The effects of environmental pollution have been the subject of countless health and anti-ageing studies. Apart from causing damage to our respiratory health, urban pollution like UV rays and air pollution particles also accelerate the ageing process of our skin. When our skin is exposed to UV radiation and air pollution particles, free radicals are set off a chain reaction within skin cells as they are highly reactive. As a result, inflammation occurs which are in turn presented as dullness, hyperpigmentation, weakening of skin’s barrier function, a loss of elasticity and wrinkles. To neutralise these hazardous effects, your first line of defence is sun protection, which is why sunscreens are widely regarded by dermatologists as the most important anti-ageing investment.
However, according to research conducted by SkinCeuticals, sunscreens are only able to negate about 50 per cent of damage done by free radicals, leaving our skin to do the rest of the work. And while healthy skin is able to do so naturally, this ability also decreases with age. This, in turns means that your skin needs additional help in the form of antioxidants.
Widely found in most skincare products, antioxidants have the ability to neutralise the harmful effects of free radicals, which make them essential in skincare products targeted at various skincare concerns, including brightening, anti-ageing and even calming because they better equip your skin to fight inflammation and stay young and healthy. However, not all antioxidants are created equal as some are less stable than others and easily lose their efficacy once exposed to air or water. Moreover, antioxidants are only able to neutralise specific free radicals. This means that just because the products you are using contain one or two antioxidants means you are totally covered. As a result, it is important to look for products that have a wide range of antioxidants so they are optimally effective.
Here are the products packed with antioxidants with great anti-pollution properties:
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $248 for 30ml
Widely raved about by fans and beauty editors, this power-packed antioxidant serum contains vitamins C and E, as well as ferulic acid for a synergistic effect. Lightweight and easily absorbed, it creates an antioxidant reservoir in skin after each application that won’t wash off even when you cleanse your face, ensuring that your skin is adequately protected against free radical assault.
Prevage Anti-Aging Overnight Cream, $272 for 50ml
Formulated with Idebenone, Prevage’s patented antioxidant, this overnight moisturiser not only replenishes skin with moisture, it also works hard to undo the damage of environmental pollution that has accumulated during the course of the day. Over time, signs of photo-ageing like lines, wrinkles, discolourations and roughness are minimised and skin looks smoother, plumper and brighter.
CNP Green Propolis Anti-oxidant Ampule, $42.90 for 15ml
Brazilian Green Bee’s propolis lies at the heart of this concentrated treatment serum, which is rich in flavonoids to counter free radicals. It is also fortified with Co-Enzyme Q10 for enhanced anti-ageing and firming effect.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. C+E Antioxidant Protect + Repair Moisturizer, $92 for 50g
A perfect balance of potent natural ingredients and cutting-edge technology, this lightweight moisturiser combines the best of both worlds for multiple benefits in one simple step. With lime pearl extract, a specialised form of vitamin C, bisabolol and exopolysaccharides, it improves skin texture, supports collagen production, locks in moisture as well as protects the skin from PM2.5.
Allies of Skin Molecular Saviour Probiotics Mist, $79 for 50ml
A jetsetter favourite, this face mist is bursting with goodness for your skin, as it contains probiotics and a powerful combination of six antioxidants to neutralise the damaging effects that urban pollution can have on you. Plus, it has an alcohol-free aloe and rosewater base to restore lost moisture and calm skin.
Hada Labo A.C.E Boosting Capsule Hydrating Cream, $35.90 for 50g
As its name suggests, this refreshing moisturiser contains vitamins A, C and E encapsulated within tiny microbeads which burst upon application to release a fresh dose of nutrition to skin. And that’s not all, it also contains hyaluronic acid of varying molecular weights to replenish, store and lock in moisture through the different layers of the skin for a smooth, supple and radiant complexion.
Caudalie VineActiv Overnight Detox Night Oil, $65 for 30ml
Made with 100 percent plant-derived ingredients, massage in this nourishing face oil before bed and wake up to smooth and radiant skin. Rich in fatty acids, it also contains oils extracted from grape seed, carrot seed, sunflower seed and sweet almond to counter the effects of free radicals and promote cellular detoxification.
Dior Capture Youth Age-Delay Creme, $152 for 50ml
Found to be able to correct the hazardous effects of a wide spectrum of free radicals, iris extract is the key ingredient in this sumptuous yet non-greasy cream. Moreover, it forms a protective yet breathable mesh over skin for a smoother, more resilient mien.