City living can be a dream come true: From glittering skylines to vibrant cityscapes, the possibilities are endless. But there’s one major downside to the urban hustle and bustle: pollution. It’s not just bad for the planet—it can wreak havoc on your skin, causing dullness, dryness and premature aging. Below, we’ll share the best ways to keep your skin looking fresh, radiant and ready to take on whatever the city throws your way.
Why Is Environmental Pollution Harmful to the Skin?
The short answer is that pollution, like smog and cigarette smoke, produces free radicals in your skin. These are unstable molecules that damage happy, healthy cells, including those in your skin. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress, inflammation and other damage. This can lead to a host of skin problems, from premature aging and fine lines to dullness and dryness.
What Can You Do?
When it comes to our skin, the best line of defense against pollution is to maintain a healthy moisture barrier so it can block as many pollutants as possible from disturbing the skin. Quick refresher: The moisture barrier, or the stratum corneum, is the outermost layer of the skin. It’s made up mostly of fatty lipids and proteins that bind your skin cells together. It keeps water in and bad guys—like bacteria, pollutants, irritants and environmental stressors—out. Anything you can do to keep that moisture barrier strong will help your skin stay healthy and happy.
What Products Should You Use?
Reach for nourishing, hydrating products that support the skin’s barrier. Start and end each day with a gentle cleanser to wash away dirt and debris. Our best-selling Ocean Cleanser whisks away impurities and cleans out pores, giving you soft, radiant skin. After that, go for a nutrient-rich serum, like our Anti-Aging Sea Serum, to target signs of aging while supporting the skin’s moisture barrier. Two skincare powerhouses, vitamin C (to improve brightness and radiance) and niacinamide (to smooth skin and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles), come together to target all signs of aging. Our serum also features seaweed, natural peptides and ceramides to deliver smoother, firmer, youthful-looking skin.
Use a Lightweight Barrier Cream
Before you venture out into the world each day, you’ll want to apply a generous layer of moisturizer, ideally one that provides barrier defense against pollution-aged skin. Our new and improved Atmosphere Protection Cream is clinically proven to instantly create a barrier against environmental pollutants while rebalancing the skin’s own microbiota to promote a healthy, radiant complexion. Our founder, Jenefer Palmer, created this lightweight barrier moisturizer as a way to fight the look of aging from pollution. Powerful elfdock (a plant hailing from the sunflower family) combines with Undaria seaweed to protect the skin’s barrier against environmental pollutants while improving the look of skin elasticity. Our new formula also uses niacinamide to improve hydration and enhance the skin’s barrier along with shea butter to revive dry skin, leaving it soft, smooth and deeply moisturized.
Lightweight barrier moisturizer
We love how lightweight this barrier cream is, making it a perfect fit for warmer days and normal and combination skin types. It sinks into the skin quickly and is brilliant under makeup or on its own. And the clinical results speak for themselves:
Clinically Proven to:*
- Instantly create a barrier against environmental pollutants
- Fight the look of aging from pollution to preserve a youthful look in skin
Immediately after 1 use:**
- 97% agreed skin was soothed
- 94% agreed skin felt hydrated and smoother
- 94% agreed skin was more supple and nourished
After 2 weeks:**
- 94% agreed skin looked smoother, healthier and hydrated
- 88% agreed the look of fine lines and wrinkles was reduced
- 85% agreed skin tone looked more even
After 4 weeks:**
- 100% agreed skin was soothed and looked hydrated
- 97% agreed skin was more supple and nourished
Whether you're a city dweller or a country enthusiast, your skin deserves the best care possible. So don’t forget to top it off with sunscreen to protect against UV damage.
*Based on a clinical study conducted on 21 women ages 18 to 50 after one use.
**Based on a third-party consumer-perception study conducted over 4 weeks on 33 women ages 23-52 with twice daily application.