Shield your skin from the ravages of city life with our expert guide to anti-pollution skincare
Words Clinical Facialist Kate Kerr, Director of Kate Kerr London
City dwellers are subject to a host of nasties on a daily basis. Because of this we need to actively protect our skin from toxins within polluted environments. It’s important that we remove these toxins from the surface of the skin to prevent free radical damage. This can lead to the breakdown of healthy collagen, and ultimately premature ageing.
Here are my top tips for protecting the skin from the ravages of city life…
WHAT TO DO
Use antioxidants everyday to neutralise free radicals and prevent the breakdown of collagen. It is best to use a combination of different antioxidants in a serum-based formula to help prevent oxidative damage in the skin. L-ascorbic acid (Vit C), glutathione, Vitamin E, Phloretin, Ferulic acid and Resveratrol are very effective.
To remove impurities and to speed up cell turnover look out for products containing acids such as glycolic, lactic or salicylic. Salicylic Acid is key as it deeply cleanses whilst killing bacteria and providing an anti-inflammatory action.
It is imperative to remove make-up every evening. Pollution sticks to foundation and causes oxidative damage whilst our skin should be repairing.
DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE
Your hands pick up so much bacteria throughout the day from public transport to your phone or keyboard. If you have to touch your face, use the back of the hand, which is likely to have fewer germs than your fingertips.
USE AN SPF WITH HEV FILTERS
The reflection of light from our phones and HEV light can be damaging to skin. New sunscreens contain filters to screen this type of light and keep skin protected.
INVEST IN PROFESSIONAL FACIALS
Get into the habit of having a professional facial at least once a skin cycle – so every six weeks. Deep Cleansing facials that incorporate lots of antioxidants are key for city skin. Incorporating red LED light into your treatment is also beneficial. Red LED light increases the energy within the skin which wakes up cell processes. It also counteracts MMP-1, the enzyme that breaks down collagen.