What’s the deal with Anti-Pollution Skincare?

What’s the deal with Anti-Pollution Skincare?

Let’s face it: the UK is pretty polluted. Even if you don’t live in a busy city, we’re all surrounded by cars, buses, smoke… all of this can wreak havoc on your skin. One thing that a lot of brands are coming out with now, are products that aim to be ‘anti-pollution’. But what does that mean? And what should you be looking out for?

Here are some of the main sources of pollution

  1. Industrial pollution
  2. Exhaust fumes
  3. Household activities
  4. Cigarette smoke

What does Pollution do to the skin?

Pollution and external aggressors can weaken your skin barrier – which leads to dehydration, rough skin texture and the loss of radiance. Over time, it can also make the skin prematurely age.

Pollutants also generate free radicals on the surface of the skin, which can lead to sensitivity… and when the level of free radicals goes over our skins deference mechanisms, skin cells fall into a state of oxidative stress – leading to skin sensitivity, irritation and more.

Pollution can also cause PH imbalances in the skin.

The fine grains of dirt and pollution can also get trapped in your pores, leading to acne and irritation. I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s come home from being somewhere particularly polluted and just felt ‘dirty’ from just all that dirt in the air sitting on the skin.

Why use a product aimed at anti-pollution?

What Anti Pollution skincare aims to do is protect the skin from the damage, helping to repair any damage and prevent future damage.

What to look for if you want to protect your skin from pollution:

You don’t always need to find products that are specifically ‘Anti-Pollution’ to find something that will help strengthen and protect your skin from pollution damage. Here are some things to look for:

  • Ones that strengthen the barrier function of the skin. Anti-pollution skincare formulations often contain ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and fatty acids, which reinforce the skin barrier, enhance moisture retention, and fortify its resilience against external aggressors.
  • Antioxidant-rich products including vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid, silymarin, resveratrol and niacinamide- they are the key to counteracting those free radicals, so any products containing antioxidants will be helping to combat the effects of pollution.
  • Ones that help to normalise the pH of the skin which can become disrupted because of pollution – so toners are great for this
  • It’s also great to have portable products that you can carry in your purse and applied when out in the polluted areas.
  • Ones that are rich in Squalane and Vitamin E are also fantastic, as studies have shown that pollution depletes these in your skin.

Here are some steps to perfecting your anti-pollution routine 

Wash it all away

You often feel like the pollution leaves a layer of grime on the skin, so in the first instance, finding a good cleanser that won’t disrupt the skin barrier is a great start.

You may like to double cleanse too in the evenings as this will help really get your skin super clean.

Why not try…

Paula’s Choice Defence Hydrating Gel-To-Cream Cleanser

paulas choice

Murad Environmental Shield Essential C Cleanser

murad c

Evolve Daily Detox Facial Wash

evolve daily wash

Exfoliate your skin

Exfoliation will help to unclog any pores that may be filled with dirt and grime. Cleansing is not often enough to really get rid of that fine dirt that can get trapped in the skin. Nothing too harsh or irritating as you don’t want to make your skin more delicate.

Why not try:

Alpha H Liquid Gold Exfoliating Treatment with 5% Glycolic Acid

alpha h

Dermalogica daily superfoliant exfoliator


Make sure to balance the skin

Find toners that help balance the pH of your skin, as it may get out of balance when exposed to a lot of pollution.

Why not try:

Urban Veda Soothing Hydrating Toner

urban veda

UMA Absolute Anti Aging Aloe Rose Toner

uma toner

Repair and protect

Products aimed at these two things usually come together in a product, which is why we’re listing them together here. This is where your anti-oxidant rich products come into play

Make sure to use SPF too to protect the skin.  

Why not try: 

The Ordinary Resveratrol Serum 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% 30ml


Zelens Power C

zelens power c

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Vitamin C Antioxidant Serum


Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF50 Hydrating Shield

elizabeth arden

Detox with a mask

Give your skin an extra bit of help and get deep into the skin with a treatment mask. Look for something like a charcoal or clay mask to get deep into the pores. This can be a great way to get an instant result.

Why not try:

Aurelia London Brightening Anti Pollution Mask


Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask


Buttah Skin Charcoal Detox Mask

buttah skin

Keep these on the go!

Another thing that can make all the difference is having something portable that you can use on the go to protect your skin. It can also help to strengthen your skin’s barriers throughout the day.  Mists are particularly good for this.

Why not try: 

Verso Anti Pollution Mist


Oskia CityLife Facial Mist

oskia mist

Oskia Citylife I-Zone Lip & Eye Balm

oskia balm

Protect from the inside out with supplements

Protect yourself from the inside out! Breathing in all that pollution isn’t great for you, but you can do things to fortify yourself against environmental aggressors… through your food and through supplements. There is increasing evidence to suggest that carotenoids, vitamin D and vitamin E help protect against pollution damage which can trigger asthma, COPD and lung cancer initiation. Vitamin C, curcumin, choline and omega-3 fatty acids may also have a protective role.

Why not try:

Dr Barbara Sturm Skin Protection


Hum Nutrition Air Patrol

air patrol

(*PR gift/sample)

May contain affiliate links

By |2024-02-26T11:53:01+01:00February 26th, 2024|It's All About Skin|0 Comments

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