You love the city you live in; it's full of energy and opportunities. But what about the smog? By-products, toxins and soot disrupt your natural lipid barrier, deliver free radicals and clog your pores. Polluted air can speed up your skin's aging process, increase inflammation, dryness, sensitivity, pigmentation and even break down Collagen & Elastin. So here's 3 steps you can take to protect yourself.
Wash it off! At the end of your day use a gentle cleanser to slough off the particles, grime and soot that may have collected there. Your goal is to remove the dirt without being harsh on your skin. Over-stripping natural lipids causes dryness, sensitivity and irritation.
Don't use bar soap because it is often very base (alkaline). Avoid cleansers with a really luxurious foam because they often contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which are both harsh on your skin. Look for cleansers based on natural botanical saponins, lotions or oils.
Reinforce gentle cleansing with an exfoliator 2-3 times a week to encourage cell turnover for a fresher complexion. Lastly use an antioxidant toner on a cotton pad to be sure that all of the city has been removed, and as a final protective layer.
Most of the damage that pollution wreaks on your skin will come from the free radicals it delivers. Unstable radicals react with molecules in your skin's cells creating new unstable radicals which go on to cause even more damage. Oxidative cascades travel through your cells leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Free radical damage is associated with inflammation, cell dysfunction, cell death and damage to DNA. The long-term nature of all this damage accelerates the aging process.
Antioxidants react with unstable radicals without becoming unstable themselves, effectively "quenching" the cascades. A great first step is to eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables (all good sources of natural antioxidants). But the most effective way to target antioxidant protection in your skin is to incorporate a broad-spectrum antioxidant serum into your regimen. Because different free radicals are quenched by different antioxidants, ensure that your serum has as many different antioxidants as possible.
Your skin has a defensive barrier of it's own. To help you skin's natural barrier protect you, nurture and protect it! Make sure that you're not compromising your barrier with harsh treatments. Keep it hydrated and moisturized at all times. Dry skin is the quickest way to allow pollution to penetrate your skin. Unprotected exposure to sunlight weakens your skin's immune system, and introduces free radicals of it's own. Use a sunscreen of SPF15-30 daily on all sun-exposed skin. Build your regimen around the concept of balance, to keep your barrier healthy and in fighting form!
THE SIREN - Hydrating Cleansing Gel - for slightly dry to oily skin
THE TEMPTRESS - Vitamin Cleansing Lotion - for dry to slightly oily skin
THE TEMPEST - Antioxidant Toner / Mist - for all skin-types
THE ARCHANGEL - Antioxidant Serum - for all skin-types
THE DEITY - SPF30 Mattifying Sunscreen - for all skin-types
Thanks for reading!
ALEXIARES & ANI