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The Best Anti-Pollution Cleansers To Protect Your Skin

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 hydration is 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 a special anti-pollution one that helps remove 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 detailed your skincare is. Here are our picks for the best anti-pollution cleansers that help remove pollution particles. Add any of these to your skincare routine, ASAP.

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, $46, from Sephora
This cleanser has a jelly-like texture and a formula of makeup-dissolving emollients to remove traces of makeup, oil and pollution from skin. Chanel L’Eau Micellaire, $64, from Chanel boutiques and counters
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. Clarins Re-move Purifying Cleansing Gel, $30, from Clarins boutiques and counters
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. Bifesta Sensitive Micellar Cleansing Lotion, $18.90, from major drugstores, supermarkets and department stores
This cleansing water is not only efficient at removing all traces of makeup, dirt and grim, it 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: less wrinkles and fine lines from rough handling of your skin). It also strengthens your skin barrier functions at the same time. Goldfaden MD Detox Clarifying Facial Wash, approx. US$30.42 (S$42), from Net-a-Porter
This is an exfoliating cleanser that has lactic and glycolic acids (AHAs) that help remove impurities from 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. Natura Bisse Diamond Cocoon Enzyme Cleanser, approx. US$117.23 (S$160), from Net-a-Porter
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 ferment extract forms a special film on skin to trap and remove PM2.5 and PM10 particles. Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi+ Pollutant & Dullness Clarifying Cleansing Oil, $55 – $125, from Shu Uemura boutiques and counters, and Sephora
Known for its extensive range of cleansing oils, this one, in particular, has a key ingredient, moringa extract, to cleanse 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.   Tata Harper Purifying Gel Cleanser, $96, from Sephora
This is a cleanser that uses papaya enzymes to eliminate impurities caused by pollution. Broccoli extract and purple clay complex also helps combat free radicals while absorbing excess oil and dirt build-up.   Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil, $55, from Sephora
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 skin, and a vitamin C derivative and turmeric to brighten skin and combat free radicals. Origins Dr. Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Micellar Cleanser, $60, from Origins boutiques and counters, and Sephora
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.