Our skin is bombarded with pollutants each day; from smog and trace chemicals in the air to even construction dust and dust in your home.
Don’t be fooled by thinking that your heating and air-conditioning system is generating clean air. The air ducts and filters in your home cannot completely filter out all contaminants and pollutants. And, they may actually contain higher levels of dust than the outside.
Our skin is constantly battling the free radicals that contaminants and pollutants generate. Free radicals are molecules that cause premature aging of the skin. These pollutants can even cause chronic skin issues to flare up such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne.
It is vital to pursue healthy skincare habits and use techniques that help our skin in fighting against these irritants. Following a good skincare routine can keep your skin looking healthier and slow the aging process.
Here are a few good skincare basics and powerful products that I use to protect my skin:
- Daily cleansing of the face with an appropriate cleanser that’s specific to your skin. I have facial eczema and am acne-prone. So, I use a gentle foaming cleanser twice daily. If you have drier or more mature skin, a hydrating cleanser would be the optimal choice. Acne-prone skin types should use a foaming cleanser with salicylic acid or a cleanser with beads that lightly exfoliate such as ZO Skin Health’s exfoliating cleanser.
- Use skincare products that have an active antioxidant as its principal ingredient. The most powerful and effective antioxidant-rich skincare products are from Skinceuticals, the pioneers in antioxidant formulations. Their CE Ferulic serum is consistently mentioned by skincare experts to assist your skin in fighting off pollutants and increasing collagen production. CE Ferulic consists of a blend of a 12% vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid which restores the skin’s integrity and boosts antioxidant function. And, it’s best for normal to dry skin types.
- Another powerful skincare product is Skinceuticals’s Phloretin CF. This product is made up of a potent antioxidant, phloretin. It can improve uneven skin tone as well as help vitamin C and ferulic acid to penetrate deeper into the skin. Phloretin CF is best for oily skin types, as it does not contain an oil blend like CE Ferulic does. I use this product every morning after my toner and before my other skincare.
- Finally, proper exfoliation is key to removing surface skin cells that have been damaged by outdoor and indoor pollutants. A scrub type exfoliant is best for the purpose, rather than a glycolic acid. A scrub allows your skin to optimally absorb other products in your routine. I like to say, “using your products without exfoliating is like watering a dead plant”. Products are not able to penetrate and do what they are designed to do when there is a layer of useless cells covering your skin, thus rendering these products ineffective. That’s a great reason to incorporate exfoliation into your routine at least once a week.
- And…Let’s not forget sun protection! Always use an SPF of 30+ when going outdoors and apply regularly.