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This post begins with a little vocabulary session, just so we are all on the same page about what this selection of skincare actually does. Okay so ‘free radicals’. Years ago, I thought this was an Indie rock band but it’s actually reactive molecules from UV rays, pollution and smoking that causes oxidation in your cells. This can manifest in more obvious ways other than ageing, which isn’t immediately noticeable. Think dermatitis (yes, seriously there’s a photo of me below as an example), congested skin and clogged pores and a dull complexion. Pollution is a big problem for city people who can’t avoid hostile environmental conditions. But as you might have guessed, consuming or focusing on skincare ingredients with anti-oxidants like green tea, Vitamin E and C can combat this. Over the last few months I’ve been testing the following products, from cleansers to serums, and these are the best anti-pollution skincare products available.
Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50
While not strictly an anti-pollution product, this sunblock is mineral based and contains zinc oxide (literally a saviour for combination/oily skin types). This forms a protective layer against pollution which is an ageing driver and irritant. The formula isn’t sticky or greasy and doesn’t leave any trace on the skin.
Ultrasun Face Brightening, Anti-Spot and Anti-Pollution Face Fluid SPF50+
This sunscreen can almost count as a multi-purpose product – aside from SPF50 protection, it’s meant to hydrate and sits smoothly with makeup. There’s actually a lot of cool science that goes into this product and I’ve been using it the most in the last week because of the intense heatwave. It’s ideal because it feels like there’s nothing on my skin (this product is also available here).
Clinique Fresh Pressed™ Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C
When it comes to dissolvable powder cleansers and exfoliators, I’ve found them to be very hit or miss. For example, I learnt quite quickly I wasn’t about to use Dermalogica’s Microfoliant – not because it isn’t ‘good’ but because it’s so high maintenance – and I had to give it away. These products are often messy and it’s hard to know how much to use to get that nice soft paste that you can actually work into your skin. Clinique’s cleanser comes in individual sachets, which cuts out all the aggro associated with powders and it was perfect for my recent trip. There’s also a light exfoliation as you massage it into your skin and it’s recommended to leave it to sit a little while for your epidermis to absorb that goodness. It’s formulated to go with their Vitamin C booster which gives your daily moisturiser that extra oomph and your skin that brightening effect.
Lixir’s Vitamin C paste
Even though I LOVE it, this is my least favourite product of theirs, which is only a testament to how great the rest of the Lixir skincare range is. And no I haven’t been gifted this brand at all (their PR won’t even reply my love letters haha). If you want to find out why it’s on this list, read the full review here.
MZ Skin Brighten and Perfect 10% Vitamin C Corrective Serum
MZ Skin has been long recommended to me by Renee Lapino, who I message almost daily about the tiniest of things. Yes, I am extremely needy. One of them that’s especially relevant to this post was my sudden ‘outbreak’ of dermatitis. I was travelling on public transport and despite having washed my hands, I was fiddling with my lips and when I looked in the mirror saw that the area around my mouth was covered with… well you can see for yourself in this photo:
The cause of this are irritants (hi free radicals again, aren’t you glad you didn’t skip the first paragraph of this post?). I’m fighting it with MZ Skin’s serum because it’s one a hydrator and two has the highest dose available of anti-oxidant Vitamin C.
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