While protective skincare such as anti-aging products and sun damage blocking products are nothing new, anti-pollution skincare is gaining traction as pollution itself becomes more well recognized. Can air pollution really affect your skin? The answer is a resounding and unsettling “absolutely.”

How Pollution Affects Your Skin

First, let’s consider what air pollution is. When we talk about air pollution, we’re talking about airborne gases or particles that are harmful in one way or another. Different types of air pollution affect your skin in different ways, but the bottom line is that they all degrade your skin’s defenses, and some particles are so tiny they can even get lodged in your pores. Gross.

Some common issues resulting from pollution damage to the skin are redness and irritation, sensitive, dry, or itchy skin, and even larger pores and brown spots or uneven skin tone. Pollution’s effect on the skin is basically a list of everything we ask are our estheticians to solve for us.

The scariest part of air pollution and its effect on the skin is the way it breaks down our skin’s natural barrier. After repeated exposure to the harshness of air pollution, your skin won’t be as effective as blocking out pollutants, allowing them to enter your body through your skin.

So what’s a big city dweller with no intention of running into the forest as part of their anti-pollution skincare routine supposed to do? Here’s how you can prevent pollution damage to your skin without pulling a Jack Kerouac.


One of the most potent ways to fight the damage that air pollution does to our skin is to utilize the benefits of antioxidants in skincare. Products containing antioxidants will help to offset some damage down by pollution.


Other vital ingredients in anti-pollution skincare are vitamins — specifically vitamin A, E, and vitamin C. By using skincare that applies vitamin A and E. You’ll be gaining the benefits of their strong anti-aging properties. These vitamins are great for mending the collagen in your skin vital to a youthful appearance and is directly affected by air pollution. Vitamin C is also a tremendous anti-pollution ingredient because of its ability to reduce inflammation, something that pollution is excellent at increasing.

Realizing how pervasive the effect of pollution on your skin is can be concerning, but you don’t have to panic. Add some anti-pollution skincare products with antioxidants and vitamins in your routine, and your skin will fight back against the nasty effects of air pollution in no time.