Simply You Style - - Simply You | Beauty -

Stress, hor­mones, late nights, a poor diet – and now we can add pol­lu­tion to the list of things to blame for less-than-stel­lar skin. Stud­ies show that ir­ri­tants in the air (car ex­haust, dust, pollen, smoke) can age our skin through hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion and in­flam­ma­tion, which can ap­pear as age spots, red­ness, ir­ri­ta­tion and fine lines, says head chemist at Kiehl's Dr Ge­off Ge­nesky. “Each of these pol­lu­tants is ca­pa­ble of ab­sorb­ing into skin and caus­ing ox­ida­tive dam­age.”

Pol­lu­tion can also break down col­la­gen and the skin's lipid layer, im­pair­ing its bar­rier func­tion, but there are steps you can take. “The use of an ef­fi­cient yet gen­tle cleanser is ben­e­fi­cial in fight­ing the ef­fects of pol­lu­tion on the skin and re­mov­ing par­tic­u­late mat­ter that has ad­hered to skin's sur­face,” says Ge­nesky, adding that the new Kiehl's pol­lu­tant-de­fend­ing masque de­liv­ers in all of these ar­eas. “We se­lected a bioflavonoid ex­tracted from or­anges to pro­vide pow­er­ful, broad an­tiox­i­dant pro­tec­tion. Cilantro seed oil also nour­ishes the skin and re­in­forces its bar­rier, while help­ing to pre­vent the ad­her­ence of pol­lu­tant par­ti­cles.”

Sun­screen is more es­sen­tial than ever, too; there's in­creas­ing ev­i­dence that air pol­lu­tion plus UV ex­po­sure can be more dam­ag­ing to skin than ei­ther alone. “While we ad­vise ev­ery­one to wear a broad-spec­trum sun­screen ev­ery day to pro­tect from UV dam­age, those ex­posed to pol­lu­tion have an ad­di­tional rea­son to in­cor­po­rate SPF prod­ucts into their reg­i­men,” says Ge­nesky.

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