Pollution is one of the main contributors to ill health in the UK - but have you ever stopped to think about what it might be doing to your skin?
According to NPD UK Beauty, sales of anti-pollution skincare - moisturisers and cleansers especially - has shot up by 30% in just six months, as we're slowly becoming aware of the effects that pollutants in the environment have on our once radiant complexions.
'Every day, microscopic specks of soot, smoke and acid are released into our atmosphere,' says Dr. Isabel Sharkar from Sond Skincare. 'When the particles sizes are smaller than our pores, they infiltrate the deeper layers of our skin.'
Cue dullness, hyper-pigmentation, inflammation, dehydration, fine lines... We could go on.
And we hate to break it to you, but car emissions aren't the only thing to blame. UV rays, blue light from our phones, iron particles from train tracks, ozone and cigarette smoke all pose a threat to our skin's protective antioxidant and collagen levels as soon as we step out of the door. According to cosmetic doctor and skin expert Dr. Jonquille Chantrey, they can even directly damage DNA, which stops the cell's ability to repair itself.
The best way to counteract the attack? By beefing up your skincare arsenal.
Check out our pick of the best antioxidant-packed, vitamin-infused, pollution-blocking skincare products and beat the skin-scavenging smog for good.More
According to facialist Kate Kerr, antioxidants are not only brilliant at neutralising free radicals, but they're great at preventing the breakdown of collagen - because no-one wants deflated-looking skin, right?
'I recommend applying this in the morning to help counteract oxidation, to repair damage and to protect the skin against future damage,' she says. Skin expert Dr. Jonquille Chantrey is a huge fan, too.
Murad's City Skin range is an innovative one. Blue light from devices (yep, really), airborne pollution, infrared radiation and UVA and UVB don't stand a chance against this mineral sunscreen which feels satisfyingly matte, not chalky.
'This serum contains the most stable and active form form of vitamin C,' says Rabbia Aslam, skin expert and Clinical Director at HC MedSpa, a main pollution-fighting ingredient.
'Vitamin C works as an antioxidant to neutralise free radicals before they can do damage, all whilst increasing the firm look of skin,' says Rabbia. 'It also boasts hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 which both hydrate and smooth the skin.'