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Block pollution skincare CLOUD WHIP - Brightening Hydration Cream - Vitamin C Moisturizer Cream

These Ingredients Will Actually Block Pollution

One of the biggest trends sweeping the skincare world: anti-pollution skincare. And the idea sounds great! A moisturizer or a serum that will help block pollution from cars, smoke, “city living” and even blue light? Sign us up!

The problem, though, is that many products or skincare lines that are marketed as extra-special anti-pollution skin-saviors are just that - marketing.

The good news? There is definitely truth behind the hype, and you can find lots of skincare ingredients that will help with your most prevalent “modern living” skin concerns. Here’s what you should be looking for and why.

First: What’s the Concern With Pollution?

pollution skincare antioxidants help BRIGHT SIDE - Antioxidant Cream Cleanser - Best Facial Cleanser

There are all kinds of pollution that can negatively impact your skin and your health - and (at least before quarantine) it seemed like this was getting exponentially worse. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 92% of people live in cities that don’t comply with the WHO’s air quality standards - yikes!

Specifically, most people are constantly facing things like:

  • Air pollution:This includes primary air pollutants from sources like urban dust, cigarette smoke, diesel dust, and benzo[a]pyrene) and secondary pollutants formed when primary pollutants react in the atmosphere. Both can lead to major health concerns, including increased risk of heart attack, birth defects, reproductive failure, and disease - and skin issues.
  • Water pollution:This is caused by wastewater, sewage, and fertilizers that compromise critical water sources. Water pollution can lead to the death of aquatic creatures and reproductive and developmental problems in humans.
  • Land and soil pollution:This occurs when people apply chemicals to the soil, dispose of waste improperly, irresponsibly exploit minerals, and participate in deforestation. These actions put people in contact with toxic substances, destroy ecosystems, and create atmospheric imbalances.
  • Noise and light pollution:Prolonged and excessive use of artificial light can cause health problems in humans, disrupt natural cycles, and affect wildlife. These forms of pollution can cause stress, anxiety, headaches, irritability, hearing loss, and sleep loss.

 

In short, pollution is wrecking our environment, contaminating our food and water, causing disease, destroying the air we breathe - and seriously damaging our skin.

What Does That Mean For Your Skin Specifically?

Ozone, in particular, is a toxic gas that is formed when UV light hits mono-nitrogen oxides (aka the exhaust from your car or from factories). It’s suspected to be one of the primary causes of pollution-related skin damagebecause, when ozone hits the lipids on our skin, it oxidizes them,causing inflammation, breaking down the barrier function of the skin, and damaging DNA.

This kind of pollution has been linked to premature aging and worsening skin conditions like eczema and hives. And part of why it's so damaging is that a lot of these pollutants are fine particulate matter known as PM2.5.These particles are way smaller than our pores - meaning they can easily get into the skin and cause inflammation and free radical damage, accelerating the development of age spots and wrinkles.

That’s why the anti-pollution skincare market is growing rapidly. It started in Asia, where the market increased by 40% between 2011 to 2013(and it continues to grow today) and it’s rapidly growing around the world.

At the core, though, there are really a few core ingredients that will help here - and you don’t need to spend money in a special “anti-pollution skincare” niche to get them.

Skincare Ingredients That Will Help Combat Pollution-Related Damage

Antioxidants

antioxidants protect against free radical damage Eight Saints Zen Out Of Ten Gentle Skin Exfoliator

The number one thing that will help combat pollution-related damage? Antioxidants like Vitamin C and vitamin E - which you can find together, along with skin barrier building ingredients like jojoba and MSM - here.

These directly help block pollution by stabilizing all the unstable molecules (free radicals) and stopping the cell damage that pollution causes (you can read more about how they work here). In the big picture, antioxidants can help:

  • Correct signs of aging:Stress and the free radicals it produces break down collagen and get in the way of the skin’s natural repair process. That triggers inflammation, fine lines, and loose skin. By scavenging free radicals, antioxidants prevent this damage and allow your skin to heal and recuperate.
  • Guard against sunburn:As anti-inflammatories, antioxidants lower your body's reaction to sunburn, prevent sunburn and provide additional sun protection to the skin.
  • Prevent skin cancer: Studies have shown that some antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, may help prevent skin cancer.
  • Brighten skin:Vitamin C - which you can find in Cloud Whip - is a huge skin brightener. It boosts collagen production and cell turnover, which fights fine lines and brightens skin affected by hyperpigmentation.
  • Soothe and moisturize:The polyphenols in green tea - one of our go-to-ingredients often listed as Camellia Sinensis - are powerful antioxidants. They scavenge free radicals, decrease inflammation, and accelerate wound healing. They also reduce redness, making green tea an ideal skincare ingredient for those with sensitive skin and rosacea. That's why you'll find it in our antioxidant-rich moisturizer, Bright Side.

