasts for a long time.

  • amina

    I moved to NYC, four years ago. I had never ever skin problem, now I have pimples everywhere! This city sucks.
    When I went to SF for few weeks, my skin got cleared, I didn’t even had to use anything in SF.
    So yes NYC is the worst for me so far.

  • anita

    Yes ladies, I am actually starting to believe pollution is to blame. I do have serious nasty acne, I live in Utah, and if the people here are not enough to make u breakout like crazy, the worse pollution in the country will. I bought an air purifier and hope it helps. I was in Wy for some months and it did help clear it up :) I exercise, eat healthy and don’t smoke, and still have acne, i hate it, those people who eat junk and smoke all the time have perfect skin (for now) I hate it, why don’t they get all the nasty acne?

  • Christa

    I moved to New York City in the summer of 2009 and I must say my skin has gone through a great deal of changes since I’ve been here.

    My breakouts have been drastically different which could be attributed to various factors including the pollution, stress and weather in New York.

    However I am switching products and looking into other holistic methods as well including diet and exercise regimen which can also affect your skin.

    My sister recently tried the products from and her skin completely cleared up, I mean CLEARED UP. I recently ordered the products so I’ll see how it goes.

    Wish me luck!

  • I enjoyed the article, you asked if we had any changes in our skin from city to city, well, simply; yes.

    I have very acne prone skin, cystic and lots of it. I live on the eastern shoe of maryland, we’re notorious for our swampy/humid waterfronts. I’ve had acne for as long as i can rember now and after no cure, started to wonder if it could be the air quality around here. Now we have almost no pollution here, a town of only 5000, but I was thinking maybe all the bacteria floating around from our swampy area may be causing it. WEll i went to OCean city for 3 days this summer, as you can guess, its right on the ocean, a big beach town. But while i was there i saw a significant improvment in my skin. Me and a few others have came to the realization the salt water thats always in the air, and the sun/humidty really helped. Consider this; the humidity opens up pores allowing easy brewathing for the skin, but with all the salt from the ocean blowin gin the air from staying right on the beach, the sea salt was able to get deeper and heal acne. I’ve been steaming my face in a hot shower, applying natural sea salt i bought in the store and letting it sit for awhile. I’ve noticed significant improvment. I’ve been lazy on the regiment the past week and have had a few nodule breakouts sense. Prior to that i had been improving everyday. I also apply lemon juice at nice, it seems to give a nice completion and clean out my pores. Thanks.

  • Brittany

    I’m originally from Oregon, then moved to Boston for college and work, and am now living in New Jersey just outside New York for grad school. The pristine skin I grew up with in Oregon has progressively gotten worse with every move. I think I have a program down that combats the pollution and doesn’t aggravate my very sensitive skin:
    - Aveeno Clear Complexion Cleanser – gentle but works!
    _ Origins Modern Friction Scrub – every couple days
    - Origins White Tea Skin Guardian – Use everyday under moisturizer. It’s expensive, but really seems to protect skin from pollution!
    - Origins Out of Trouble Mask – I use it at least once a week for an hour to deep clean!

    Hope this helps!

  • emily

    I live in Malaysia and have only lived here for 2 years. I used to live in the States my whole life and just when my skin started clearing up is when I had to leave for Malaysia. Immediately after we got here my skin started breaking out again, something I thought I would be rid of forever. Malaysia has no laws on pollution and I live in the capital city, which is dirtier than rural areas and think this is what is making me break out. I visited Texas for my entire summer break this past school year and after about 3 weeks my skin was wonderful again. Now that I am back I have to worry about spots all over again. :[

  • Irina

    Hey Fran,

    I went to Florida and my skin was healing so suddenly that I didn’t have any breakouts but when I had to leave home, I got a big painful zit. What do you think helped my skin?

  • I truly believe air pollution causes acne. i am a pilot on 50 seater commuter aircraft, the cabin is pressurized and cabin air is recirculated. lots of air pollution there. Only when i work do i ever get acne.(really bad breakouts on my nose only). Time away from work, vacations etc, my skin clears up really well. Then when i return to work, yup, its back again.

  • Melissa

    I commented on another article by Fran. Please consider the WATER when you try to treat your acne!

