Properly taking care of your skin each day — and countering the possible effects of pollution — is quick, affordable and easy to do. So why do so many people forgo that step in their daily routines?
Unfortunately, everyday pollution and UV rays can easily wreak havoc on your skin, so it’s essential to develop a proper skincare routine to combat these effects.
Without a regular skincare routine, you’re also more apt to deal with dryness, irritation, acne, accelerated ageing, hyper pigmentation, dullness and other unwanted attributes that can result from the air quality.
“Forming good skincare habits is not complicated, and it can pay off significantly in terms of your health and appearance,” notes board-certified US based dermatologist Dr Michelle Henry. “It’s never too late to begin a daily skincare routine that offers the best possible protection against unhealthy elements in our environment.”
Consider adopting these five habits that will keep your skin glowing and protected from all that it encounters.
1 Use an effective sunscreen every day
Apply a product that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant and provides broad-spectrum coverage so it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply it throughout the day as needed. Henry points to studies indicating pollution may worsen the effects of UV and increase the risk of skin cancer.
2 Wash twice daily with a quality cleanser
Choosing the right product is key. Use hydrating facial cleanser or foaming facial cleanser, which are gentle on skin and deeply cleanse to remove dirt, oil and residue that build up throughout the day, helping to counteract the harmful effects of pollution and leaving skin hydrated.
3 Send linens through the laundry
Ideally, towels and washcloths should be washed in hot water after one use, and pillowcases should be washed or changed multiple times per week. While this may seem nearly impossible, frequently changing or washing pillowcases will help to keep dirt, oil and dead skin cells from building up and seeping into skin night after night.
4 Eat an optimal diet
Henry suggests eating a diet rich in antioxidants, which may help protect skin, pointing to foods such as carrots, apricots, spinach, tomatoes, berries, beans, peas, lentils, salmon, and nuts. Conversely, diets high in processed or refined sugars or other carbohydrates and unhealthy fats may promote skin ageing.
5 Get moving
Ever notice how your skin glows after a good workout? Physical activity promotes circulation, which carries oxygen and nutrients that nourish skin cells. Increased blood flow also helps whisk away waste products like free radicals from your cells. Further, exercise can reduce stress that may adversely affect your skin.
Taking a few minutes each day to care for your skin is well worth your while, especially when it comes to combating the effects of pollutants encountered daily.