Calling out to all Londoners here - have you ever blown your nose on the tube or in central London and been horrified to see a black substance on the tissue? This is pollution! More collects in our noses which are designed to barricade pollution from reaching our lungs. What you might not be so aware of, however, is this pollution on your skin. While it doesn’t collect in such a high concentration as the nose, it still has a negative affect on your skin.
The main pollutants we come into contact with are toxic particles, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from cars. Other pollutants from heating and transportation sources are exposed to solar rays and heat, exacerbating their effect on our skin. It’s also interesting to know that pollution changes depending on the time of year. When it’s cold, for example, our heating systems pump out pollutants, then when the temperature rises, the vapour reacts with different pollutants to create smog.
But why is this bad for our skin?
Toxins block pores and prevents oxygenation in our skin. This suffocates skin, causing it to have a dull appearance and encourage blemishes. It can also accelerate the ageing of skin and wears down its natural protective barrier, causing it to be more reactive to your surroundings and pollution.
Blackheads, pimples and hyperpigmentation are also a result of pollution, as well as dehydration, dryness and dilated pores.
So what can you do to protect your skin against pollution?
- Remove your makeup and cleanse at the end of the day with an organic and natural cleanser. This will get rid of as many pollutants as possible from the day.
- Exfoliate your skin 1-2 times a week. This not only helps remove dead skin cells, but prevents pollutants, dirt and bacteria from building up.
- Moisturise your skin morning and night. This helps to rebalance your skin’s moisture levels to re-establish its natural barrier.
- Apply sun cream daily. UV rays are harmful to the skin, but also amplify the effect of pollutants. By applying sun cream every morning (even in the winter!) will help reduce their affects on your skin.
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. This will help restore your skin's protective layer and promote healthy tissue.
- Last but not least, invest in an organic protective oil. Our favourite is the NINI Organics Natura Detox Oil. Our friends at NINI Organics have created a delicious detoxicating facial oil that will not only help clear your skin from pollution, but will also help protect throughout the day. Apply under your makeup!