    My very long comment is here:

    to Christele: Texas has very hard water. I don’t know about France and the Vietnamese girl though.

    to Christie: about the tropical islands helping your face. That happened to me to in greece. I’ve been washing my face with salt water and then rinsing with distilled water.

  • Meghan

    OMG, this is hitting home! I moved to Los Angeles 2 years ago from a samll town in Wyoming. Ever since I moved here my face has had the exact same acne bumps as described above, small and unsure if they are coming up or not, mostly on my forehead but also on my cheeks. Ive tried every skin wash I can think of, and nothing works. Ive been back to Wyoming a couple times and my skin clears up within a couple of days!! I also just went to Vegas last weekend and my skin cleared up! I was only there for 3 days, but as soon as I got back to LA my skin started breaking out again! I wish there was something to do to stop this!!

  • CC

    I grew up in the Bronx and always had somewhat unruly skin. But the minute I started working in Manhattan I broke out terribly and four years later, it still hasn’t stopped. Not only two hours on the subway everyday liable to coat you in all sorts of gross particles but just the stress of commuting… at the end of the day I almost feel the breakouts waiting to happen. I can’t wait to get out of NY. Yes, I will move to stop breaking out.

  • Charlie

    Hi Fran,

    I absolutely LOVE this blog, thank you so much for all of the advice and info. I’m 24 and live and work in London and have been having problems with my skin for about two years now. I used to get the odd spot around the time of the month but otherwise had relatively clear skin. But my skin took a turn for the worst exactly around the time i started working in London and then finally moved here. I now really struggle with congestion (lots of bumps under my skin around my chin area and jaw line) and get deep cystic spots every few weeks or so. I have ordered the Bee Yummy skinfood from the internet in the hope it might help me (?!) and am using Kiehls Ultra cleanser which is really gentle but gets my skin really clean. I have tried so many products (too many!) and all the acne ones really dry out my skin and leave me with flaky patches and if they dry up one breakout another always seems to be around the corner and the congestion is still there.

    Despite the fact I only have very mild acne the effect it has had on my self confidence has been enormous. Having read a lot of your info I realise that my problem was probably made worse by a range of things (including skin picking/obsessing about my skin when i should have left it alone, changing my contraception and therefore messing up my hormones, masses more stress from my job and lack of sleep) but i think the initial problem with congestion really could have been caused by the pollution in London. Previously i lived in the countryside and didn’t have any problems with congestion.

    I just find it amazing how problems with your skin can make you feel. I have been through a year or so of really low self esteem and it is only recently that i realised that my skin was having a real effect on how i feel about myself. Having found your blog, read some of your advice and signed up to the mini course i am determined to change my attitude and hopefully clear up my skin at the same time. It’s so good to start understanding the causes of the problem rather than just feeling miserable, frustrated and alone. Thank you so much Fran, you are the only person (including beauticians and medical professionals) who has helped me really understand the problem and it’s causes and therefore gotten me closer to finding a long term solution. Please keep up the wonderful work!

  • Crystel

    I’ve currently been traveling a lot and I used to live in Los Angeles and my skin wasn’t perfect but I didn’t have break outs just my regular scars and roseacea, but when I went to the beach in Mexico my skin was bad the first 3 days because of the heat and the excessive sweating, but after it went back to normal an the sun was helping my face clar a lot. Then, went back to Los Angeles and everything was back to normal, but since I came to Lima, peru my face keeps getting worst and worst evry week, it’s quite embarassing and I don’t even want to go out or anything. I also have oily skin and it’s gotten worse and my hair feels like I have to wash it everyday. Now after reading everyone’s stories I believe that the air and pollution are a major factor in damaging your skin and hair to what you are used to. I don’t know if it’s the change and your skin getting used to a new location. I hope someone can recommend me something.

  • Claire

    I have moved to Missouri, USA from Cheshire in the North West of England. I ve been here for nearly four months and have never had such bad skin.

    I have lots of little bumps under the skin on my forehead, I have frequent spots and blackheads occuring on my chin and strange red spots around my jaw line.

    Normally my skin is ok bar the occasional monthly hormonal breakout. I ve stopped wearing foundation as thought that could be the cause, but the spots and lumps keep coming.

    I use Clinique anti blemish foam wash and every other day facial scrub. When spots are really bad I dab some witch hazel on them.

