Pollution Is Everywhere—Here’s How to Protect Your Skin

September 16, 2021

Photo: NGSOFT IT / Pexels

It’s not just the sun’s rays that can cause damage to your skin—now, research shows that even the air we breathe can lead to a host of skin issues. Pollution—invisible, airborne particles from car emissions, cigarette smoke, and more—are known to generate free radicals on the surface of the skin, leading to visible problems like sensitivity, irritation, hyperpigmentation, dullness, and loss of elasticity. Luckily, there are many ways to pollution-proof your skin, from setting sprays that shield from environmental stressors to booster drops you can mix in with your moisturizer. Ahead, our go-to protective products for fresh, glowing skin—no matter how bad the smog.

ILIA Blue Light Protect & Set Mist, $18-$38

Just a few spritzes of this weightless 3-in-1 will have skin refreshed, glowing, and protected against the harmful effects of blue (HEV) light and pollution. Mist it on bare skin, over makeup, or whenever your skin needs a pick-me-up.

Sisley-Paris SisleYouth Anti-Pollution, $210

Part-serum, part-primer, this hydrating elixir treats skin to a smorgasbord of antioxidants that stave off free radicals from pollution before they can wreak havoc on skin. The light, velvety texture sinks in quickly—perfect for layering under makeup.

Allies of Skin Peptides & Antioxidants Firming Daily Treatment, $109

This leave-on treatment comes jam-packed with effective levels of brightening, protecting, and healing ingredients to help support your skin’s defenses against daily life. A next-generation blend of peptides and antioxidants shields skin from all forms of environmental stressors, so you know you’re covered.

BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner, $80

Vitamin C is one of the most powerful and well-researched antioxidants out there, and it’s known to fight free-radical damage from all sources. This silky serum boasts a potent 20% of pure l-ascorbic acid in a unique, encapsulated form to ensure freshness the moment it hits your skin.

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm, $34

No anti-pollution routine is complete without a cleanser to melt away impurities and pollutants when the day is done. This award-winning cleansing balm dissolves makeup, sunscreen, and everyday buildup for a clean—not tight or dry—complexion.

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