Anti-Pollution Skincare: What Is It?

You've probably heard about skincare products that are designed to protect your skin from pollution. That's because, unfortunately, the demand for such products has grown significantly in recent years due to increased pollution worldwide, especially in urban environments. 

Poor air quality and microparticles in the air provenly negatively affect people's health, including the state of the skin. The negative impact can be compared to those of the sun. 

As moving from the city out to the countryside is not possible to most, it's only natural that people want to do as much as possible to protect themselves using specially designed anti-pollution skincare products. 

Let's take a closer look at what these products are and what are their benefits.

Anti-pollution skincare 

Brick and mortar and online shops have growing sections of products with "anti-pollution" as one of the benefits. 

The anti-pollution skincare trend started in Asia, one of the continents that has some big cities like, e.g. Bejing or Tokyo with massive pollution. 

However, it's natural to wonder whether pollution is actually that harmful to the skin and does anti-pollution skincare work?

Pollution harm 

Various studies have shown that some pollutants in the air do cause skin problems. For example, nitrogen dioxide that comes from car exhausts and emissions from power plants can cause skin pigmentation and spots.  

Additional problems that pollution causes are hives, acne, premature skin aging, and inflammatory skin conditions like eczema. 

Dermatologists have started noticing such conditions in their practices more and more. These problems occur when high levels of pollutants get into the body through the skin as they do through breathing.

Pollution can also induce oxidative stress by lowering naturally occurring levels of antioxidants that our bodies naturally produce. It causes an imbalance in these processes, depletes the skin from antioxidant vitamins E and C, and impairs the skin barrier.

While more studies need to be done, it is evident that pollution is no joke.

The main outdoor pollutants are:

Nitrogen dioxide

Sulphur dioxide

Carbon monoxide

Particulate matter (PM)

Heavy metals

Indoor pollution 

Surprised? Don't be, because yes, indoor pollution is real, and it can occur from different sources, from cooking and heating to various cleaning products that can damage the health of your skin. 

And let's not forget cigarette smoke which has been widely acknowledged as one of the most harmful things people can do to their bodies and skin. 

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natural Australian skincare

Anti-pollution skincare in action

Okay, this is not great news; however, the good thing is that protecting our skin from pollution is possible with the right skincare. But how does the anti-pollution skincare work? 

Some of these products work similarly to sunscreen by shielding the skin from harmful particles. These are serums, moisturisers and mineral sunscreen.

Other products work to remove pollutants from the skin and reduce the effects of microparticles. These include cleansers, scrubs and deep cleansing masks.

The skincare products with anti-pollution benefits contain ingredients that protect the skin from all sources of damage, including environmental pollutants. 

The key players

Antioxidants. These bind to free radicals before they harm your skin. That's why products like an antioxidant serum with ferulic acid or vitamin E can be extremely helpful in preventing pollution damage to your skin. 

The most common antioxidant and anti-pollution skincare ingredients: 

vitamin C

retinol (vitamin A)

vitamin E

ferulic acid

niacinamide

resveratrol

coenzymeQ10 (CoQ10) 

polyphenols

flavonoids

Vitamin C is one of the heroes among the anti-pollution skincare ingredients. It can improve your skin tone, make it lighter and help combat dar pigmentation spots. 

Moisturisation. While we use moisturisers every day and may not think of them as anti-pollution skincare, they actually play a significant role in strengthening the skin barrier, making it difficult for pollutants to penetrate it. 

When choosing a moisturiser, it's best to opt for one that contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides. 

SPF and UV blockers.  UV light is the number one enemy of healthy and beautiful skin. It speeds up aging, causes wrinkles, cellular DNA changes and increases cancer risk. But there's more (oh oh)! Did you know that UV light also activates certain pollutants? 

It's one more reason to be diligent and wear SPF every day as it creates a physical barrier against both sun rays and various pollutants.

Prebiotics. You can also add products with high levels of prebiotics to your anti-pollution skincare routine. They can help build up the skin's natural defences and form a barrier against pollution-related skin issues.  

Certain prebiotics help balance skin pH or support the skin's barrier function, which boosts healthy bacteria. A serum or a cream that stay on the skin longer can help prevent pollution damage and restore the skin. 

Anti-pollution skincare routine 

As with most routines, it's best to act on all fronts. Combining different anti-pollution skincare products will help get the most benefits.

Step one - cleanser. A gentle cleanser will remove the pollution particles from the skin. You don't need a harsh product as it can strip your skin of natural oils and damage your skin barrier. 

Step two - serum. After cleansing your skin, apply an anti-pollution serum. Choose based on your skin type. 

Step three - moisturiser. Here you want to use a moisturiser that will help protect your skin barrier and hydrate your skin all day (or night) long. 

Step four - sunscreen. Never forget this step in your morning routine. Sunscreen will help protect your skin from UV light and activating certain pollutants. 

Exfoliation and deep hydration. Once or twice a week, gently exfoliate your skin and use a nourishing and intensely hydrating mask. This will help improve your skin barrier function. 

Healthy lifestyle. While anti-pollution skincare is very important, don't forget to take care of your body inside out by eating healthy, nutritious meals, exercising regularly and catching up on your ZZZs! This all will increase your metabolism and help your body eliminate toxins easier. 

SCOUT anti-pollution skincare 

Here at SCOUT, we understand the negative effects of pollution, and that's why we've created an Anti-Pollution Skincare Kit that combines three powerful protective skincare products to reinvigorate and balance a stressed-out complexion. 

These products are rich in antioxidants to combat free radicals, and they purify and gently heal the skin.

To balance a stressed-out complexion, our Anti -Pollution Defence Trio combines three powerful skin care products to revitalise, brighten and return skin to its true radiance.

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Anti-Pollution Defence Trio

The kit includes:

Daily revitalise cleansing creme with Lemon Myrtle, Papaya and Coconut.

Rich in antioxidants to combat free radicals caused by sun damage and environmental pollution, this cleanser works to gently purify and heal the skin, revealing a clearer, brighter complexion.

Vitamin C brigtening serum with Kakakdu Plum, Turmeric & Rosehip

With a hHigh % of Vitamin C rich Kakadu Plum helps combat free radicals caused by environmental pollution and sun damage, restoring the skin's balance and improving the appearance of fine lines and dull complexions.

Balance & replenish light moisturiser with Calendula, Red Mandarin & Pumpkin

Perfect for those with sensitive skin conditions like acne, rosacea or eczema, the combination of anti-inflammatory and brightening ingredients will leave the skin plumped, restored, and glowing.