Barrier Repair

Next, you’ll need ingredients that will help you strengthen your skin’s natural barrier.

The skin’s natural barrier is essentially a wall of dead skin cells held together by lipids. It functions as a security guard, protecting what’s inside and preventing any “bad guys” - like UV radiation, pollution, bacteria, dirt, and toxins - from passing through.

The barrier also maintains proper hydration, balances lipid levels, and maintains your Natural Moisturizing Factor.

The problem, though, is that things like pollution itself, harsh skincare products, over-cleansing, weather, and hot baths or showers compromise our skin’s natural barrier for most people. 

That’s why you need to incorporate skincare ingredients that will help. This includes:

  • Hyaluronic acid: A dry face is a compromised face. Hyaluronic acidis a protein found naturally in our skin that is capable of binding 1,000 times its own weight in water. A product that contains hyaluronic acid can replenish the moisture and provide long-lasting hydration that’ll ultimately help with your skin’s protection.
  • Peptides: Peptides are proteins found naturally in skin that communicate with cells to trigger collagen production. Our skin is primarily comprised of collagen, which breaks down as we age. When topical skin care peptides are applied, they signal your body to produce new collagen. This minimizes wrinkles, plumps skin, and helps prevent signs of aging and damage.
  • MSM:MSM is found in all living things and forms organically from carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. In our bodies, it is the “glue” that holds together our amino acid chains – which are the base of our body tissue. It’s known for inhibiting the breakdown of collagen, reducing inflammation, and making the cell wall more permeable so vital nutrients can flow through. In other words, it can strengthen the natural barrier immensely.

You can find vitamin C and MSM in this everyday hydrating moisturizer. You can also find a vitamin E and hyaluronic acid restorative organic moisturizer here (we recommend layering them for the ultimate results).

Sunscreen

sunscreen protects free radical damage eight saints skincare

You already know that you need sunscreen and that it can battle harmful UV rays. But do you know the wholestory here? In short, you need a sunscreen that’ll effectively combat UVA and UVB rays:

UVB Rays

UVB rays are the main cause of reddening and sunburn, and they tend to damage the outermost layers of the skin. This is where most forms of skin cancer occur, and most of them are linked to sun accumulation over the years. Melanoma, on the other hand, is thought to be caused by brief, intense exposures, such as a blistering sunburn.

UVA Rays

There are also UVA rays.UVA rays are longer than UVB, and they can reach the skin’s dermal layer (deeper down) damaging collagen and elastic tissue. This is also where the cells that stimulate skin darkening are found, meaning that UVA rays are considered the dominant tanning rays.

Though many people still think a tan looks healthy, it’s actually a sign of DNA damage. The skin darkens in an attempt to prevent further injury, which can lead to cell mutations that trigger skin cancer. That’s why UVA rays are known as the aging rays.

The point? You should be concerned about bothUVA and UVB rays. That means you need a “Broad Spectrum” sunscreen.These formulas contain a combination of ingredients known to protect skin against both types of UV rays.

These could be chemical sunscreens, physical sunscreens, or a combination.

Finally, You Must Be Consistent With Your Cleansing

One of the most effective ways of dealing with pollution? Getting it off! These pollutants don’t immediately cause damage to your skin. Instead, the problems occur over time if they’re just left to sit there and cause their mayhem.

That’s why consistently using a cleanser that will wash off the bad molecules without stripping your skin of its natural oils is one of the best consistent defenses against pollution.

We recommend:

Finally, don’t forget that an active lifestyle, not smoking, and getting enough sleep can always help pollution and other skin concerns.

Want to get started with a full antioxidant-rich, barrier-restoring, and pollution battling routine? You can find everything you need here! Say hello to happy, healthy, protected skin.