If you go out of your way to avoid pollution (and why wouldn’t you?), get yourself acquainted with the next layer of defence for your skin.

Introducing anti-pollution beauty, a concept that at first seems a bit excessive, but might prove to be the most undermining environmental aggressor to your skin after sun damage.

“The concept of anti-pollution skincare is not necessarily a new one,” ­says David Whyte, Elizabeth Arden National Education Manager.

“In fact, our Prevage line of environmental protection anti-pollution skincare has been around for more than 10 years. However, with increased attention to extreme cases [of pollution] in China and India, and rising levels worldwide, this has truly become a global problem.”


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Whyte reveals: “Every day in cities all over the world, the environment is visibly ageing our skin. In fact, 80% of all signs of ageing are due to environmental aggressors such as UV rays, pollution and smoke.”

The worst kind is traffic emissions because of their nano size (roughly 20 times smaller than human pores!). These can work their way into the skin, exacerbating free radical damage to hinder the the skin’s ability to produce collagen, retain moisture and accelerate signs of ageing.

Tobacco smoke is another that has a strong correlation with more pronounced wrinkles on skin, especially on the upper lip, as well as more spider veins.


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But what makes a product specifically ‘anti-pollution’? We quizzed Whyte about the kinds of ingredients that make these products different to what you’d ordinarily use. The answer is antioxidants.

For Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage line, it’s idenbenone – “the world’s most powerful antioxidant,” advises Whyte. This is supported by a secondary group of antioxidants from Green Tea and L-Carnosine (a naturally occurring antioxidant in the body that deteriorates with age). The blocker they’ve used is a silicone acrylate polymer that sits on top of the skin to block harmful pollutants and toxins from penetrating. We can’t get enough of the City Smart With Sunscreens Hydrating Shields as well as the Anti-Ageing Foundation SPF 30. Better for dry skin types, the formulas glide on seamlessly and feature SPF, which we beg you not to forget in the midst of this entire anti-pollution campaign.

Another standout pollution blocker is REN Skincare ‘Flash Defence‘ Anti-Pollution Mist (a mist we take everywhere with us when travelling). It veils the face with a lightweight mist of Biosaccharid Gum, Zinc and Manganese Amino Acids that shield, repair and defend your face against environmental nasties.

And if you live in the thick of the big smoke, finish your night with a detox from CLARINS Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream and SUKIN Anti-Pollution Facial Masque, used once a week.


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Tell us, do you live in a city?

Would you be keen to try anti-pollution skincare?


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