For years, we’ve been warned of the accelerated ageing effects that sun exposure, smoking, a sugar-laden diet and even stress on our skin. But the big talking point of 2016 has to be pollution.
Increasingly, we live in urban environments full of pollution. Yet whilst most of us are savvy enough to protect our skin against sun damage, until recently, few of us have been aware of how to protect our skin from pollution. So just what is city life doing to our complexions – and how we can prevent the seemingly inevitable damage?
The truth is that anyone who lives in or visits an urban environment will be exposed to all manner of pollutants – from industrial emissions and cigarette smoke to soot and nanoparticles so tiny that they’re able to penetrate deep into the skin. According to experts, something called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are delivered to the skin via these nanoparticles. And it’s these that contribute to skin ageing.
The result is an impaired skin barrier function, dehydration, inflammation and the breakdown of collagen. Which leads to age spots, dryness, a rough texture and loss of firmness.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are simple steps you can take to bolster your skin against the onslaught. Here’s how…
- Cleanse: One of the most effective ways to rid your skin of pollution is to simply clean damaging particles off it. Try Elemis Smart Cleanse Micellar Water – an intelligent purifier that rids the skin of both water and oil-based impurities, leaving it super clean and super refreshed. You can always double cleanse if you live in a particularly polluted area.
- Exfoliate: Great for sloughing off dead surface cells, a twice-weekly exfoliation will also help rid the skin of damaging pollutant particles. Try Elemis Skin Buff which contains Bilberry and Chamomile to simultaneously soothe and enrich the skin.
- Add anti-oxidants: Pollution contains free radicals – or unstable molecules that accelerate skin ageing. In order to counteract the effects of free radicals, you need anti-oxidants - which you’ll find in our Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules for day and night.
- Fortify: Boost skin with a more intensive treatment in the form of a twice-weekly mask. Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Mask helps increase firmness and elasticity whilst alleviating skin stress.
- Protect: As important as it is to be mindful about pollution, let’s not forget that UV damage is number one. So follow all of the above – but never forget that sunscreen.