Expert Advice

Skin Health: How to protect your skin against pollution

With Oxford Street reaching its annual pollution limit less than a month into the new year, it’s hardly surprising that we’re looking into how to protect our skin from pollution. It’s not just effecting the planet, it’s effecting our skin too, contributing to uneven skin tone and accelerating the ageing process.  As part of our #skinhealth campaign, we’ve made it our mission to investigate how pollution effects the skin and show you how you can protect it from free radicals and environmental aggressors with anti-pollution skincare.

A landmark study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology compared women living in urban and rural environments over 24 years. The study found that those who were exposed to pollution had more dark spots and wrinkling.

Speaking to Self, David Banek, M.D, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City said: “The sun isn’t the only villain, now we know how damaging pollution really is.”

How does pollution actually damage the skin?

Pollution attacks the collagen and lipid layers of the skin, impairing skin barrier functions. Traffic pollution has been proven as the most toxic pollutant for the skin – so it’s more important than ever that we keep our skin protected.

How to protect my skin from pollution?

The good news is simple changes to your skincare routine can have a massive impact on the condition of your skin. Skincare brands such as Ren and Murad are experts when it comes to helping city slickers tackle their environmental skincare problems.

That’s why the brand has curated a ‘anti- pollution’ routine that will defend your skin against whatever life throws at you.

Because your skin goes through as much in a day as you do

Beauty Expert

Step One: Cleanse 

This sounds simple, we all know we need to cleanse right? But the truth is, many of us don’t do it that well. Washing your face thoroughly is a critical step in the reducing the damage caused by pollutants which gather on the skin throughout the day.

We recommend: Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk

This gentle cleansing milk soothes irritated skin whilst eliminating environmental aggressors and increasing the skin’s resistance. Fennel Seed Extract de-stresses skin by neutralising harmful pollution particles and protecting against the oxidative damage that causes premature ageing. Omega 3 and 7 calm, soothe and boost skin’s lipid content, restoring its natural barrier function and preventing it from becoming dry and tight.

Step Two: Moisturise

Studies have shown that people who live in polluted areas have significantly lower levels of skin hydration, resulting in a breakdown of the skin’s natural barrier. In order to keep the natural barrier function high, the skin needs to maintain at its optimum hydration level as well as being protected against environmental elements.

We recommend: Ren Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream

Made for skin that is worn out by city life, this Global Protection Day Cream has been formulated with your skin’s health in mind. This rejuvenating moisturiser smooths and replenishes the skin all whilst leaving it protected from environmental aggressors. Packed with Omega 3 and 7 oils, it works hard to repair damage to delicate skin and fights oxidants to protect the skin from UV damage and inflammation.

Step Three: Top Up Protection

Your skin doesn’t just need protecting at the beginning of the day. Make sure you are ready to defend your complexion wherever you are with the Ren Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist. Packed with key bio extracts, the defending mist forms a non-sticky invisible barrier against pollution that stimulates natural anti-oxidant defence. The ideal handbag essential, spray the mist with eyes closed over the entire face, neck and décolleté and reapply throughout the day.

Have you got any more tips for us on how to protect our skin from pollution?

Share your favourite anti-pollution skincare with us on Twitter @BeautyExpertCom

View the entire #SkinHealth campaign.



Writer and expert