Pollution is EVERYWHERE. It’s something we cannot control and if you live in a big city (hello NYC), then you are way more likely to be affected by pollution. This can have a negative impact on your skin, and it can show some real damage over time. However, what you can do is have a skincare routine that you can be consistent & diligent with, and use products with ingredients that specifically work to help protect your skin against pollution.
CLEANSING: Let’s start with the most important step first. I cannot stress enough on how important it is to properly cleanse your face at the end of the day. You’ve been out and about and there’s probably dirt, grime and unidentifiable residue that has gripped onto your face. Especially if you wear facial makeup—proper cleansing is something you cannot ignore.
What we recommend is double cleansing—either with an oil-based or balm-based cleanser first and then following up with a gel or foaming cleanser. However, we understand that a lot of people lead busy lives so we recommend using A.True’s Sweet Song Black Tea One-Step Cleansing Water, which takes off all dirt and makeup without stripping your face of its natural oils.
VITAMIN C / ANTIOXIDANTS: Other than having a great cleansing ritual, it is important to incorporate antioxidants into your skincare routine. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants out there—and fairly easy to access.
In a study done by researchers at the Imperial College of London, it was found that vitamin C can protect us from the negative impacts brought by power plants and car exhausts. Eating foods that contain vitamin C is also a great option (think citrus fruits)—however, it is important to note that our bodies are not capable of storing vitamin C at high amounts. People tend to go through periodic “vitamin C binging,” but excess vitamin C simply gets flushed out of your system, leading to waste.
To prevent this, try to keep a stable, regular (preferably daily) intake of vitamin C. A skincare-duo we recommend is By Wishtrend’s Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum and Natural Vitamin 21.5 Enhancing Sheet Mask, which you guessed it—have 21.5% of pure vitamin C.
SKIN STRENGTHENERS: Another huge step in protecting your skin against pollution is incorporating ingredients that hydrate and strengthen the skin’s barrier. When pollution attacks our skin, the lipids (fat) of the skin is lost, weakening the skin’s barrier. Niacinamide and honey are both easy-to-access ingredients that we can use to strengthen that wall.
Niacinamide is one of those “must-haves” ingredients—it increases the production of ceramides, which is one of the significant elements that makes up your epidermal lipid barrier. The stronger your epidermal lipid barrier is, the more it can retain moisture, which helps keep your skin strong.
Honey, as long as it’s all-natural, is a great ingredient that you can incorporate into your skincare routine. It’s highly moisturizing and contains anti-bacterial properties, which strengthens the skin’s immunity.
Company V’s Steam Milk Mask with Honey has a fairly high amount of niacinamide and honey, which will help your skin retain all the good stuff from the mask.
UV PROTECTION: Lastly, sunscreen, while it is one of the key factors in anti-aging (and anti-skin disease), is not the biggest anti-pollution weapon. However, it is a MUST, especially when you’re using vitamin C—vitamin C can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, which can cause frequent sunburns and irritations.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, everyday sunscreen that is also moisturizing, we recommend Cosrx’s Aloe Soothing Sun Cream, which contains SPF 50/PA+++.
Have you been aware that your skin is being affected by pollution? If so, what are you doing to save it? Comment down below!
Thanks so much for reading and I’ll catch you in the next post!
Jenny from Cupidrop