#TuesdaysWithLarry: The Truth About Anti-Pollution Skincare

Legit trend or marketing stunt?


Aging is not only caused by sun exposure, stress and smoking. Research has shown that particulates from industrial by-product, soot from fires (like the Southeast Asia haze situation caused by global demand of palm oil and irresponsible farming) and traffic pollution can speed up skin aging as well.  

All of the above creates free radicals that age and damage our bodies, which is why antioxidants are important for skin protection. When using antioxidants, make sure you use a two-pronged approach: Consumption and topical application.

It simply doesn’t make sense to me when a company markets ONE type of antioxidant that “combats pollution”, or claims that a product can promise overnight renewal to “treat pollution”. #FullOfBullSh*t

It is a combination of antioxidants that should be used from day to night to safeguard your skin (proper rest included) around the clock. Having said that, I should also warn you that even antioxidants or beneficial plant extracts may cause allergies. Sometimes, the active ingredient that promises skin salvation may turn out to be triggering your mysterious rash.

Just two years ago, I was consuming Pycnogenol for its powerful antioxidant properties. Everything worked amazingly well, until I developed an allergy to a plant extract that gave me the strangest hive. I only realised Pycnogenol was the cause of my rash after I took it off my diet for three months.

Anything can cause an allergic reaction, because our body's protective mechanism can be sensitised at any point in our lives.

This is why I’m an ardent supporter of starting off with basic skincare, before layering with other products to boost skin regeneration. When it comes to protecting your skin against pollution, the more antioxidants, the better – although you must take note to introduce them bit by bit.

Here’s how you can protect your skin from daily stress factors, including pollution:

Available at Paula's Choice

Day Time Boost

Increase skin protection in the day with Paula's Choice Skincare Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum. The lightweight texture is especially suited for our humid weather, and the formula is also good for calming the skin.

Available at Sephora

Calm Irritated Skin

If you just want an additional serum to calm your easily irritated skin, include First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum in your day-night skincare. This beautifully lightweight formula is definitely an underdog in the Sephora skincare range but packs an amazing punch thanks to a good mix of soothing anti-irritants within its antioxidant and skin repair capabilities. Bonus: It works great for acne prone skin too.

Available at Estetica Beauty Outlets 

Encourage Skin Regeneration

For night time, if you like something watery, the ést.lab VitaLift A+ Miracle Lift Serum is a great addition to your regime. It comes with soy protein, niacinamide, mushroom extract and various peptides to boost skin regeneration.

LA Clinic #08-01/02 Paragon, NU.U Aesthetics and Wellness Clinic #09-01/02, Paragon and Phoenix Medical Group, #02-11 Greenwich V

Increase Elasticity & Soothe Skin

Restylane Night Cream is perfect for those looking for a more moisturising product that can also soothe easily irritated skin at night. It contains olus oil, ceramide and stablised hyaluronic acid to prevent loss of moisture and various skin calming agents for anti-inflammatory action – good for minimising lines and comforting dry skin. Men can also use this as an aftershave to calm razor burns!

Privé Aesthetics, #03-02 Palais Renaissance

Create Plumper Skin

Focus on skin regeneration and restore your skin’s firmness and elasticity with Calecim Professional Serum, which contains stem cell extracts from the umbilical cord. This protein boosts and reminds the user’s own skin cells to renew constantly and become plumper.

Remember, we cannot stop aging, but we can consciously slow it down.

For more from Larry Yeo, check out #TuesdaysWithLarry: How To Pack Skincare Products For Travel and #TuesdaysWithLarry: WTF Instagram Beauty Trends.

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