Beauty Skincare

Does Pollution Really Harm My Skin? Ask The Editor

Does city pollution harm skin? We find out. If you have a burning health, beauty or wellbeing question, we’ll do our best to answer it, too – drop our Pink editor an email on

Dear Pink, “Help, I’ve got skin issues. My face feels really dry, my complexion is dull, and I’m getting breakouts on a regular basis. The only thing different in my life is where I live. This year, I moved from the coast to the city – is it possible that pollution is causing my skin problems?” Jasmin, London

Pink's editor says... Ah, the joys of big-city living. Bustling, high-density cities are so much fun to live, work and play in, but undoubtedly they take their toll on our health and harm our skin. Now that we’re at last genned up on all things sun damage (and using a daily SPF), experts are dubbing city pollution as the new skin enemy we should be focusing our beauty efforts on.

When tiny, invisible-to-the-eye pollution particles penetrate deeply into the skin’s epidermis, it can create oxidative stress and severe cell damage – resulting in dehydration, and loss of firmness and elasticity to the skin.

Like you, I spend all of my time in an urban jungle; it’s my day-to-day norm to ride airless underground trains and pound fume-filled pavements – sometimes it might be months before I leave the city and feel fresh air on my face. I’ve learnt to combat the environmental aggressors, so that my complexion doesn’t suffer, by arming myself with an arsenal of products that can protect against pollutants. Let me share my smog-fighting beauty secrets that help to prevent pollution from harming my skin.

To fight against free-radical damage, a daily moisturiser that’s rich in antioxidants is key. Balance Me Restore and Replenish Face Cream is formulated with blackberry leaf extract to prevent environmental damage and is packed with hyaluronic acid to plump the skin and work hard on signs of ageing. Clever amino acids in this cream also trigger cells into producing more collagen.

Did you know that city protection doesn’t just stop with your skincare? To fight against polluting particles, beauty brands are now including anti-pollution extracts in their forward-thinking formulations. I’m a fan of Lord & Berry Cream Foundation, it contains antioxidants, UVA-UVB filters and comes in an array of shades to suit all skin tones.

Discovering BeautyPro Eye Therapy Under Eye Mask has been a revelation for my city-weary eyes. The cooling patches help dry and puffy eyes thanks to the wonder ingredients of marine-based collagen, green tea, aloe vera, and vitamins A and E.

To efficiently remove all of the day’s debris from the skin, a double cleansing routine is essential for city-dwellers. I start by removing make-up with the very skin-soothing Pixi Rose Cream Cleanser – the rich-buttery formula contains mineral rich mud and avocado oil, and then wash my face with  Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Bar. This pH-5.5 cleansing formula is deep-reaching to remove sebum and is enriched with moisturising lecithin, amino acids and vitamin E to neutralise free-radicals and prevent cell damage.