Here’s why you *actually* need it
It’s no secret that our environment contributes greatly to the overall condition of our skin. Living in a city where smoke, dust, and the harsh sun can do more damage than you think and this is why more skincare brands have introduced anti-pollution products in the recent years. So what exactly does pollution do to our skin and how can you start an anti-pollution skin care routine?
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Pollutants and how they damage our skin
UV rays from sun exposure
UVA rays cause our skin cells to age and UVB radiation is the main cause of sunburn. Both UVA and UVB can cause damage to our skin’s DNA. Constant unprotected exposure to UV rays cause visible damage such as hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and fine lines.
Free radicals in the atmosphere
Free radicals are unstable and highly reactive molecules that steal electrons from other sources, damaging cells in the process. When there’s too many free radicals in our body and our skin, we experience oxidative stress, which plays a role in premature skin aging, hyperpigmentation, and can trigger inflammatory conditions, like eczema and acne.
Particulate matter in polluted air
Particulate matter (PM) are different solid and liquid particles found in air such as smoke, dust, and pollen. PM2.5 particles are small enough to enter your pores and disrupt your skin’s health.
Photograph: Andrew Holt/Getty
The key steps and ingredients in anti-pollution skincare
Anti-pollution skincare doesn’t have to be complicated. Take note of these three key steps and important ingredients that you can easily add to your routine.
Protect your skin from UV rays with a trusty sunscreen.Make sure to use one with at least SPF 15. Using sunscreen can also act as a barrier between your bare skin and air pollutants.
Double cleanse with an oil-based cleanser and a lathering facial wash. This step removes the build-up of pollutants, sebum, and impurities that accumulate on our face during the day.
Use a serum or moisturizer loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals or stop them from forming in the first place. Choose products that contain Vitamin C, Retinol (Vitamin A), Vitamin E, Vitamin B3, or green tea polyphenols.