Watery eyes, itchy throat, bouts of coughing, a runny nose: it’s no surprise that the haze brings with it a host of health problems. But have you noticed that every time this particular type of pollution shows up outside your window, your skin tends to look duller, probably gets blotchy, or you find it dry and flaky or have to deal with a sudden breakout? Yup, that’s the effect of the haze on your skin. The haze alters the shape and size of skin cells and hampers their ability to hold moisture thus weakening the skin barrier and its ability to protect itself.
While the haze shows up one or two times a year, everyday pollution in the city – emissions from cars and industries – slowly take their toll on our skin as well. The tiny particles of pollution settle on your face clogging pores and giving rise to free radicals that damage collagen and cause premature ageing. And while you can wear a mask that can filter the air you’re breathing, how are you supposed to protect the largest organ of your body? Luckily there are things you can do to keep your skin healthy and glowing in the face of the haze and pollution.
Detox and Deep Clean
Make sure you cleanse your skin every single night. Remove every trace of makeup and cleanse your skin with the Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Anti-Dullness Cleansing Oil that is specially formulated to rid the skin of external pollutants. Moringa extract clings to the particles of pollution to draw them out while green tea extract acts as an anti oxidant to revive and refresh the skin.
Follow up with a foam cleanser and a cleansing brush like the Clinique Purifying Cleansing Brush that helps to deep clean and thoroughly but gently remove all the minute particles that could clog pores.
Finally, do a deep, deep cleanse two to three times a week with Philosophy’s latest, The Microdelivery Overnight Anti-Ageing Peel. The two-step treatment combines three types of acids that gently penetrate different layers of the skin to cleanse, exfoliate, refine and help regeneration of new skin cells, while the Youth Extending Night Gel calms, soothes and intensely hydrates. Not only does it remove all traces of pollution and dead skin, it also strengthens the skin’s barrier with intense hydration.
IN THE MORNING
Free-radicals caused by pollution damage collagen and can lead to hyper-pigmentation, inflammation and fine lines. Prep your skin to offset the effects of haze and pollution by using antioxidant serums. Aesop’s Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum or the Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate are ideal in a situation like this. With its aloe base, grape extract and parsley seed oil the Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum is hydrating, nourishing and perfect for those with oily or combination skin types. The Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate is filled with 10.5 percent Vitamin C – another powerful antioxidant that helps fight off free-radicals. Layering either of these under your moisturiser and sunscreen is the first step in your fight against pollution.
Moisturising will help strengthen the skin’s protective barrier against the onslaught from the haze and pollution, so make sure you choose one that is intensely hydrating. I like that Etude House Moistfull Super Collagen Cream that will leave your skin hydrated while smoothing out any signs of premature ageing caused by pollution. Remember hydrated skin that is plump and bouncy = healthy, glowing skin.
All your efforts to protect your skin from pollution will go to waste if you decide to skip using a sunscreen. The sun’s rays are the number one cause of skin ageing and can worsen existing conditions like pigmentation. Adding this extra layer of protection will go a long way in keeping your skin healthy. Moreover, a combination of topical vitamin C and sunscreen has been shown to reduce UV damage to the skin. I like the Daylong Gel Fluid SPF30 PA+++ Ultra Light Gelfluid that is non-greasy and layers well under makeup.
Use your foundation as the last layer of defence against haze and pollution. Pick one like the Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation that not only provides coverage without settling into lines but also comes with anti-ageing and skin energising properties. The added SPF40 is a bonus.
Finally, don’t underestimate the role of supplements. A collagen supplement like the Laneige Collagen Drink can help replace lost or compromised collagen so you skin can remain plump and taut irrespective of the environment around it. And remember to always use an antioxidant serum, a moisturiser and serum to keep your skin healthy.
I hope this helped. I’d love to know how you combat effects of pollution on your skin in your city.