My last post on the environment and the skin might have left the ones of you living in pollution heavy areas a little worried, a little anxious, or perhaps just a little wondering as how to best combat the damaging effects pollutants have on our skin. I will admit, it was somewhat worse than I expected. I am so grateful I have my wonderful ROKers asking interesting, and difficult questions for me to research, and keeping me on my toes on skin-health issues such as this.
Today my friends, I am back to ease our troubled minds! 7 steps to fight skin-effects by pollution:
1. Remove -Washing your face removes buildup of smog particles that have accumulated during the day. Remember pollutants find their way to indoor environments as well, so office work is by no means pollution-free work. I have (since my last post) washed my face first thing after coming back from work, in addition to morning and evening. This is not something I recommend doing on a regular basis, but if you live in a city like London, and if you additionally wear daytime makeup, I think it can be a good adjustment to make, just make sure your cleanser is mild, and that you follow it with a great moisturizer.
Cleanser tip: Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel 75ml Now on sale for only £9.35 with free delivery.
For intense moisture and antioxidant action, try Astara Activated Antioxidant Infusion
It has an insane ingredients list! (in a good way). It has a moisturizing Shea-butter base, and is packed with antioxidant ingredients such as green-tea, calendula, grape seed, pomegranate, and vit.C. This is the one I'm getting for my next London stay! I'm currently forcing my self to finish another antioxidant cream (which I'll review later on).
2.Protect-Up your antioxidant dose - Before I put on my moisturizer/SPF in the morning, I add a potent antioxidant serum (read about why antioxidants are vital to great skin here) to keep my face protected against the free radicals produced by pollution. I am currently (still) on my bottle of Caudalie Vinexpert Friming Serum-travel size (10ml) , but found this: Bioelements Urban Detox, recently which contains a huge number of skin-saving anti aging antioxidants, including a rare one: Super Oxide Dismutase. It's an enzyme with powerful antioxidant activity against free radicals in cells: "SOD may reduce free radical damage to skin-- for example, to reduce fibrosis following radiation for breast cancer"- wikipedia.
3. Protect-SPF- As always, sunscreens are the most important thing you can do to keep your face young and fresh. I'll refer you to my post about it here, but when you are exposed to pollutants, you are also at higher risk to suffer from increased levels of solar UVB radiation, and in addition to the other grim effects of city-air, your skin will not be as fit for fight against both UVA and UVB as it would be otherwise, and so a good SPF becomes essential to maintain good skin through the years.
Try this multipurpose SPF, especially formulated to form a pollution-protective film on your skin: Invisible Zinc Environmental Skin Protector Spf30+
4. Go green- Or rather, multicolored. Antioxidants have been shown to be skin's best friend when applied topically and when eaten regularly. So increase your intake of deep greens, berries of all sorts, and drink loads of tea (all teas are great, including black!) You may also want to add a vitamin E and C supplement to make sure your skin is getting a proper load.
5. Hydrate- Enough water brings oxygen and moisture to your skin, and so making sure to continuously hydrate with clean water or herbal-teas makes sure your skin will keep its turgor, and your face look nice and plump.
6. Stop smoking- I sincerely hope you're not a smoker! Smoking is the number 2 cause of premature aging (and a huge risk-factor for uncountable diseases), after UV radiation, and reducing a great skin stressor like this, will surely be helpful to your fight against the other pollutants of this world, including those surrounding us in cities.
7. Exercise-Exercise at least four times a week. By making it a point to get your heart rate up, you'll boost blood flow and the supply of oxygen to your skin. The better your blood is pumping, the better your skin will look. I have to do a post on exercise, I definitely notice a big difference in my skin when I'm a good girl and do my 30 min exercise routine. A little goes a long way to help your skin look fresh!
There, that feels better. As long as we stick to these pro-active measures against the dreaded pollutants of big city living, we and our faces should stay fine, even fresh.