Pollution is one of the biggest triggers of early ageing, alongside UV, as it causes our body to produce free radicals, which speed up the ageing process. Pollution particles are so tiny in size, that’s why they are able to be absorbed into the skin so easily. It accumulates from the environment, more so in city areas, creating a sticky film on the skin that can lead to a cascade of problems such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and pigmentation.
There are many ingredients in skincare out there that you can look for to protect yourself from these damaging effects, alongside with a consistent skincare regime. The leading ingredients being antioxidants. Antioxidants provide for the skin by helping to limit the free radical production, which most commonly is known to lead to sun spots, premature skin ageing, inflammation and pigmentation. There is a variety of antioxidants available on the market, ranging from ones that provide the skin with hydration and increase moisture retention, to those that help defend and fight these natural processes which are accelerated by our environment. There are antioxidants available that can help prevent sunburn, help prevent skin cancer, brighten the skin and many other beneficial properties. Our key favourites to look out for are Vitamin C, Matcha Green Tea and Flavonoids.
Other ingredients that are effective in protecting and defending the skin from pollution are Activated Charcoal and SPF. By protecting yourself in the day from UV with SPF, you are also forming a shield on your skin to protect it from any damage that the environment and pollution may cause. Look for Activated Charcoal in cleansers or exfoliators, this is an amazing ingredient for helping to purify the skin and get rid of any excess dirt and bacteria on the skin.
And finally, the most important part. Make sure you maintain a good, consistent skincare routine to ensure you are caring for your skin the best you can. If you don't already, start double cleansing. We like to think of double cleansing like when you go to the hairdressers and they always wash your hair twice. The first wash is going to get rid of any dirt and debris sitting in the hair, and the second wash is going to allow the shampoo to work a lot deeper into the hair and deliver a much healthier, cleaner hair. It works the same with your skin, the first cleanse is going to remove any makeup, dirt and debris, and the second cleanse is going to allow your cleanser to work a lot deeper and deliver a much cleaner, brighter appearance. By doing a double cleanse as your first step in your routine, you are going to ensure there is no dirt or makeup left on the skin and give you the perfect base for the rest of your skincare products.