We’re all familiar with the aging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, but there is a lesser-known elemental culprit that you should be safeguarding your skin against, too. “Smog comprises environmental pollutants that strip the dermis of its natural oxygen, thus resulting in premature aging,” explains Aguinaldo Leandro, international makeup artist for Givenchy.
Leandro helped design Givenchy’s new skincare range, formulated specifically to combat airborne pollutants. Living in the Middle East—which is one of the most polluted regions in the world according to a recent World Bank annual report—you are exposed to airborne chemicals and pollutants that have a long-term toll on your skin on a daily basis. “Aside from posing serious health risks, constant exposure to smog reveals itself in the form of fine lines and premature wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, congested pores, and dull skin, and is a contributing factor to eczema, acne, dryness and even skin cancer” says cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Manar Alazizi, M.D.
Luckily, city-slickers who opt for a face cover are generally protected from the invisible airborne particulate matter. So how can you shield yourself from smog if you don’t wear a veil? When it comes to air pollution, the old saying “prevention is better than cure” rings true. “Along with cleansing your face thoroughly every night and applying SPF religiously before you head out, consider investing in an effective formula designed specifically to guard the skin against pollution,” suggests Leandro.
A number of beauty companies are rolling out preventative products designed to protect the dermis from an invisible attack by environmental stressors. Givenchy’s newly-launched Vax’in For Youth City Skin Solution range boasts a patented StoPollution Complex formulated to reduce the skin’s exposure to ozone damage by 50%. The Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque by Kiehl’s contains a potent blend to protect against airborne aggressors and supercharge the skin, leaving it visibly more radiant. Meanwhile, the Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer by Benefit Cosmetics uses an EnviroDefend Complex to guard the delicate eyelid area from smoke, smog, sun, and pollutants. Smooth a couple of drops of de Mamiel’s skin-boosting Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir onto the face and décolleté area before bed, or pat the Grown Alchemist Detox Serum Antioxidant +3 into the dermis to keep free radicals at bay.
Peruse the slides above for 5 formulas designed to safeguard your skin against pollution.