Everyone is talking about pollution’s negative effect on the environment, but have you considered the impact that it’s having on your skin? Dirt, pollutant particles, smog, and urban heat are just some of the damaging environmental factors of living in the city that cause skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, a damaged skin barrier, sensitivity, and collagen breakdown.
Unknown to most city dwellers, their everyday dose of passive cigarette smoke, petrol fumes, UV rays, and the blue light from their smartphones or laptops create a toxic cocktail that speeds up the signs of premature ageing. To tell the truth, you can’t completely protect your skin from the effects of pollution but there are three simple ways of managing it…
1. Use Antioxidants In Your Skincare
Antioxidants are naturally present in minerals and vitamins and when infused in a skincare they help protect your skin against the ageing effects of free radicals like cigarette smoke and pollution. And, the best part? They are ingredients that are probably already in a lot of your skincare favourites – you may know them as – vitamin a (retinol), c, e, niacinamide, or green tea. Now, armed with this knowledge of antioxidants you can city-proof your skincare routine by looking for serums, SPF, and moisturisers that contain them.
2. Always Double Cleanse
Throughout the day pollution settles on your skin alongside a general build-up of bacteria, dirt, and sweat. These impurities make cleansing your skin one of the most essential skincare steps, especially for those of us that reside in cities. Adding a double-cleansing step to your everyday nighttime routine will ensure you’re removing leftover makeup, SPF, and all of the invisible air pollution that has settled on your skin.
3. Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliating your skin with physical or chemical exfoliants will help to improve dryness, and clogged pores while increasing the absorption benefits of your other skincare steps. I’d recommend exfoliating 1-2 times a week, but adapt it depending on your skin’s tolerance and sensitivity to exfoliating. And, remember – after you exfoliate always apply SPF the next day as your skin will be even more vulnerable to UV damage.