When it comes to aging, our friends and enemies are pretty clear-cut: avoid the sun and smoking, eat well, exercise, and hydrate, and you’ll be eternally beautiful. Right? Well, not quite. Lately, a new study comes out every day to challenge our previously accepted best practices, and our ears perk up. But when something is ‘the new smoking’, we’re anxiously scribbling notes. That’s what happened today when a new study called out what little women know about caring for their skin, and revealed a new enemy to be wary of.

A recent study of 2,000 women over 25 found that less than half of women know that stress can adversely affect their skin, when in fact stress is a leading cause of hormonal imbalances that are known to create skin problems. Instead, 88 percent of women are anxious to the point that it prevents them from fully enjoying life and 77 percent claim to spend more than 10 minutes every day worrying, according to the study conducted by Indeed Labs and OnePoll.

But what comes as more of a surprise is that your daily commute could be significantly harming your skin. The study found that only 29 percent of women had considered protecting their skin from their commute, and you can count us in with the other 71 percent. Studies in the Archives of Internal Medicine have found that the average commuter inhales close to 300 times more free radicals from air pollution each day than they would if they smoked a cigarette. If you’re not clear on how free radicals harm your skin, let us tell you – it’s not pretty. The process starts when you inhale imbalanced molecules with unpaired electrons that need to bind to another electron in order to rebalance. Facialist Abigail James tells The Telegraph that these molecules, or free radicals, attach to other healthy cells to steal an electron, thus making that cell into another free radical. “So now you have two crazy cells wanting to balance themselves from other healthy cells, and the process goes on,” she says. “Transferring cells from calm and balanced into unstable free radials [is] a little bit like a domino effect, causing damage to other cells around them and resulting in damaged tissues.”

We’re no scientists, but free radicals creating an imbalance in your body seems like an issue that’s more than just skin deep. We recommend Epionce’s Intense Defense Serum for daily protection, as well as getting the appropriate amount of vitamin C in your diet to protect your entire body from free radicals.