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Fighting Pollution with Antioxidants

9/1/2015

In this article:

There are many ways to fight pollution’s assault on skin, but the primary method research has made clear is topical application of antioxidants. These ingredients are the ultimate defense against complexion-wrecking pollutants. We can wax poetic about the remarkable benefits antioxidants have for skin in general, but their primary role in fighting pollution is what this article will discuss.

Skincare for Pollution Defense? Absolutely!

In terms of skincare, antioxidants are one of the most powerful type of anti-pollution ingredients you can apply to your skin. That’s because they help to intercept and disrupt the visible problems of pollution and environmental attack from taking place on skin.

Given this increasing awareness about pollution’s destructive effects on the skin, many people are wondering if it requires specific antioxidants or any special ingredient or blend of ingredients to help. Certainly, many cosmetics companies will try to convince you with their impressive charts and claims that the ingredients they use are unique and the best ones to protect your skin 100% from pollution. It isn’t true! The truth is there are lots of amazing ingredients to help to defend skin from environmental assault—so getting caught up in searching for "the best" will only prove to be a waste of time.

Keep reading for what you need to know to safeguard your skin and not waste your money on products that aren’t worth it.

Is There a "Best" Antioxidant for Fighting Pollution?

Although the research is limited on this topic, what’s known is that there are dozens of potent, stable antioxidants that can slow the visible effects of pollution on skin.

There are a few studies showing that specific antioxidants work against pollution, but the scope of those studies was either limited or biased. For example, some of these studies were often carried out or paid for by the manufacturer of the company. Such studies included the touted antioxidant in its products or the study was done by the ingredient manufacturer who was selling the specific ingredient to a company to use in their products.

More specifically, these studies do not actually compare the benefit (or lack of benefit) derived from different antioxidants. Just showing that one antioxidant can have a benefit is great but that doesn’t mean lots of other don’t also have (or exceed) this benefit.

Even more importantly, just like it takes a range of beneficial foods to keep your body balanced and nourished, the same is true for your skin. Skin is the largest organ of the body and requires a mix of exceptional antioxidants to intervene in defending and helping safeguard it from the visible effects of pollution.

It’s worth repeating: Don’t make the mistake of getting caught up trying to find the "best" antioxidant or the best ingredient for any aspect of your skincare routine because it doesn’t exist. Instead, there are lots of great ingredients. Companies that blend the most potent and stable of those together in a brilliant formulation gives you the best way to help defend skin from the harmful visible effects of pollution.

Pollution Isn’t Just a Daytime Problem

You may be wondering if you need antioxidants at night, too. The answer is an unequivocal "yes"! You need antioxidants during the day and at night. Pollution knows no boundaries or time zones, or daytime from nighttime. It does not stop at your doorstep or take a vacation to give your skin a much-needed rest.

The same way you need to eat healthy at every meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you need to apply potent antioxidants topically on your skin from products like serums, moisturizers, boosters and even sunscreens.

Paula’s Choice LOVES Antioxidants

For years, Paula and her product development team have formulated their moisturizers, serums, boosters, specialty products, and sunscreens with the most advanced, stable, and potent antioxidants available. Paula’s Choice has long known that antioxidants are one of the major ways to fight the appearance of wrinkles, smooth skin’s surface, and overall help encourage skin to look healthier. Antioxidants also can even help ease the look of redness because of their strong calming properties.

For all these reasons we are very proud to say our moisturizers, serums, boosters, and other products are filled to the brim with antioxidants. No matter which you select, the take-home message is that in the fight against pollution’s effects on the skin, antioxidants have earned a bona fide badge of honor!

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! Learn more at Shop Paula's Choice.

References for this information:
Life Sciences, May 2016, pages 126-134
Frontiers in Environmental Science, May 2014, ePublication
Dermatology Research and Practice, February 2012, ePublication
Der Haurtarzt, August 2011, pages 577-580

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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