Want to get the glow like Meghan Markle? We spoke to her favourite facialist, Nichola Joss, to find out how to look after your skin if you live in the city.

Pollution is THE BUZZ-WORD when it comes to skincare. But what does it really mean to you, and how is it the enemy of healthy skin?

When we talk about pollution we don’t just mean car emissions, but all sorts of particles and chemicals found in the air around us. They can range from dirt, dust, cigarette smoke and everyday debris to airborne chemicals emitted from cars to cows. According to the World Health Organisation, London breached its annual air pollution limit just 31 days into 2018, and by the beginning of May, nearly 50 UK towns and cities followed suit, breaking or reaching international air pollution limits.

Poor air quality is a well-established cause for concern, having known or suspected harmful effects on human health and the environment. And given that our skin is our biggest organ, the negative impacts of pollution mean a daily invisible battle on our complexions. In 2014, a study found that women living in highly polluted areas could expect their skin to age 10% faster than the skin of countryside dwellers. Because we can’t see it or feel it – it’s easy to forget that these pollutants build up on the skin and minute particles even penetrate through the upper layers, wreaking havoc on skin health. These particles are likely to stay on the skin until you cleanse. What’s worse is that they can stick to the skin, its oils and of course creams and makeup to form a polluted film across the skin, suffocating cells. The result? Everything from dull skin, blocked pores and acne through to pigmentation and premature ageing.

This may all sound alarming but, while there isn’t a quick fix to the pollution crisis, you can help to prevent pollution’s damage to your skin. We spoke to Nichola Joss, Decléor Skincare Expert and facialist to Meghan Markle to get the low down on how to pollution proof your skin.

DON’T WAIT TO ERADICATE: “As soon as you step through the front door, cleanse. Remove the makeup and pollution that is suffocating your skin. Whether you’ve been at work, or just popped out for lunch, don’t wait another 4-5 hours before you go to bed.”

CLEANSE CLEVERLY: “It’s crucial to Double Cleanse in the PM, first with a nourishing oil based cleanser to remove makeup and surface dirt and grime, then second with a cream cleanser to eliminate pollution particles that adhere to the skin.”

REPAIR AND REPLENISH: “Neutralise pollutants and strengthen the skin’s barrier when you sleep while cell turnover is at its highest. Decléor Night Balms helps to purge out toxins and aid the removal of pollution while purifying the milieu, which is the environment the skin cells live in.”

SHIELD YOUR SKIN: “When pollution and UV rays mix, they clog the skin and cause premature ageing. Super antioxidant and anti-pollution ingredient Baicalin (found in some skincare products) will prevent and protect against oxidisation of the skin caused by pollution particle, cigarette smoke and UVA rays.”

TAKE A MASSAGE MOMENT: “I am known for my lymphatic drainage facials, but this is easy to do at home too. Daily facial massage works to remove toxins from deep within your pores leaving your skin hydrated, glowing and radiant. With an oil-based product, gently press either side of the face using both palms. Using pressure, sweep the palm up to the ears and down the neck. Repeat.”

Pollution-Proof skincare we love…


With Mayor of London Sadiq Khan fighting a battle against London’s air pollution crisis, let’s look at the small changes we can all make in our lifestyles to prevent pollution, with these tips from Friends of The Earth.

Forgo the taxi and walk or cycle instead of driving: Did you know that 69% of all UK car journeys are short ones? Walking or cycling will help reduce air pollution for everyone.

Stuck in traffic? Then recycle your air: Car passengers can be exposed to almost 8 times as much pollution as cyclists. So when stuck in traffic, use the recycled air setting in your car.

Work out at the best time of day: Joggers inhale more pollution than walkers over the same distance. The best time to run or jog is generally early before the day’s traffic affects air quality.

Get some pollution-busting houseplants: It’s true – houseplants can help filter harmful compounds from the air at home. Peace lily, cornstalk dracaena and broadleaf lady palm all fit the bill.

Save fuel and save air pollution too: Turn off your car engine when in stationary traffic. And if you fill up your car at colder times of the day, it will avoid fuel evaporation.


If you want to know how clean the air is in your area, you can order a Clean Air Kit from here.

words by Mea Perkins

image: JONATHANBRADY/AFP/Getty Image