UV rays. Toxic chemicals. Even something as amorphous as everyday stress. There are a lot of bad players out there, ready to ravage our skin and make us look older than we really are. And while skincare aficionados are well aware of the havoc UV rays can unleash, did you know that environmental pollution has the same effect on our skin as chronic sun exposure?
Scientific research has shown that those of us exposed to more pollution from motor vehicles, power plants, even construction sites — in other words, city dwellers — show increased premature aging than those living in rural areas. Microscopic particles from these sources get deep into our skin, setting off a chain reaction of inflammation and free radicals, which among other things, break down collagen and increase dark spots by disrupting the proper functioning of melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin (the pigment responsible for skin color). The scary part is while we can cover up, wear hats, and slather on the sunscreen to protect us from UV rays, short of moving to the Alps or some deserted island, there’s little we can do to avoid air pollution. I mean, what are we gonna do — not go outside? Not breathe?
Thankfully, there is something we can do about it. In the fight against pollution and the ensuing cascade of cell-damaging free radicals, our best friend is something we’ve all probably heard of before: antioxidants. Now I know, the word “antioxidant” is thrown around by so many health and beauty companies, it’s almost lost its significance. But really, that’s because antioxidants may well be the closest thing to a skincare miracle we’ve got right now. It’s precisely what cosmetic brand CELLNCO had in mind when they launched their inaugural five ampoules this past fall.
CELLNCO may be new, but their parent company, Purecoslab, has been in the beauty industry for over 15 years, working with prestigious international companies like Estée Lauder, Lancôme, and Skyn Iceland. Seeing a need for a skincare line that not only is focused on protecting the skin from external pollutants but also refrains from as many harmful ingredients as possible, Purecoslab set out to create a line of “anti-trouble” skincare to address skin cell protection, healing, and regeneration. (In fact, their name is a combo of “cell” and “cosmetics.”) That means you won’t find any parabens, artificial colors, sulfates, mineral oil, or hormones in any CELLNCO products. Instead, each of their inaugural Boto line of five ampoules is formulated with at least 21 handpicked botanical ingredients, all well known for their antioxidant, free radical-scavenging activity.
Take CELLNCO Rose Therapy Nutrient Boost Ampoule. Rose oil is an antioxidant powerhouse, rich in vitamins C and A, tannins, and flavonoids. Indeed, it’s got 20 times more vitamins than tomatoes and lemons combined. Rosa damascena flower water, which contains rose oil, also has some antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. But the Rose Ampoule doesn’t stop there — it’s flush with 25 botanical extracts, including tea leaf, red seaweed, mulberry, as well as the cult favorite galactomyces ferment filtrate, the star ingredient in many Asian skincare products like SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence, Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence, and CosRX’s Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence.
Then there’s the 24K Gold Peptide Anti-Wrinkle Ampoule. This ampoule is as rich as it sounds, with real 24K gold flakes, which may have anti-inflammatory effects, and copper peptides to promote collagen and elastin production. Science-proven adenosine also stimulates the production of fibroblast proteins, building up levels of collagen and elastin, which keep skin firm and taeng taeng. But this ampoule features one of my favorite skincare ingredients, niacinamide (otherwise known as vitamin B3), which is practically a miracle ingredient, having been shown to improve the appearance of enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and dullness. It even strengthens the skin barrier and is effective in protecting skin from external aggressors.
In addition to its minimum of 21 antioxidant-rich botanical extracts, each of the five CELLNCO ampoules features its own special key ingredients as well as a unique sensorial experience. For those who prefer a rich facial oil feel, the 24K Gold Ampoule is for you. On the other side of the spectrum is the Rose Ampoule, which almost disappears on contact, leaving behind a fresh rose scent. The Vitamin Solution Radiant Whitening Ampoule, with licorice root and niacinamide, has a lightweight essence feel; while the Super Hyaluronic Moisturizing Ampoule is a bouncy, cushion-y serum with niacinamide and the water magnet sodium hyaluronate to soothe and hydrate skin. And the Milk Sleeping Mask Ampoule is truly a wonder for its firm, translucent gel that sinks into skin so fast, it literally feels like nothing in seconds. (You almost forget you had applied anything.) It’s great for those of you who don’t like the sticky, clingy, wet feel of typical sleeping masks.
Of course, no one says you have to choose just one. (And at around $30 an ampoule, you can afford a few.) Layer a couple or mix them in with your favorite moisturizer. After all, with UV rays, stress, and now pollution on the attack, we need all the help we can get.
How do you protect your skin from pollution?