Anti-Pollution Skin Care: How 3 Products Can Help Defend Your Skin
Anti-pollution skin care is all the rage right now! To find out how pollution affects skin—and which products we can use to defend our complexion from these environmental aggressors—we turned to Skincare.com consultant and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Lisa Ginn.
Cigarette smoke, car exhaust, whatever the heck is spewing out from those sewers in the summertime—pollution is everywhere, especially when you live or work in a big city. And while we’re all well-aware of the negative side effects of pollution when it comes to our well-being, did you know that pollution can have some scary side effects when it comes to our skin? From drying out your skin, to compromising barrier function, to causing some of the early signs of premature skin aging—those wrinkles and fine lines didn’t just appear overnight!—pollution can wreak some serious havoc.
How Free Radicals From Pollution Affect Skin
“We have oxygen in our environment, but environmental factors—like smoking and the sun—cause free oxygen radicals,” Ginn says. “Oxygen is a determined romantic; it likes to be paired. But, with smoking, for example, the oxygen separates and looks for a mate and it likes to link to collagen.” Ginn says to think of your skin’s collagen like interlocking rubber bands, they’ve got bounce, pep if you will. But when free radicals attach to them they become dry and brittle, like a rubber band used far too many times, it loses its ability to bounce back.
But before you go looking for a secluded hideaway in the woods far, far away from pollution, know that there is one major defense against free radicals and you may already have it in your anti-pollution skin care arsenal. “Antioxidants provide a substitution mate when you put them on the skin,” Ginn says. “The free radicals bind to the antioxidants instead of your skin.” Great, now that you know what your first line of defense against the effects of pollution on the skin should be it’s time to rally the troops!
Oxygen is a determined romantic; it likes to be paired. But, with smoking, for example, the oxygen separates and looks for a mate and it likes to link to collagen.
Anti-Pollution Skin Care Products
Dr. Ginn loves SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic for normal to mature skin types, “It’s a powerhouse,” she says, because it’s formulated with l-ascorbic acid—vitamin C—and ferulic acid—another powerful antioxidant—in a soothing base. The serum can help to strengthen your skin’s natural protection defenses from the free radicals produced by environmental factors like pollution. Once in the morning, after cleansing, apply 4-5 drops to a dry face, neck, and chest.
For younger skin that’s normal to oily, she recommends reaching for SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF. This antioxidant formulated face serum helps to neutralize free radicals created by the environment and helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin tone.
Finally, even armed with your antioxidants to defend against the free radicals caused by pollution, you don’t want to forget about the ones created by UV rays. For those, reach for a broad spectrum SPF with UVA/UVB protection like SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50.