Our skin is literally our first line of defense, not only against the outdoor elements, but also things we don’t often think about like the detergents we use in our laundry, the chemicals in swimming pools and hot tubs, and the daily ravages of air pollution. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air in our homes and other buildings “can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” Air pollutants hurt the skin in a variety of ways; they can activate cell metabolism and inflammatory processes, they can induce oxidative stress that causes free-radical damage and breaks down healthy collagen, etc., all of which ultimately throws off the balance of the skin’s natural microbiome. When that microbiome gets out of whack, some people experience sensitive acne, rashes, hives, and redness. Others struggle with dry, itchy skin and an uneven complexion. All day every day, our skin acts as a shield between us and the world. That’s why it’s important to give it all the support we can.