Thursday 7 September 2017

Let's Talk... Pollution

If you're a city bitch like me, you'll know a thing or two about pollution. However you may be surprised to know that traffic pollution alone is one of the single most toxic substances for skin...

Air pollution includes tiny particles called PMs, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PMs are the biggest problem for skin as they increase age spots and wrinkles. However NO2 has also been found to increase the ageing process, with studies showing that age spots can be increased by a whopping 25% with only a relatively small increase in pollution (and by relatively small I'm talking 10 microgrammes of NO2 per cubic metre). Many cities in the UK have been found to have illegally high levels of NO2, with London breaking its annual limit in the first week of 2017!! Lord knows what the levels are in similar cities like New York, Hong Kong and Paris.

Luckily, recent (scary) findings into the effects pollution has on skin caused many beauty brands to start creating products that help fight against environmental damage.

One of my favourites is the Aenea Skin Anti-Pollution Guardian (£150, a water based serum that strengthens your DNA repair mechanisms to increase skin's tolerance to UV light and pollution. In addition to protecting the skin, the luxe Anti-Pollution Guardian provides instant, long-lasting hydration, reduces inflammation and smooths skin. Only the tiniest amount of product is needed to cover the entire face and neck and it absorbs instantly, leaving nothing behind.

Another great skin protector is the Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart Double Action Detox Peel Off Mask (£60.00 / $78.00, which delivers immediate and long-lasting results. The easy-to-peel-off mask helps remove skin impurities caused by pollution and promotes the skin's natural detoxification system. It's as easy to apply as it is to remove and, after using this miracle mask on the regular, my skin has become healthier and brighter.

To ensure your body is also protected from pollution, I recommend getting acquainted with the Sanex Zero% Anti-Pollution Face & Body Cleansing Gel (£2.29 Boots). Perfect for those with even the most sensitive skin, this Sanex body wash gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin to remove those nasty particles caused by environmental pollution. It smells amazing, rinses away perfectly and keeps skin healthy.

When it comes to protecting your hair from pollution, look no further than Noughty, a 97% natural haircare brand that is free from petrochemicals, parabens, sulphates and silicones. Noughty's Detox Dynamo (£6.99 Superdrug) is a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner that fights the effects of pollution and product build-up. It applies and rinses out easily, leaves hair uber lightweight and clean and smells so good I want to eat it each time I wash my hair.

If you're looking for the perfect all-round protector, I recommend the Institut Esthederm City Protect Spray (£35.00 It is designed to combat urban stress and environmental aging factors by protecting and improving skin's natural resistance to outside exposure and pollution. It is an ultra-fine mist that sprays delicately and evening across the face, body and hair. It applies to large areas incredibly quickly, so you can have your whole body protected in less than a minute. It smells gorgeous and feels beautiful on the skin.

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