OWNING THE URBAN JUNGLE
Smog is hell on skin, thanks to a toxic duo of ozone (a noxious gas created when fumes, like car exhaust, mingle with sunlight) and particulate matter (bits of soot and drops of acids and chemicals that float in the air). The first destroys lipids and proteins, causing irritation and breakouts; the latter, ranging in size from about 2.5 to 10 micrometers (one-seventh the width of a hair), “gets into pores, where it spurs inflammation and free radicals, leading to spots and lines,” says dermatologist Fredric Brandt, MD. In fact, a study found that women who lived in high-traffic areas had 20 percent more pigmentation.
WHAT’S The b ig d e Al?
Give smog a p.m. smackdown with a high-tech cleansing brush, says derm Jeannette Graf, MD. Clinique's facial cleansing brush (right), has oscillating bristles that clear pores up to four times more efficiently than cleansing with hands alone.