SKIN AND THE CITY - How to Protect Your Skin from Air Pollution
I'm a true nature girl at heart but I love cities! There's something about the energy and pulse of a city I just can’t get enough of. I love the diversity of the people, cultures and cuisines. One of my favorite things is arriving in a new city, wandering the streets and exploring all it has to offer.
However, the pollutants in the city air tend to make our skin dry, vulnerable and susceptible to all sorts of skin issues.
Of course, we all know dirty air isn’t great for the skin, but did you know it can actually add years to your face?
Air pollution is made up of particles that latches on to the face, attacks the skin barrier and weakens it, which in turn clogs pores, penetrates the epidermis and speeds up aging, causing skin to get dry, rough and inflamed. Studies have shown that air pollution is also a major cause of hyperpigmentation, and skin issues such as psoriasis and eczema.
So with this in mind, and the fact that I’ve been spending the last few days in Bangkok, I figured it was timely to share some of my best antipollution skin care tips.
Follow a proper skincare regimen. After spending a day outside, make sure to cleanse your face immediately. The less time these pesky particles sit on your face, the better.
GLOBAL ANTI-POLLUTION SKINCARE RITUAL:
The first step is removing all makeup and dirt. I use the Global Baby/Sensitive Serum as a first step cleanser. It’s an oil that is formulated to cleanse the skin gently by drawing out oil-based debris such as makeup, SPF, and pollutants. I find that oil cleansers can penetrate the skin deeper and dissolve even the toughest makeup and dirt residues better than a cream cleanser. It’s also much gentler on the skin. Simply apply the oil on a cotton ball and gently massage the entire face, including the delicate eye area (eyes closed of course :). Repeat this process until there's no more residue on the cotton ball.
You can either use a traditional cream cleanser, or you can use a powder cleanser (my favorite) to further cleanse and remove pollutants. I use the Global Face Trio which is a 3-in-1 treatment powder. Mix a spoon of the powder in the palm of your hand, and add equal amounts of water and mix it until you get a creamy consistency. Massage the face and neck for several minutes. What I love about this product is that it has a slight grit texture to it so it also acts as a gentle exfoliator. Exfoliating the skin is by far the best thing you can do for your skin. It removes dry and dead skin cells and improves the texture of your skin, leaving it smooth and refreshed. (Just be sure to use a gentle exfoliator so it doesn’t cause skin sensitivities.)
A facial toner is a great way to further lift off any left over debris while keeping your skin balanced and refreshed.
I love using Witch Hazel as a toner. I find it’s less harsh than some traditional face toners as it’s completely alcohol free. Witch hazel is derived from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel plant. Its mild astringent properties break down dead skin and oil to cleanse the pores.
The most important part to add life back to your skin! An antioxidant serum help to neutralize free radicals and prevent further damage to the skin. Since the pollution in the air can mess with your skins natural antioxidants, it’s really important to add them back in the form of a serum. I use Global Face Serum both morning and night and it’s super rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and E, which shields skin from free-radical damage and has a brightening effect.This serum is also ideal for people suffering from skin issues such as rosacea and eczema.
Last but not least, protect and shield your skin from UV rays. Make sure to apply a sunscreen on top of a serum before applying makeup.
I use a variety of sunscreens but right now, I’m loving Suntegrity Natural Moisturising Face Sunscreen & Primer with has an SPF of 30. I love that it’s non-greasy and doesn’t contain any synthetic ingredients like parabens, sulfates or mineral oil.
I hope this article helped you get more clear on what to do to protect your beautiful skin from city pollution.
Also, remember that healthy skin starts with having a healthy body as well as a positive mind. Taking care of your skin is not just about taking care of the surface but to care for it internally, as well!
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll write a post about my favorite internal ways to care for our overall health and skin. Until then, have a beautiful week my friends!