Unless you’ve spent the better half of the past decade on an untouched, remote island, daiquiri in hand and blissfully unaware of our increasingly industrial world – in which case, we’re green with envy - no doubt you’ve heard about the corresponding rising levels of pollution. This is especially concerning for those of us who are, instead, livin’ la vida loca in the city. Unbeknownst to us, airborne dirt particles are busy at work, damaging the precious skin and hair barriers, breaking down collagen and ageing us. With Sydney and Melbourne currently congested by an unrelenting bushfire smoke haze - which scientists predict will last the whole summer - we’ve rounded up some hero pollution-proofing beauty products that we’ve tried and loved, and which now remain in heavy rotation.

If you would like to contribue to the Australian bushfire relief efforts, please consider donating to the CFA, RFS and WIRES.

Allies of Skin 1A All-Day Mask

There are few things we love more at Beauticate HQ than stumbling upon the latest beauty innovations, and this is one such product. For those of us who love a mask but loathe the messy wash-off process sink side, you’ll love this world first leave-on mask​​. Working as a day treatment, this is my go-to when my skin is looking worse for wear. Use in place of moisturiser, underneath makeup, and let the powerful time-release formula work its magic in securing your skin’s defences against environmental pollutants, whilst simultaneously combating signs of stress and fatigue.

Biossance 100% Squalane oil

If you haven’t heard of squalane oil, you’re not alone, but you are missing out. It mimics the lipid squalene (with an “e”), a moisturiser that is naturally produced by our skin cells, but less so with age. What secured this product a permanent #shelfie spot (as well as being a trusty travel buddy) is the fact that this single-ingredient, lightweight oil is a hard multi-tasker – slather on your face, body and/or hair ends for weightless hydration and locked-in moisture.

Skin Regimen Cleansing Cream

Don’t underestimate the importance of the humble cleanser – it’s a crucial step in any skincare routine, and this non-drying cream is a fab option to do just that, and then some. It detoxifies the visage from nasties that accumulate on skin on the daily, effectively removing makeup, SPF, dust and excess sebum. Loaded with an exclusive mix of organic superfood extracts (think spinach, maqui berry and wild indigo), it’s gentle enough to do a thorough double cleanse with, which rebalances the skin without over stripping it – paramount when prepping for a clean slate on which to lather potent serums and the like.

Peter Thomas Roth Mix Mask & Hydrate Skincare Set

Need a quick beauty fix, but can’t make it to your facialist? This latest set from PTR makes multi masking easy. Few products can deeply cleanse or moisturise the way a mask can, and with this set of five masks, plus a bonus 30% hyaluronic acid moisturiser, the hardest part is choosing which one you’ll slather on first. Our current fave to fend off the effects of pollution is the Irish Moor Mud mask, with volcanic ash and activated charcoal which draws out deep-set impurities, and minimises the look of pores. Whichever one you choose, your skin will be sure to thank you.

Naturally Serious Cold-Pressed Peel Pads

Cardinal skincare sin? Sleeping with your makeup on. Enter these pre-soaked pads, which have proved to be a saviour when kept by the bedside in case of boozy nights out when feeling extra lazy, or in the gym bag to quickly cleanse, post-workout. They are packed with ingredients including colloidal oatmeal (to lock in moisture), antimicrobial probiotics (to restore skin’s natural balance) and six antioxidants including pomegranate and goji berry, to help combat visible signs of ageing caused by pollution and free radical damage.

Synergie Skin Enviroshield

Looking to top up your pollution protection throughout the day? This nifty spray goes straight over makeup, protecting against the effects of airborne pollutants in the form of microscopic, harmful nanoparticles, which produce ageing effects as destructive as that of UV rays – yikes! With just a spritz (or three), it helps to counter the effects of toxic city air by inhibiting the penetration of hydrocarbons, all whilst setting your makeup with a dewy glow. Talk about clever.

Image: Instagram @shaninamshaik

Story by Marina Gainulina

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