What’s all the fuss about…
Just when you thought you had your healthy skin routine nailed (Sun flters? Check. Antioxidants for stressed skin? Check. Hyaluronic acid for parched winter face? Check), along comes another foe. This time it’s pollution.
Yes, according to the skin doctors, we now need to protect our faces against smoke, smog, dust and fumes, not just because pollutants cause greasy, thirsty, dull-looking skin but also because, over time, they are making us look older. According to the latest study, if you live in a polluted city, you can expect to look a year older by the time you are 40 (bad news for residents of Port Talbot, Swansea, Leeds and London, which are the cities where your skin will age fastest).
Why? It seems the chemical particles in pollution, most notably PM 2.5, seep into the skin where they cause oxidative and DNA cell damage. ‘Pollutants attack skin, generating free radicals and infammation,’ Dr Tom Mammone, executive director of skin physiology at Clinique Worldwide, puts it. He adds, ‘What is surprising is that smoke and particulate matter [PM] pollution have been found to be damaging to skin directly, the long-term effects of which are wrinkles and premature ageing.’
Coming to our aid are the usual big beauty players, who have been quick off the mark in coming up with an entirely new category of anti-pollution skincare. Already big in Korea – currently the world leader in beauty trends – cleansers, serums and moisturisers with antioxidants, anti-infammatories, DNA repair, and skin-barrier repair technology for polluted skin are now the norm.
So, short of upping sticks to the skin-friendly greenbelt, though we are very tempted, here are the products that might just save your skin.