We do our best to protect our skin from the elements, slathering it with a rich moisturizer to counter the drying effects of winter weather or layering on the SPF to prevent sun damage. But there's another, more insidious aspect of the elements out to cause damage to our complexions: air pollution.

You could probably guess that smog is no good for your skin, but there are sneakier agents at play, too. These include particulate matter, which can be found in environments with seemingly clear and fresh air, and volatile organic compounds, present in smoke from industrial plants. Another threat to glowing skin is nitrogen dioxide, which is released in car exhaust.

As a study published in Frontiers in Environmental Science explained, air pollution has a significant negative effect on the health and appearance of skin, contributing to fine lines, wrinkles, inflammation, collagen breakdown and discoloration.

Follow the steps below to protect your skin from the effects of air pollution:

Rebuild your barrier

One of the main reasons skin is so susceptible to damage due to pollution is because tiny particles can pass through the barrier of the epidermis. Unfortunately, these particles degrade this barrier layer over time, so protect and strengthen your complexion's defenses with a targeted product that promotes cell turnover, like the ELEMIS BIOTEC Skin Energising Day Cream. It helps increase cell energy to support optimum skin function and vitality.

Replenish oxygen levels

While air pollution can hurt skin, a clear complexion depends on pure oxygen. The ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream replenishes oxygen lost during the day due to environmental aggressors. It also stimulates collagen production to support the skin regeneration process overnight to help you wake up with radiant, beautiful skin.

By rebuilding your skin's barrier and replenishing oxygen levels, you can help your skin protect itself against the damaging effects of air pollution.