There are plenty of awesome things about living in a city. There’s never any shortage of cool new restaurants and bars to try out, you don’t have to drive 20 km to get to the nearest department store and let’s face it, the job opportunities tend to be better. But as with most things, there are also downsides. And at the top of that list is definitely the pollution.
There’s no doubt that living in a busy, metropolitan cities exposes you to far more harmful pollutants than those in rural areas. According to a study carried out by Vichy, this can wreak absolute havoc on your skin, thanks to “increased sebum production, amplified dehydration, reduced natural anti-oxidant defences at skin’s surface [and] a weakened defensive barrier.” Just ask our NY editor Jasmine, who developed ‘New York acne’ when she moved to the bustling city!
But it’s not just unsightly pimples and lacklustre complexions that us city-dwellers have to worry about when it comes to our skin. Pollution particles from things like smog and car fumes can cause irritation and inflammation, which leads to accelerated ageing (aka wrinkles). For this reason, it looks like anti-ageing products are set to take the back seat in favour of anti-pollution skincare. These hardworking products not only help to safeguard against free radical damage but reverse it, too. Here are out top picks.
1. The exfoliant
Exfoliating is one of the most important steps when it comes to getting rid of the grime that accumulates on your skin throughout the day. So, it makes sense to opt for one that’s specifically formulated with anti-pollution technology, like the Dermalogica Daily Superfoiliant. Not only does this charcoal powder exfoliant make your skin feel amazingly smooth, it also draws out environmental toxins from deep within the pores and guards against the damaging effects of pollution.
Shop the Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant.
2. The cleanser
Look, we know you want a cleanser that smells delicious and makes your skin glow — but you also need one that protects your skin from environmental toxins. Luckily, there’s a product that can do it all – the Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream. It’s been specifically designed for people living in polluted urban areas and restores the skin’s purity while also making it super soft!
3. The moisturiser
The Avene Hydrance Aqua Cream-In-Gel is so much more than your average moisturiser. It’s an all-in-one product that feels like a lightweight gel, but hydrates and smooths like a moisturiser. It also safeguards the skin from the harmful free radicals that speed up ageing.
Shop the Avene Hydrance Aqua Cream-In-Gel.
4. The SPF
There’s a bit of a misconception that wearing any old sunscreen is enough prevent premature ageing. But not all sunscreens are created equal and you actually need one that’s designed to safeguard against free radical damage, not just UV rays. The Clinique Even Better City Block Anti-Pollution SPF 40 is an absolute must-have. Not only does it offer high UV protection, it also protects against harmful city pollution. There’s also a tinted version, for girls who like to multitask.
5. The mask
It’s safe to say that even after all these preventive measures, your skin deserves a treat after a long day of copping pollutants! The Kiehls Clilantro and Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque is the perfect way to do just that. The overnight facial mask detoxifies and replenishes damaged skin, while adding an extra layer of protection against pollutants.