KEEP CALM & CARRY ON

Es­ca­lat­ing num­bers in en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion is caus­ing dis­tress to our skin. Li Ying Lim re­veals the best anti-pol­lu­tants in the mar­ket.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Beauty -

Dust, sun, and sooty air—there is no deny­ing that en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion is tak­ing a huge toll on our health. How­ever, rarely do we ad­dress the well­be­ing of our largest or­gan: the skin. At a Kiehl’s Skin­care Sym­po­sium in Novem­ber last year, Dr. Ge­of­frey Ge­nesky, head of Kiehl’s Skin­care Lab­o­ra­tory, ex­horted broadly on air pol­lu­tion’s ad­verse ef­fects on our skin. “Pol­lu­tion comes in five dif­fer­ent forms, each dam­ag­ing and im­pair­ing skin’s nat­u­ral pro­tec­tion mech­a­nisms, re­sult­ing in older-look­ing, dull, dis­coloured skin.” Kiehl’s is one of the first to ad­dress this im­pend­ing con­cern. Dr. Ge­nesky went on to ex­plain that the fight goes be­yond dili­gent cleans­ing and ex­fo­li­at­ing. “Par­tic­u­late mat­ter pen­e­trates skin through pores or trans-epi­der­mally, act­ing as a ve­hi­cle for toxic pol­lu­tants. It then ad­heres to the stra­tum corneum, in­duc­ing ox­ida­tive stress, dam­ag­ing the skin bar­rier, and de­lay­ing skin re­pair, giv­ing you dark spots and wrin­kles and re­duced bar­rier func­tion.” “In­ter­est­ingly, many of these pol­lu­tants dam­age the skin by in­creas­ing ox­ida­tive stress,” sec­onds Dr. Daniel Stangl, La Prairie’s di­rec­tor of in­no­va­tion. “A key de­fence line against pol­lu­tion is there­fore an­tiox­i­dants. Skin­care prod­ucts with so­phis­ti­cated com­plexes of an­tiox­i­dants, to­gether with ac­tives which stim­u­late skin’s own strate­gic net­work of an­tiox­i­dants, are a good start­ing point in fight­ing pol­lu­tion. In ad­di­tion, La Prairie rec­om­mends skin­care prod­ucts that pro­tect the skin with a phys­i­cal shield, act­ing like a sec­ond skin that scav­enges par­tic­u­late mat­ter (PM2.5) and heavy met­als.”

“It’s a global thing; it doesn’t stop at the bor­der of China or Malaysia. It con­tin­ues, and the ef­fect of pol­lu­tion is very trau­ma­tis­ing, es­pe­cially on the skin,” says Mark Stan­lein, gen­eral man­ager for ex­port at Maria Gal­land. “At this mo­ment, it’s al­ready the third main con­cern in skin­care.”

AHEAD OF THE CURVE

“On the most ba­sic level, ox­ides are the cul­prits of free rad­i­cals that can cause skin pro­tein and lipid to de­te­ri­o­rate,” elab­o­rated Dr. Ge­nesky. “Vo­latile or­ganic com­pounds (VOCs) can in­crease transepi­der­mal wa­ter loss (TEWL), while the ozone rapidly de­pletes nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring pro­tec­tive vitamin C, E, and glu­tathione, pro­duc­ing proin­flam­ma­tory mark­ers. Skin im­pli­ca­tions in­clude pre­ma­ture skin age­ing, pig­men­ta­tion, as well as in­creased man­i­fes­ta­tion of atopic der­mati­tis, eczema, and pru­ri­tus.”

Adult acne is also a sign of high pol­lu­tion rates. “You can see the re­sults on the skin. There’s a lot of acne, oily skin, and red­ness. This only means the skin’s pH needs to be re­bal­anced—not by med­i­ca­tion but through a struc­tured skin­care reg­i­men. You can do it with our fa­cial treat­ment and our prod­ucts,” says Stan­lein. “We don’t have only one an­tipol­lu­tion com­plex but four in our prod­ucts. Soin

Eco­log­i­cal pol­lu­tion is now rated as one of the top stres­sors for our skin

Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Ex­tract Pol­lu­tant De­fend­ing Masque, RM138

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