NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We all know about the damaging effects that UV rays can have on our skin, but what effect does pollution have on our complexions?

New products promise an extra layer of protection from pollution, but do we really need them?

From car exhaust and cigarette smoke to soot and smog, it can be a dirty world.

“I’m walking by a bus and then all of a sudden there’s just like this thick black smoke just wafting into my face and I’m just like, ‘my pores!'” actress Aicha Reid said.

As CBS2’s Kristine Johnson explained, Reid isn’t the only one concerned about the effects of pollution on her pores.

A recent study found 34 percent of women polled worry about what pollution is doing to their skin. Now, the beauty industry is also taking notice.

“There’s been an explosion of products that are either being developed or remarketed for the purpose of decreasing damage from air pollution,” dermatologist, Dr. Amy Derick, said.

It’s damage that doctors say can accelerate the aging process.

“By breaking down collagen and increasing free radicals in the skin,” Dr. Derick explained.

The new products promise to neutralize free radicals, which studies show can injure the skin’s cells and cause inflammation.

They also claim to contain topical antioxidants that remove pollution particulates which can lead to dullness, wrinkles, and dark spots.

“These antioxidants are able to kind of scavenge the free radicals that are created and may decrease the damage that’s done,” Dr. Derick said.

Experts suggested consulting with a dermatologist when preparing your skin care routine.

“Buyer beware. Do your homework. Find out what products have been show to be scientifically helpful. Find out which ones are not just jumping on the pollution bandwagon, and those that have really gone and put in some research behind it,” dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, said.

While Dr. Tanzi said there is science behind protecting the skin from air pollution, we’re only beginning to understand the effects of pollution on the skin.

“Much more research is needed to find out exactly what is happening with not only ozone pollution, but particulate pollution on the skin over time. How can we combat it? We’re really only seeing the beginning of this process,” she said.

Studies have shown that air pollution can also cause acne, and allergic reactions including inflammation, redness, and eczema.

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