    I thought it could be the change in water? As where I am staying is by no means a polluted city.

  • Hi,

    Because Climate Change is a Type of Air Pollution. When people think of air pollution, they most often associate it with the sort of dirty discharge that can be readily seen coming from the smokestacks of coal-fired plants or even the particulate matter that is emitted from automotive tailpipes. However, the most common and potentially dangerous gases that threaten life on Earth are actually greenhouse gases.

    Carbon dioxide and methane, together, account for about 30% of the “greenhouse effect” that, at levels that had been steady since the end of the last ice age, keeps the Earth at the relatively comfortable temperatures that more life enjoys. However, while the levels of water vapor (which actually account for most of the greenhouse effect) have remained relatively stable, the amount of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere has sky-rocketed, due largely to the burning of fossil fuels and the massive increase in the number of ruminant animals used for meat production.

  • Rochelle this is a really tough one. What I’d do is exfoliate a lot more than normal, both surface and deep pore to make sure all the pollution is off my skin.

    I’d also invest in a really good cleanser. And you could try purchasing a skin care product that claims to help with pollutants, there are a few out there now.

  • Rochelle

    I just moved to London in September and my skin has never been this bad. Not even when I was a teenager. Not even when I was taking a birth control pill that made me breakout. It must be the pollution. Does anyone know of a good way to combat polution-caused acne? I’m staying here for another couple of months and I really need a solution. It’s gotten so bad I don’t even want to leave the house and meet new people.

  • Yaffa

    I think that pollution is indeed a factor in clear skin. I live in New York and when I walk or run outside, I often find little black specks on my skin when I get home. Recently I went to Dominican Republic for two weeks and I really saw the difference in my skin.

  • sue

    I have a recommendation for a product that I am trying. It deals with the issue of pollutants to some extent because it has negative ions in it. The skincare line is Mia Pelle. If you try it, I would not recommend the cleanser or the lotion because the cleanser was too drying and the lotion made me break out. But, I am having good luck so far using the moisturizing gel as a cleanser.

  • I was in London and in september for a week and my skin became very bad after like 2 days. I had a huge breakout, my skin was all red and very dry and very rough when I touched my face. It was awfull. At the moment I thought it was the food to blame, but now I see it was probably the pollution!! And as soon as returned back home to Slovenia, my skin started going back to “normal”.

  • Nico

    So you’re looking for cosmetics with incredents from the sea?
    How about La Mer? No, not the very expensive thing that you get in US but the local brand here in germany on the north sea.
    I haven’t tried any of it but it is said to be good. I’m rather sure you could get that in US as well otherwise I’m sure you can get it from a swap.

    Enjoy your stay in europe – but don’r stay indoors! There are soo many things to see here, nothing is better than live history, and you can find a lot in europe!
    And thanks for the encouragement… I’m such an impatient person *sigh*

  • Andy


    I live in New Jersey (U.S.A).

    I live in a suburb about 50 minutes outside New York City.

    I get flare ups of acne that comes and goes, finding that oatmeal soap, and more lately, Aloe Vera to help.

    I am 37 and thought Acne was more prevalent in the late teens.

    About the pollution, the drive down Route 1 towards New York has more pollution that my town. If I took the train would that protect me more than the drive. And, if I close the window during my drive would that help me, or is it inescapable?

    Fran, I greatly appreciate you for sending me your e-letters every few days and I try to at least scan them all.

    All your fans appreciate your work and I am so happy to see a young lady enjoying her life with her travel and fascinations.


  • Christie

    Every March Break i travel with family to the south. I generally travel to quiet restorts located on tropical islands, and away from modern wester civilization. I notice every time i travel, my skin clears up almost instantly. The natural salts and minerals in the ocean water cleanse my skin leaving my whole body soft and supple. My facial acne almost disappears- it is amazing! However as soon as I return home, my skin reverts back to ‘normal.’ My skin has improved over the years, but I have yet to find the same results i enjoyed on a sunny sandy beach island, as I might find in a bottle.

  • Hi Nico, I’m leaving for Brussels today and I’ll be around Europe until I return back to Brisbane on Christmas Eve!

