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7 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Pollution

By Carly Cochrane - 5 months ago | Updated
Anti-pollution skincare

Living and working in the city can cause all hell to break loose on your skin. As polluted, dirty air settles into every crevice of your face, your complexion becomes a breeding ground for clogged pores, frequent breakouts and dullness.

As a result, city-dwellers are first in line for premature ageing (studies have found that they age 10% faster), redness, pigmentation and aggravated acne – not ideal.

So to help you face the city (literally), we've found seven ways that you can combat the effects of pollution on skin.


Cleanse and cleanse again

Double cleansing after a day in the city is the only way to get rid of the gunk that’s made your face its new home. Kick start your skin care routine with an oil cleanser to melt away on-the-surface grime and stubborn makeup. Then, follow up with any gel, milk or balm cleanser that’s suited to your skin type in order to really clean out those pores.

Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil

Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil

This lightweight, non-greasy oil breaks down dirt and revives dull skin. Not only is it bursting with antioxidants and nutrients that repair damage from external aggressors, but it’s also fragranced with a subtle scent of grapefruit, orange and lemon.

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Slather on the SPF

Come rain or shine, SPF is pretty important. Come city grime, SPF is essential. Sticky smog reacts with UV rays and increases the amount of harmful toxins that are attacking your face. To lower your chances of dark spots and pigmentation, you’ll want to start seriously smoothing on the sun cream.

Murad City Skin Broad Spectrum SPF 50 | PA ++++

Murad City Skin Broad Spectrum SPF 50 | PA ++++

Murad have an entire City Skin range that has been specially designed to fight off everything from pollution, infared radiaiton, UVA and UVB rays and blue light. To make it even better, it boasts a delicious zesty orange scent.

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Stock up on serums

A splash of serum a day can really help to keep pollution away. They’re your one-stop shop to restoring radiance, boosting hydration and prepping skin for a day out in the wild. All you have to do is smooth the solution over your face before bedtime.

Caudalie VineActiv Overnight Detox Oil

Caudalie VineActiv Overnight Detox Oil

You name it, this detox oil has it. A cocktail of hyaluronic acid, vitamins C & E and antioxidants combine to give your skin the TLC it needs after a long day in the city.

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Make face masks a frequent thing...

Glitter masks on a Sunday evening may sound more enticing, but they’re not going to lace your skin with the free-radical-fighting ingredients you need. It’s time to switch over to anti-pollution masks that will cleanse your face and kick out any nasties that are lurking on the surface.

Kiehl's Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque

Kiehl's Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque

This little tub of goodness is a powerhouse when it comes to healing and restoring your skin. Gentle yet effective, it prepares your skin for the battle against environmental aggressors and impurities.

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...And face peels

Peel away pollution with a light daily exfoliating session or AHA treatment. Unlike your regular exfoliators, peels are tough on grime but don’t compromise your skin’s barrier or moisture levels, meaning you can walk away with a fresh and radiant face that’s free of filth.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The Ordinary are best known for their transparency when it comes to ingredients and affordable price tags. This peeling solution gives you a facial in 10 minutes, harnessing the powers of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids to ensure that your complexion is in tip-top condition.

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Find a pollution-fighting foundation

Perfect for city-loving boys and girls that still want to look glam: sub your regular foundation for a formula that’s specifically designed to filter out harmful environmental factors. A strong base that packs a load of skin care benefits can really eliminate the con-plexions that come with city life.

Bourjois City Radiance Foundation

Bourjois City Radiance Foundation

This two-in-one foundation supplies you with a flawless base and protects your skin from urban pollution. An anti-pollution screen ensures that no nasties can get past, whilst radiance-boosting pigments give you a natural glow – result.

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Spray away

If you’re always running late or simply don’t have the time for an extensive skin care routine, then tune in – sprays and mists are the quick and easy way to combat pollution, detoxify, and stay protected. In just a few spritzes, you can shield your skin from air that’s filled with toxins.

REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist

REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist

Beat the exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke and smoggy air, as this mist provides your skin with instant relief from urban living. Simply spritz over your moisturiser or makeup to form a barrier on top of your skin and keep it healthy.

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With an army of pollution-fighting products now in tow, you can easily conquer a day in the city without having to worry about your skin breaking out, drying up or dulling down.

READ MORE: 6 Beauty Hacks to Prevent Getting 'Gym Skin'

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