[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]These days, many of us have incorporated daily sun protection into our beauty routines. Yet few of us have embraced anti-pollution skincare products with the same vigour, despite the fact that researchers have found clear connections between common airborne pollutants and a host of skin conditions like inflammation, age spots, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne.
“Pollution is a legitimate skincare concern,” says Dr. Geeta Yadav, dermatologist and founder of FACET Dermatology. “It is a common source of free radicals and unstable molecules that damage skin cells, which causes the rapid deterioration of collagen and accelerates the formation of signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles, discolouration, and skin laxity.”
Indoor and outdoors, pollutants ranging from cigarette smoke to volatile organic compound emissions can impact our skin’s short- and long-term health and appearance. “Free radicals are unstable molecules with unpaired electrons; they are constantly seeking to balance themselves and do so by bonding to other molecules,” explains Dr. Yadav. “When this occurs within your skin, it causes oxidative stress, damaging the cells and causing dysfunction. In the short term, it can cause dullness, acne, and dry skin, but in the long run, pollution can irreparably damage skin.” Oxidative stress can even lead to skin cancer, notes Dr. Yadav.
Some skincare products that target pollution are specifically designed to remove pollution residue while cleansing your skin. “Don’t underestimate the importance of cleansing your face after being outdoors,” says Dr. Yadav, adding that even a simple face wipe to remove dirt and grime can make a difference.
Other anti-pollution products are rich in antioxidant ingredients. “Antioxidants are ingredients that bind to free radicals, protecting you from oxidative damage,” says Dr. Yadav. She recommends resveratrol and vitamin C as particularly effective and potent antioxidant ingredients.
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“In addition to offering potent antioxidant benefits [vitamin C] stimulates collagen production, inhibits the formation of hyperpigmentation and reduces existing dark spots, and strengthens the efficacy of sunscreen,” says Dr. Yadav. “Resveratrol is excellent at defending skin from the free radical damage that causes weakened collagen, as well as calming inflammation and boosting hydration levels.”
Protect your skin with these antioxidant-rich products
The Body Shop Edelweiss Daily Serum Concentrate
This serum from The Body Shop’s new Edelweiss range is packed with edelweiss extract, which boasts 43 percent more antioxidant power than retinol. $50
Chanel N°1 de Chanel Revitalizing Serum-in-Mist
Part of Chanel’s new clean beauty collection, this mist can be reapplied throughout the day and uses red camelia flower as its key ingredient, which promises to prevent and reduce the appearance of ageing. $110
Drunk Elephant D-BRONZI Anti-Pollution Bronzing Drops with Peptides
This multi-tasking serum is packed with ingredients like cocoa extract, white tea extract and virgin marula oil to defend against pollution and environmental stressors. $50
Chantecaille Anti-Pollution Finishing Essence
This 99 percent natural, vegan-friendly essence is designed to be applied twice daily as the last step in your skincare routine to protect against smog, heavy metals, and other pollution contaminants. $170
Sisley Paris SisleYouth Anti-Pollution Energizing Super Hydrating Youth Protector
This hydrator is designed to protect skin from the impacts of blue light, and indoor and outdoor pollution, using ingredients like ginseng and kiwi extract. $270
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