10 Best Cleansers to Protect Your Skin from Pollution

by Kayce Teo
LIFESTYLE  |  June 10, 2019
  • Because pollution is one of the greatest threats to flawless skin in our increasingly urban environment.
    1 / 11 Because pollution is one of the greatest threats to flawless skin in our increasingly urban environment.

    You fuss about having silk pillowcases because the material is said to prevent the premature onset of wrinkles on your face. You drink copious amounts of water because you heard that it’s the key to great skin. You put on a sheet mask daily because you want to get dewy skin or mochi skin or glass skin – or whatever’s the trending adjective for great skin at this point in time.

    But do you place the same amount of emphasis on your cleanser, which is the first step in any skincare routine? Because if you don’t have one that helps remove those pollution particles effectively, the nasties will be there to clog up pores, remove all traces of radiance from your skin and wreak havoc on it no matter how great or detailed your skincare is. So here are our picks for the best cleansers that help remove pollution particles. Add any of these to your skincare routine, ASAP.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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  • Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, $46
    2 / 11 Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, $46

    This cleanser has a jelly-like texture and a formula of makeup-dissolving emollients to remove traces of makeup, oil and pollution from your skin.

    Available at Sephora

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  • Chanel L’Eau Micellaire, $64
    3 / 11 Chanel L’Eau Micellaire, $64

    (Also read: Anti-Pollution Skincare: Why You Need it and What You Should Be Using)

    The active ingredient in this alcohol-free cleanser is a microalgae that protects skin cells against the stress caused by free radicals (also considered pollutant particles) in the environment. The cleansing water also removes makeup, even waterproof formulas, and traces of any impurities such as dust or dirt on the skin surface.

    Available at Chanel boutiques and counters boutiques and counters

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  • Clarins Re-move Purifying Cleansing Gel, $30
    4 / 11 Clarins Re-move Purifying Cleansing Gel, $30

    This foaming cleanser has an anti-pollution plant-based complex that includes meadowsweet extract among others to help remove and protect skin against both indoor and outdoor pollution particles such as dust, dirt and free radicals.

    Available at Clarins boutiques and counters

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  • Bifesta Sensitive Micellar Cleansing Lotion, $18.90
    5 / 11 Bifesta Sensitive Micellar Cleansing Lotion, $18.90

    (Also read: Getting Wrinkles Already? Time to Add Anti-Pollution Beauty Products to Your Regime)

    This cleansing water is not only efficient at removing all traces of makeup, dirt and grime, but it also has a special key ingredient called Pullulan. Pullulan is said to act as a shield on skin to lower the amount of friction when you tug at your skin while removing the makeup (read: fewer wrinkles and fine lines from rough handling of your skin). It also strengthens your skin barrier functions at the same time.

    Available at major drugstores, supermarkets and department stores

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  • Goldfaden MD Detox Clarifying Facial Wash, approx $42
    6 / 11 Goldfaden MD Detox Clarifying Facial Wash, approx $42

    This is an exfoliating cleanser that has lactic and glycolic acids (AHAs) that help remove impurities from the skin surface. It also has a blend of fruit and plant extracts that help protect skin against pollution, to stave off premature skin ageing caused by free radicals.

    Available at Net-a-Porter

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  • Natura Bisse Diamond Cocoon Enzyme Cleanser, approx $160
    7 / 11 Natura Bisse Diamond Cocoon Enzyme Cleanser, approx $160

    (Also read: Best Non-Greasy Sunscreens For Oily Skin)

    This enzyme cleanser is specially formulated to remove pollutants. Lipase dissolves and eliminates all traces of pollutants such as dust and free radicals, while a fermented extract forms a special film on the skin to trap and remove PM2.5 and PM10 particles.

    Available at Net-a-Porter

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  • Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi+ Pollutant & Dullness Clarifying Cleansing Oil, $55 – $125
    8 / 11 Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi+ Pollutant & Dullness Clarifying Cleansing Oil, $55 – $125

    Japanese makeup artistry brand Shu Uemura is also known for its extensive range of cleansing oils. This one in particular has a key ingredient, moringa extract, to cleanse the skin of micro-sized pollutants such as PM2.5 particulates and restore its radiance. It also has green tea extract, a potent antioxidant to combat free-radical skin damage.

    Available at Shu Uemura boutiques and counters, and Sephora

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  • Tata Harper Purifying Gel Cleanser, $96
    9 / 11 Tata Harper Purifying Gel Cleanser, $96

    (Also read: Best Detox Masks to Cleanse and Purify Your Skin)

    This is a cleanser that uses papaya enzymes to eliminate impurities caused by pollution. Broccoli extract and purple clay complex also help combat free radicals while absorbing excess oil and dirt build-up.

    Available at Sephora

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  •  Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil, $55
    10 / 11 Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil, $55

    A potent yet gentle cleanser, this cleansing oil dissolves and removes makeup, dirt and grime, excess oil, and pollution particles on the skin surface for more radiant and smoother-looking skin. The blend of super ingredients include AHAs and BHAs to gently exfoliate the skin, and a vitamin C derivative and turmeric to brighten skin and combat free radicals.

    Available at Sephora

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  • Origins Dr. Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Micellar Cleanser, $60
    11 / 11 Origins Dr. Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Micellar Cleanser, $60

    (Also read: 7 Antioxidant Skincare Products Every City Girl Needs)

    This no-rinse micellar cleanser helps remove all traces of dirt, makeup and pollutants. It has the range’s signature mushroom blend which is rich in antioxidants to help boost skin’s resilience against free radicals, and a berry ferment to neutralise the skin-damaging effects of pollutant particles.

    Available at Origins boutiques and counters, and Sephora

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