Our skin is truly a miraculous organ, providing protection from all sorts of dangers from UV rays to extreme temperatures. But in modern times, we’ve added a new responsibility to its list: protecting us from pollution. This is why anti-pollution skincare is so important.
While we may not realize it, studies show that pollution ages us just as much as the sun, causing hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. Our body’s ability to protect and repair itself against pollution diminishes as we get older, further speeding up the aging process by making skin appear dull and causing premature aging.
An anti-pollution skincare routine can work to protect your skin and help it repair itself. Keep reading for a deep dive into the science behind anti-pollution skincare ingredients and routines.
What Is Anti-Pollution Skincare?
To fully understand anti-pollution skincare, it’s important to know why and how pollution harms your skin in the first place. Pollution harms your skin by exposing it to free radicals. These unstable molecules suck the electrons out of the atoms in our skin. In the process, they destroy our natural collagen and cause oxidization, which causes our skin to lose even more electrons. The loss of collagen is what causes wrinkles and saggy skin, while oxidative stress is what promotes hyperpigmentation.
Over time, our skin tires out and is less able to fight off these toxins, leading to fine lines, loss of elasticity, and dark spots.
Anti-pollution skincare is skincare that uses specific ingredients to protect us from this problem and help our skin repair itself.
How Do We Combat Pollution In Our Skin?
The best way to protect our skin from pollution is by using ingredients that fight free radicals and promote skin barrier repair, namely SPF, antioxidants, hydrators, and moisturizers.
It’s also important to physically remove the pollutants that are sitting on top of our skin at the end of the day. We do this by deeply cleansing to remove every trace of dirt, makeup and pollution without interfering with our skin’s natural moisture barrier.
How does climate and location factor in?
Studies have shown that people who live in urban areas increasingly suffer from age spots. And while there’s no denying that airborne particle exposure is higher in cities and suburbs, people in rural areas should take note, too.
Rural areas aren’t immune to pollution. Agricultural centers, for example, may have air or water polluted with pesticides and fertilizers.
The bottom line is that everyone’s skin should have a second line of defense to fortify your natural skin barrier and fight free radicals. That’s where an anti-pollution skincare routine comes in.
What ingredients should I look for?
While the term “anti-pollution skincare” is unregulated, there are science-backed skincare ingredients that fight free radicals and support a healthy skin moisture barrier.
Here are the ingredients to look for when shopping for anti-pollution skincare:
- Antioxidants. As their name suggests, antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that cause oxidative stress. When creating an anti-pollution skincare routine, look for formulas that include antioxidant ingredients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A (aka retinoids), and Vitamin E, and niacinamide.
- Moisturizers. Keeping your skin moisturized helps support the skin barrier, making it more difficult for pollutants to penetrate. Specifically, look for products that include hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and squalane (which we include in all of our formulas) to keep skin hydrated and lock in moisture.
- Physical Sunblock. Harmful UV rays not only cause cancer and premature aging, they can also activate some pollutants to further damage your skin. One hundred percent mineral SPF 30 or above- such as our Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen - acts like a coat of armor for your skin. Harmful UVA and UVB rays bounce off before they can react with pollutants and damage your skin.
An Easy Anti-Pollution Skincare Routine
Many of our formulas include anti-pollution skincare ingredients to help neutralize free radicals and support a healthy skin moisture barrier. Here’s a simple anti-pollution skincare routine to help protect and repair your skin.
Morning Anti-Pollution Skincare Routine
Cleanse: Dissolve dirt and impurities while neutralizing free radicals with our Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil. Sugarcane-derived squalane delivers a boost of hydration to make sure you enter the day with a strong and supported skin barrier.
Balance: Spritz your face with our Squalane + Hyaluronic Toning Mist to deeply hydrate and prep your skin so you get the most out of active ingredients.
Treat: Using your ring finger, apply a small amount of Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel to plump fine lines and wrinkles while protecting from free radicals with antioxidant niacinamide. Double down on antioxidant support by applying Squalane+ Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum all over your face to visibly improve the look of dark spots while protecting against pollution.
Moisturize: Deeply moisturize and improve the look of premature aging with our Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Moisturizer. Fermented lemon peel visibly improves the look of dark spots while antioxidant Vitamin C helps prevent new ones from forming.
Protect: Shield skin from harmful UV rays with our reef-safe Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen. It uses 100% mineral, non-nano zinc to provide broad spectrum SPF 30 protection while melting into every skin tone.
Evening Anti-Pollution Skincare Routine
Cleanse: Remove every trace of dirt, makeup, and pollution while neutralizing free radicals with our Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil.
Balance: Refresh tired skin with a burst of barrier-supporting moisture with our Squalane + Hyaluronic Acid Facial Mist.
Treat: Deeply hydrate the delicate eye area while plumping fine lines and wrinkles with our bestselling Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream. Then, apply our antioxidant-rich Squalane + Retinol Night Serum to change skin on a cellular level, visibly improving the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots.
Moisturize: Deeply moisturize and restore your skin moisture barrier with our Squalane + Omega Repair Cream. Formulated with a hydrating blend of ceramides and lipids, this luxurious whipped cream plumps fine lines and wrinkles while supporting a healthy skin moisture barrier.
Protect: Lock in moisture while delivering a brightening boost of antioxidant support with our award-winning Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. Our uniquely oil-soluble form of Vitamin C powerfully brightens and increases elasticity without irritation.