How to protect your skin from the harmful effects of pollution

Pollution is partly responsible for premature skin ageing! So here are some handy tips to protect your skin from its toxic effects.

Mount an anti-pollution defence

The carbon monoxide produced by pollution kills our skin: it prevents it from breathing, leaving it to suffocate. Our skin's metabolism slows down and it quickly shows - dull complexion, dry skin, lines... It also clogs our pores, leaving the door open to blemishes and bumpy, uneven skin. The effects of pollution on skin is the same as with the sun. Our skin becomes repeatedly inflamed and, after a while, is unable to repair itself. It has a hard time regenerating and prematurely ages. So first plan of attack is to pump your skin full of antioxidants including vitamins C and E, ferulic acid and resveratrol. Whether in an anti-ageing cream or nutritional supplements, the idea is to kill off any skin-damaging free radicals.

Protect your skin

To protect your skin from the effects of pollution, you should start by protecting it from the sun! UV rays prevent the dermis from naturally producing vitamins, meaning it can't effectively deal with oxidative stress. So we need to nip UV-related oxidation in the bud. The golden rule? Apply a sunscreen, particularly on smoggy days. Sunscreens reinforce our skin's natural barrier and prevent pigment spots from appearing. You can opt for a BB cream that contains an SPF or go for a classic sunscreen that should be applied daily.

Soothe irritated skin

Pollution contains sulphur dioxide, which damages our skin's hydrolipidic film. We get hypersensitive,allergy-prone and irritated skin The damaging effects of sulphur dioxide are increased by ozone. When combined, they cause inflammatory conditions that need treating. Red patches, sensitivity to temperature changes, sleep/stress related problems, acne, eczema, psoriasis - all of these can be made worse by pollution. So we need to adopt a beauty routine that leaves our skin with a protective barrier designed to trap pollutants, rather than letting them stick to our skin. These soothing treatments should be applied after your serum or used as a pre-make up primer.

Get rid of grime

A good nightly cleanse will deal with any built-up grime. The idea is to remove pollutants that have clogged up your pores. It's the only sure-fire way to keep your complexion as naturally flawless as possible. Gently massage on a cleansing lotion, oil or cream with a cotton pad or your fingertip. And keep cleansing until all traces of dirt have gone. If you have oily skin, apply a gel once or twice a week to gently strip away any impurities.