As an increasing number of individuals are beginning to fear the impact that pollution can have on their skin, the anti-pollution beauty industry has seen substantial global growth. In Asia, the number of new anti-pollution products launched between 2011 and 2013 grew by 40%. Meanwhile, the UK anti-pollution products market is currently worth £3.1 million and continues to grow. However, with the average British woman already spending £53.87 every month on facial skin care products, are anti-pollution beauty products worth the additional outlay?

How pollution impacts the skin

Air pollution grew by 8% in the five years up to 2016, according to The World Health Organization. When pollution gets onto your skin it starts by sitting on the surface. But, as pollution particles are so small, they slowly sink into your pores and penetrate into the epidermis. As a result, your skin will become inflamed, red, irritated, and dehydrated. If these weren’t bad enough, pollution can also trigger acne flareups, dark spots, eczema, and premature aging.

What makes anti-pollution skin care products work?

Anti-pollution skin care products are designed to shield the skin from the harmful effects of pollution. As pollution is also responsible for stripping vitamin E from your skin, many of these anti-pollution products are packed full of the powerful vitamin. Vitamin E is a moisturizer and an antioxidant which means it works to protect the cells in the skin and keep them healthy. Another firm favorite in these anti-pollution skin care products is vitamin C which works to boost the amount of collagen in the skin. Collagen keeps skin looking healthy and young as it plumps it. In addition, it’s an antioxidant and fights UV rays from the sun.

Popular anti-pollution skin care products

Due to the sudden demand for anti-pollution skin care products, you’ll now find a whole range of these products available from multiple leading brands. Ren offers an anti-pollution face mist which can be sprayed onto the face to safeguard it from pollutants, and Previse has an o-zone defense serum which does exactly what it says on the bottle. Other products available include Ultrasun’s Daily Face Fluid which boasts SPF 50, and the pricey Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Pollution Drops which currently retail for £105 in the UK.

Are anti-pollution skin care products worth it?

With 41% of people stating that pollution has the biggest impact on the condition of their skin, it’s no wonder that the anti-pollution skin care industry has seen a 30% growth in just six months. However, not all skin care experts believe that anti-pollution skin care is worth the money. Caroline Hirons says: “If you have a thorough cleansing routine and use sun protection and perhaps a basic vitamin C serum, you probably have no need for a specific anti-pollution routine. Most people have sturdy skin. The industry is very good at making people feel like they’re missing out, or that they’re putting themselves in danger. I don’t think they are.” Meanwhile, Doris Day, M.D. advises that “Simple changes to your beauty routine, such as proper cleansing and using antioxidants every day, can have a big, positive impact on skin.”

Alternative solution to anti-pollution skin care products

Thoroughly washing your face twice a day with a face wash, once in the morning and again at night, is the first step to removing pollution particles from your skin. After a day of continuous exposure to pollutants, you may need to work a little harder to remove the pollutants so it’s a wise idea to use a cleanser too. You should also ensure you regularly exfoliate your skin to get rid of any particles trapped in areas where dry and dead skin is located.

When your face is clean, gently wipe over your face with a toner to ensure your skin is as clean as can be. It’s also worth applying an antioxidant serum as this will help to rejuvenate your skin and stop the collagen breakdown. In addition to topically applying antioxidants, ensure your diet is packed full of foods high in antioxidants too, such as:

  • Raisins
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Plums
  • Oranges
  • Kale
  • Spinach

Along with following this rigorous routine, make sure you’re using high sun protection of a least SPF 30 on your face and the rest of your body to keep the harmful effects of pollution at bay.

Anti-pollution skin care products are a growing trend. And, while they contain plenty of ingredients which can combat the effects of pollution, there are cheaper methods you can use to achieve the same results.