Anti-Pollution Skincare Products You Should Be Using Now

Because dull, dehydrated skin is not a good look.

The best anti pollution skincare
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There’s plenty of research out there that links toxic air with premature skin ageing, so the fact that the UK’s pollution levels are continuing to rise is worrying news for our complexions. (In fact, some parts of the country are now so cloaked in pollution that residents are being advised to keep their windows closed.)

According to Collette Haydon, skincare formulator and founder of Lixirskin, the key culprits causing havoc on our complexions are cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes and heavy-metal emissions.

'Pollutants generate free radicals on the surface of the skin which can lead to sensitivity', she explains. 'When the level of free radicals exceeds our skin’s defence mechanisms, the skin cells are placed in a state of oxidative stress.' This state triggers skin sensitivity, which can lead to a whole host of issues – think pigmentation, premature ageing and a dull, sallow complexion.

Thankfully, there’s now a whole host of ways to protect your skin from pollution, from deep-cleansing washes that sweep away every last particle, to serums rich in radical-neutralising vitamin C, and even an instant bronzing gel with a myriad of skin-boosting benefits. Click through to discover the ones we really rate.

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

Cult Glory
Anti-Pollution Drops
Dr. Barbara Sturm
£110.00
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Famed for her advanced rejuvenating facials, Dr. Barbara Sturm knows a thing or two about keeping skin protected from the elements. One of her most advanced products yet, this lightweight serum will not only shield your skin from smoke and smog, but ward off damage from blue light too (yep, that’s your phone screen). Apply it neat, or mix a drop into your favourite cream for added hydration.

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Cult Glory
Atmosphériques Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir
de Mamiel
£88.00
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Proving you can protect yourself from pollution while sticking to an all-natural beauty routine, De Mamiel’s serum uses a cocktail of natural antioxidants – think citrus fruits and plant oils – to rebalance and shield the skin.  It has a fairly rich texture, so may not suit the oiliest of complexions, but it’s a dream on our dry, après-holiday skin.

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Cult Glory
Molecular Multi-Nutrient Day Cream
Allies Of Skin
£79.00
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This no-nonsense day cream is one of the most potent protectors you’ll find on our shores. The lightweight formula is packed with 12 different antioxidant extracts that work to shield your skin on every level, as well as two different types of hyaluronic acid that hydrate both the skin surface and the deeper layers. 

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Cult Glory
Vitamin C Paste
Lixir Skin
£32.00
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This innovative mask is specially designed to deliver a vitamin C top-up to your skin each morning. It’s less faff than it may sound: simply apply like you would a cleanser, leave to work its magic for five minutes (while you brush your teeth) then wash away for clear, balanced skin that’s ready to face the smoggiest of cities.

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Look Fantastic
Vitamin C Glow Tonic
Rodial
£40.00
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A chemical exfoliator is a great way to amp up your cleansing routine, helping to increase cell turnover and ensure every last damaging free radical is swept away from your face. Rodial's latest tonic contains a blend of several Alpha-Hydroxy Acids that work on multiple layers of the skin, along with a stabilised form of Vitamin C for a brightening boost. Sweep it over cleansed skin with a cotton pad, every other night. 

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Cult Glory
D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops
Drunk Elephant
£30.00
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Skincare meets makeup in Drunk Elephant’s clever new launch. Swirl a drop (just one – it’s seriously concentrated!) of this luminous bronzing gel into your moisturiser or BB cream, and let it impart sun-starved skin with an instant tan, as well as keeping pollution at bay.

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Cult Glory
Smooth & Protect Primer SPF 50
NARS
£29.00
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This multi-benefit primer from Nars is a bit of a show-off, actually. It’ll create a smooth base for foundation while simultaneously deflecting free radicals and providing broad-spectrum SPF50 protection from the sun. Oh, and it’s oil-free too.

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Look Fantastic
City Fashion Facial Mist
OSKIA
£44.00
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This travel-friendly mist is a great way to top up your protection throughout the day. Spritz over make-up – the spray is super-fine, so it won’t disturb your foundation – and it’ll shield skin from aggressors while also imparting dewy radiance (that’ll be the hyaluronic acid).

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Look Fantastic
Vitamin-C Juice Cleanser
PIXI
£18.00
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Ensure every last pollution particle is swept away from your face with this vitamin C-based cleanser. There’s a probiotic extract in there too, so it’ll help to gradually fortify smoggy city skin. Apply it with a cotton pad, as you would a micellar cleanser. There’s no need to rinse (but we’d recommend going in with a make-up melting balm beforehand).

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Cover FX Booster Drops
Space NK
Antioxidant Booster Drops

COVER FX

£35

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Dispense a drop of this liquid serum into your foundation to lighten your coverage and bring an extra layer of protection to your routine. 100% naturally derived, it’s rich in antioxidant plant extracts, and works to sheer out foundation perfectly, too.

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Cult Glory
C.E.O. Glow
Sunday Riley
£34.00
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A heavy dose of vitamin C is one of the best lines of defence from free radical-induced damage. This brilliant serum contains just that, as well as a touch of antioxidant ginger root for pollution-busting back-up.

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Marks and Spencer
Antioxidant Concentrated Serum Oil
Diego Dalla Palma
£29.00
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If you like your serums to be heavily hydrating, try this excellent oil-based formula. The hero ingredient is Astaxanthin: don’t try to pronounce it, just know that it’s one of the most concentrated antioxidant compounds used in skincare. A light layer, massaged in beneath your SPF, will leave skin plump and moisturised while fending off free radicals.

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