As our awareness and concern for pollution to continues to grow, as does our desire to fight back against it, but it’s not just our planet that needs a helping hand.
Proven to accelerate premature ageing, pollution has also been linked to a range of worsening skin conditions from eczema to hives. Depleting our skin’s moisture stores fine air pollutant particles such as aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, ozone and cigarette smoke enter the skin pores, causing inflammation, dehydration, dryness, dark spots, wrinkles, sagging and a deterioration of collagen.
With dozens of UK cities breaching the EU limits on pollution (and London’s Oxford Street being the most polluted street in the world), this is one threat that isn’t going to go away any time soon.
Alongside a healthy diet, not smoking and getting enough sleep the next thing we can do to protect our skin against the effects of pollution is maintain a healthy, functional skin barrier to insure that none of those nasty toxic particles sneak through our skin’s pores.
But where do we start? A daily application of antioxidants such as vitamin’s A and C (most commonly found in ‘brightening’ or antiageing skincare) is one of the best ways we can kick start fight against pollution. Neutralising some of the free radical damage that weakens the skin, antioxidants also help the skin to repair more effectively, reversing the effects of any damage that has already been done. While a hydrating moisturiser with vitamin E or hyluronic acid will help sooth the skin, fighting back against the dehydrating effects of pollution.
Next up a healthy does of SPF. It may not cause them but pollution has a nasty of way of bumping up dark spots lurking beneath the skins surface, aiding them on their journey, as our skins barrier becomes week. Along side your antioxidants, a daily application of SPF will protect your skin UVA and UVB rays, whilst keeping those dark spots at bay.
Last but definitely not least, investing in a good quality cleanser. Going to sleep with pollutant particles on your face is perhaps one of the worst things you can do to your skin, particularly if you suffer from any aggravating skin conditions. Sleeping with these particles will not only lead to skin inflammation and barrier disruption but in more extreme cases, disease exacerbation!A good quality hydrating cleanser will rid the skin of any impurities picked up through out the day preventing any further skin damage.
To help your skin fight back against pollution I’ve picked some of my favourite products that will help you protect, cleanse and nourish your skin for the ultimate Ozone defence.
111 SKIN Space Antioxidant Booster £85
PREVISE Ozone Defence Nutrify Serum £49
SKINCEUTICALS C E Ferulic £135
MURAD Invisbleblur Perfecting Shield £60
CLINIQUE City Block Charcoal Day Mask + Scrub £29DERMALOGICA Daily Superfoliant £55
JURLIQUE Rose Moisture Plus With Antioxidant Complex Moisturising Cleanser £18
Have you noticed the effects of pollution on your skin? Have your say in the comments below.