If you’ve taken a trip to your local skincare counter recently, you’ve probably come across more than a few products labeling themselves as anti-pollution skincare, thanks to the world we live in where avoiding toxins is constantly on the mind. But what does anti-pollution skincare mean? And do these products actually remove the effects of pollution as they claim? Here, we demystify how you can use skincare products to not only fight pollution, but to also add a protective shield to your skin so you can face the world with confidence.

Anti-Pollution Definition

Essentially, the term anti-pollution refers to the active fight against common environmental contaminants and their effects on our skin.

Skincare products with anti-pollution properties can help reverse the effects of common environmental toxins, such as exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, metals, chemicals, and sun rays, and protect your skin from further cell damage caused by these environmental impurities. Understanding how pollution affects your skin and what goes into a true “anti-pollution” skin care regimen can help you create a reliable defense system against such environmental skin irritants.

Effects of Pollution on the skin

Our skin is our body’s natural protective barrier. It is designed to keep the good things in and the harmful toxins out. However, in its fight against harmful environmental factors, it is often left with more than a few undesirable war scars—usually in the shape of wrinkles, dark undereye circles, sunspots, and moisture loss.

However, exactly how these toxins present themselves in the skin depends on the type of pollutants your skin comes into contact with, the level of exposure, and any existing skin sensitivities.

Sometimes pollutions can show up immediately as an acne breakout, sudden dullness, clogged pores, or a rash. For instance, you may notice your skin seems lackluster or greasy after a trip to the city, and the problems dissipate after a secluded mountain retreat.

Other times, environmental toxins can chip away at our skin’s barrier function and create chronic issues such as dryness, loss of color, pigment spots, inflammation, redness, etc. City dwellers are more likely to suffer from the chronic effects of skin pollution and battle signs of aging earlier than those who live in less populated and less polluted areas.

How to fight skin pollution

Thankfully, with the ever-progressing scientific research strides in skincare and the impact of active ingredients to prevent and reverse skin damage, there are terrific products out there to arm you against the effects of pollution – and they are all loaded with power antioxidants.

Antioxidants are a group of minerals and vitamins that are primed to fight off the damaging effects of free radicals. These essential anti-pollution ingredients can be consumed through your diet, but are most effective when applied directly to your skin. Check the ingredient list on your cleansers, toners, and moisturizers to ensure they’re free of common skincare toxins and are rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and E, retinol, polyphenols, flavonoids (green tea), and lycopene.

You should also pair your daily skin care routine with an antioxidant face mask. Antioxidant-rich masks for your face, neck, décolleté, and under eyes help to reverse years of built-up skin pollution and prime your protective barrier function to guard your skin from further damage. If you haven’t already, try out Rose Quartz Antioxidant Mask Collection to start you off right on the quest for skin wellness.