    I’ll definitely check out the natural skin care options where in can in the cities I’m in. It’s going to be so cold (it snowed in London last night!!!) so I’ll probably want to spend as much time as I can indoors :)

    Oh sounds like you’ve done the right thing by stopping using the new products. It’s always best to start using 1 new product at a time so if you get a cosmetic acne reaction you know what’s causing it. Give it a couple of weeks and see if it clears up. If it does, choose one product that you don’t think is the culprit and see how your skin reacts.

  • Nico

    So you’re in London now? Will you be traveling through europe or only the english speaking parts? (I’d really be interested if you find good natural or at least effective products in the loacal europeen brands. While UK has access to mostly everything that is available in canada or US, for the rest of europe it is not that easy.)

    I’ve been to Lindon once. We were roaming through the city all day long and in the evening when I steped un der the shower I was shocked: the water was literaly gray of dirt that was running off my body and that even before I used any soap! I can understand now why you only see bicyclists with a mask over their nose and mouth …

    As for your routine – do you use the be yummy only on your face or your neck as well?
    I’ve been getting whiteheads on my neck, started on my left jarline and is wandering down my neck now to the other neck side… It started about 2 weeks ago which is about the same time I started to use the be yummy and the philosophy purtity fequently. Now I’m very unsure – is it an allergic reaction to any incredent or was there just adifferent factor from outside *sigh*
    So I stopped using both since this WE, going to observe my reaction and I’ll have a allergy test for cosmetic ingredients and bee products…

  • Chrissi Chrissi

    Oh Fran I feel for you … I found that alot of my skin rashes are due to the dirt and grime in London but unfortunately I am in a committed relationship and can’t leave ! I personally have problems especially as I work smack bang in the City … in fact I have a few rashes now on my chin … it always calms down when I leave London x

  • Christele

    I believe pollution really has an effect on the skin but it is also linked to the weather… I’m from France and I stayed in Houston, TX for one year and my skin became very bad over there (and not only my skin, my hair too). The city is so polluted that you can’t even see the stars by night… Besides the hot weather and the humidity make it even worse.
    Some could think the acne may also be due to the change of food (which was drastic in my case). Maybe… but when I went to Colorado my skin cleared up in 5 days… The city was almost pollution-free and the weather was colder.
    So the outburst may also be linked to an exposure to an altogether different climate. I know a Vietnamese girl who came to France and experienced acne for the first time in her life in my country (and the city was not so polluted).
    But then depending on the type of skin we have, maybe our skins react differently according to all these factors…

    • margaret

      i moved from the country to brenham tx and ive never really had acne problems at all tell i moved here my face is breaking out bad am not likeing it at all am feeling like am loseing it and my hair is needed to be washed all the time its a mess i hope things get better for my face and hair because i have moved here so theirs got to be something to help with this because i love it here its my new home for now tell me n my husband move to houston

  • Natalia

    i believe stress has more to do with it a LOT of the time. miami, yes, is awful. i’ve almost always had bad skin there. BUT i’ve also always been stressed out there! the period where i had actually really good skin there was when i wasn’t stressed. in conclusion, weather isn’t the sole culprit of acne. it may contribute, but stress may be the defining factor. also, of course, the reason will be influenced by what products you are using at the time. like you said, fran, using bee yummy your skin will probably clear up soon, and it’s not very broken out, from what i understand.

    so — STRESS STRESS STRESS. moving makes you stressed like hell, and traveling too! i used to think airplane air made me break out, but of course it was just the stress making my oil glands have a party!

  • kevin

    This past summer I went on a cruise to central america and I have to say I was prettty embarrassed with my skin on the ship.For some reason the scorching heat of central america was more than my face could handle and it went all kamikaze on me.Then after the cruise I spent a week in miami and I dont know if someone was cranking up the heat lever but if anything it was more hot than central america.It was so blinding I remember that I had to watch the floor to walk outside cause the sun was killing my eyes.

    But after all that I returned to my island in the caribbean and I’ll always remember that when I got back I enjoyed 3 weeks of fabulous clear skin :) and it has never been that good since :( .It must have been the care free way I was when I got back cause that vacation was a bit stressful not to mention it wasnt that hot either.

    But I believe that the temperature on the ship had to do something with it as well.Cause if you’ve just been in blazing heat, then suddenly returned inside the ship to air condition temperature then you’ve decided to go out on the deck while in the middle of the ocean to normal temperature then all that change has to be the reason.

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