It’s the skin ager you can’t see but pollution is the biggest threat to your face after the sun. Here’s how to protect yourself
Bad news ladies. It’s not just the sun we have to worry about now when it comes to wrinkles and anti-ageing. Pollution saps the skin’s radiance, breaks down collagen and elastin, which leads to wrinkles and sagging, weakens the skin barrier and can even trigger acne and eczema. Scary, right?
Pollutants from car exhausts, smoke and factory emissions all increase the number of free radicals in the air. These rogue molecules pose a dangerous threat to our skin cells and accelerate the ageing process quicker than you can say, ‘pass the wrinkle filler’.
Did you know? London’s Oxford Street is the most polluted street in the world.
Worse than that, pollution is thought to be one of the main culprits behind age spots – those troublesome patches of pigmentation that make your complexion appear dull and uneven. If you’re one of the 8 in 10 women who worry about dark spots, then wearing a daily SPF might not be enough to prevent hyper-pigmentation. You’ll need to build up a defence against pollution, too!
But before you let your skin go up in smoke, there is a solution. Antioxidants – pollution-fighting superheroes – help protect your skin against the daily onslaught of environmental damage.
Like sun exposure, prevention is better than cure!
So, start protecting your skin today with these knockout beauty buys…
Foreo Luna Mini 2, £119
Double cleanse every evening. The first round removes make-up and pollution residue, while the second cleanse goes deeper to expel embedded nasties, especially with a sonic cleansing gadget. This palm-sized tool works with your normal cleanser to drive out dirt and oil from your pores. foreo.com
Time Bomb Complexion Cocktail with a shot of Chlorophyll, £24
Think of this lotion as the Dyson of the skincare world, hoovering up all those pollutant toxins so skin feels protected and looks healthier. Pour a little into your hands then massage into skin after cleansing. timebombco.com
La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar UV SPF30, £26
8 in 10 women worry about dark spots, and we can’t altogether blame UV exposure – pollution plays a big part, too. In the long-term, this daily moisturiser makes your complexion look more uniform, but it’s the anti-adhesive texture that really caught our attention – it physically stops pollution particles from sticking to skin so they can’t get up to anything naughty. Boots
Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Eye, £39
Don’t forget about that delicate skin around the eye. This peeper treat acts like an invisible visor protecting the eyes against UVA, UVB, infrared and pollution, while revving up your skin to repair itself and smooth lines over time. Boots
Rimmel Fix & Protect Makeup Primer, £6.99
The more layers you have on your skin, the better the barrier against the environment, so add an anti-pollution primer after your moisturiser and SPF. Boots
Indeed Labs Vitamin c24, £24.99
When it comes to fighting the ageing effects of city life, vitamin C is your skin’s BFF. This twice-a-day cream is made up of 22 per cent pure vitamin C, the powerhouse antioxidant that shields skin against free radicals, boosts collagen production and evens out discolouration.
Clarins Anti Pollution Cleansing Milk, £16.95
Cleanse away the dirt and pollution of the day with this soft on sensitive skin cleanser. Actively brightens skin, and protects your complexion. Buy it from fragrancedirect.co.uk