Living in a big, bustling city can be pretty fun. There’s endless things to do, it’s easy to get around, and you can get a scoop of ice cream at (almost) any hour. What’s not to love?
There’s just one teeny tiny problem we’ve got to deal with, and no, it’s not $10 iced lattes (we’ll deal with that one another day). It’s air pollution – things like car fumes, UV rays, cigarette smoke and smog that hang out in the air as gas or really, really small particles. Pollution is obviously bad for the planet, but it can also wreak havoc on our skin, leading to problems like dryness, irritation and acne. And even though air pollution is worse in busy cities, it exists in rural areas too.
So, how do you protect your skin from being damaged by those pesky pollutants? Keep reading, because we've got your back (and your skin) with some simple and effective ways to keep you protected.
Use a protective sunscreen
Sunscreen isn't just for sunny days at the beach. High SPF also shields you against the harmful effects of pollution, and a good sunscreen makes all the difference when it comes to fighting UV rays and free radicals (AKA unstable atoms that can damage the cells in our body, including our skin cells). Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 (SPF 50 is even better), and remember to reapply every two hours.
Wash your face regularly
Regularly washing your face is crucial to rid your skin of pollutants and prevent clogged pores. Use a gentle, hydrating cleanser that gets rids of oil, bacteria and pollutants without stripping your skin of its natural moisture.
Use products rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants protect the skin from – you guessed it – UV rays, pollution and free radicals. Antioxidants like Vitamin C and green tea are packed with all the goodness you need to protect your skin from environmental damage and can be found in all sorts of skincare and bodycare products, including our Green Tea Exfoliating Shower Foam.
Treat yourself to a face mask
Pop some Harry Styles on (or any calming music, really), light a candle and indulge in a weekly skin detox with a face mask. Whether you opt for a clay mask or a sheet mask, face masks are a simple solution to nourish and rejuvenate your skin, and help you bid adieu to stubborn pollutants that get deep in your pores.
Avoid touching your face
Think about everything you hold or touch throughout the day… now think about all the bacteria and pollutants on all these surfaces. Eeeek. Every time you touch your face you’re transferring all of that to your skin, leading to irritation and breakouts. Wash your hands regularly, resist the urge to touch and avoid resting your face on your hands.
Now you know exactly what to do to keep your skin protected from air pollution, so go out and live that city life. Next, why not read up on Skincare Mistakes to Avoid in Your 20s?
Happy Sundae x