Busting the Myths on Anti-Pollution Skincare



Biologi Founder and Cosmetic Chemist Ross Macdougald busts the myths on whether anti-pollution skincare is really a thing and if it actually works or not.

There’s no escaping pollution. Caused by gas, smoke, dust and chemicals, all of which contaminate the air we breathe with harmful micro-particles.

And whilst pollution continues to be an ongoing and grave concern for our health, this same dangerous toxins are also having a damaging effect on our skin.

By increasing the production of free radicals in the body, ongoing exposure to pollution can cause cellular damage which can lead to premature ageing, dehydration, sensitisation and can worsen skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea. 

These effects of pollution effect everyone regardless of age, gender or skin type so it’s little wonder ‘anti-pollution’ skincare is fast becoming a staple in ur beauty cabinets.

As we battle an increasingly toxic atmosphere, these products promise to combat harmful particles associated with pollution in major cities.

They are all sold on the premise that their products will stop the oxidisation effects of air pollution.

The products will either include actives that prevent skin damage caused by pollution, or products that rectify skin damage caused by pollution – or both.

Anti-pollution products supposedly work by cleansing the skin from nanoparticles absorbed from the air or by creating a protective barrier acting as a shield against pollutants. 

However, the truth is, from a formulation point of view, products specifically developed to target pollution are unlikely to have any impact whatsoever on defending against and removing harmful microparticles from the skin.

Like anything with marketing hype, it is important to look into what’s really in the products we’re being told to put on our skin. The truth, these products have nothing extra in them from standard skincare products.

With that said, they likely won’t help stop any pollutants that may come in contact with your skin. The skin already has a protective layer on top called the epidermis that is primarily made up of keratin and is waterproof to an extent. The key to protecting the skin and body against pollution is to strengthen the epidermis so that it functions optimally and does exactly what it’s supposed to naturally.

An alternative to buying into the anti-pollution skincare hype, build up the existing barrier function of the skin to protect against free radical damage and pollution. You can do this by cleansing thoroughly, hydrating, and applying fully active antioxidant protection which acts as a natural anti-pollution barrier for the skin.

Antioxidants combat free radicals by terminating the chain reaction before damage occurs. The best way to build up antioxidant protection is daily use of serums that contain naturally occurring antioxidising phytonutrients.

A skincare product which has both gallic acid and quercetin which contains natural anti-inflammatory properties works best to help skin combat pollution. And also any products which contain a rich tartaric acid, tryptophan and ferulic acid. These help strengthen the skin and create a barrier to protect against environmental damage.

To combat skin damage caused by pollution, nourish the skin with pure active ingredients rather than using synthetic products that can further damage the skin and allow pollution in. This will help to restore skin back to it’s natural self before it was attacked by pollution particles from the air.

Ross recommends using his own product, Biology Bd Luminosity Face Serum RRP $108 which contains all the above ingredients which work to protect the skin against environmental damage and boost natural skin health.

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Rebecca Wilkinson


Say hello to Bondi Beauty's Beauty Columnist. Rebecca is a pescatarian, who may yet become vegan. She loves all things beauty, health & travel with a weakness for coffee. If she's not answering her mobile - it's probably because she's trying out the latest beauty craze like ice baths or rubbing smashed avo on her face. We know, what a waste of smashed avo. Reach out to her with your beauty questions.

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