City living has its perks: ready access to espresso martinis, Céline and more ways to have smashed avo than you could possibly wish for to name a few. But for every pro comes one insidious con: pollution.
Major cities across the globe are recording ever-increasing pollution levels – London broke its annual air pollution limit just five days into 2017, topping those measured in Beijing in some areas by the end of January.*
What’s that got to do with skincare? As it turns out, pollution doesn’t just pose a problem for our lungs; it can wreak havoc on our complexions too. Skin-damaging pollutants like smog, smoke, particulate matter and surface ozone can result in a weakened skin barrier and build-up of grime, leading to all manner of skin concerns – think everything from clogged pores to pimples to pigmentation.**
One study found that skin pigmentation increased by 25 per cent when exposed to surging traffic fumes***, so it’s no surprise that dermatologists are coming to regard pollution as a leading cause of premature skin ageing – almost to the same extent as the sun.
Enter: anti-pollution skincare. Just like diligent application of SPF protects against UV rays, so too can your skincare shield you from the effects of poor air quality. Products specifically designed to protect against pollution are increasingly available, from the Sukin Anti-Pollution Facial Masque, which contains charcoal to draw out impurities, to the Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart Hydrating Shield, which protects against both pollutants and UV rays.
Beyond dedicated anti-pollution products, ensure you cleanse as soon as you get home every night to remove grime and grit that’s settled on your skin throughout the day (especially if you commute to work) and use an antioxidant serum daily to protect against pollutants - try one enriched with Vitamin C like Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum.
What else can you do in the fight against pollution? Consider investing in an air purifier, which helps to capture airborne matter such as allergens and indoor pollutants. You may not be able to control the pollution outside, but at least you can keep on top of indoor air pollution in the home.