We are all diligent with our SPF, applying first thing in the morning and re-applying every two hours. We know how important it is to protect our skin against UV rays, but what you may have not considered, is the damaging effect that pollution can have on skin.Urban dust
and exhaust fumes
all contribute to the harmful, damaging and skin-irritating pollutants. Of course this makes city-dwellers more likely to be exposed to this type of skin-irritant. However, we will all at some point come into contact with pollution and continued exposure can have some less than pleasing effects on skin.Pollution causes skin to produce more sebum, aggravates dehydration, reduces skin's natural antioxidant defences and weakens its defensive barrier.
Frighteningly, pollution is not just a concern when in the middle of a bustling city. Pollution comes in many forms, including infrared radiation (IR) and high energy visible (HEV) blue light that can be emitted from laptop and smart phone screens. Fear not! As modern life has rapidly progressed, so has the incredible skincare technology that allows you to protect your skin against these external aggressors.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are derived from normal and essential metabolic processes in the human body such as exercise and inflammation. But free radicals can also come from pollutants such as cigarette smoke, smog, exhaust fumes and more. Bear with us whilst we get a little bit science-y for a moment! Free radicals are uncharged molecules that are missing an electron. They penetrate the layers of skin and take electrons, which then damage skin DNA and trigger the accelerated ageing process.
How can I prevent free radical damage?
Antioxidants are key in the prevention of free radical damage. They essentially provide free radicals with the additional electrons they are searching for, which neutralises the free radical and therefore avoids damage to skin DNA.
What are antioxidants?
There are millions of different antioxidants that offer a multitude of skin benefits such as:
- Pollution defence
- Skin firming
- Complexion brightening
- Skin soothing
- Fight ageing
Our bodies are clever enough to produce their own supply of antioxidants, however as we age, the antioxidants aren't quite quick enough at neutralising the skin-damaging free radicals, causing wrinkles and collagen depletion. That's where topical antioxidants come into use. Here's just a small selection of some of our favourite antioxidants.
Antioxidants work better together. They support each other and improve the free radical-fighting effects. Mesoestetic AOX Ferulic contains 15% Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
0.5% Ferulic acid
and a 1.5% Vitamin E
/peptide complex.This state-of-the-art, powerful anti-ageing treatment protects fibroblasts and improves the synthesis of collagen in the skin. Skin is protected from the damaging effects of photoaging and the high concentration of antioxidants helps to improve skin's barrier function.
The entire Oskia CityLife range
is tailored to fighting environmental aggressors and has been formulated and clinically tested to target specific pollutants and protect the skin from day-to-day exposure.
Our favourite product from the range is the Oskia CityLife Facial Mist
, which contains a micro-encapsulated blend of Astaxanthin & Malachite, EUK-134, Co-Enzyme Q10, Vitamin C & B3, O3 Yeast Lysate, Smithsonite & Camellia Japonica
. This long list of antioxidants works together to fight pollutants and premature skin ageing. Added low molecular weight hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates and plumps the skin while niacinamide and Vitamin C brighten and refresh the complexion.It's perfect for on-the-go spritzing to revive skin, set makeup and protect skin from harmful pollutants.
A classic antioxidant in the form of Vitamin C
, in a next generation rubber face mask! This innovative mask is mixed together and applied as a paste, as it firms to the contours of the face, an airtight barrier is created to deliver potent natural actives and vital nutrients for replenished and re-energised skin.Wintered red algae provide continuous moisture deep into the dermal layer, helping to support natural collagen production. Arctic Cloudberry Seed Oil strengthens the skin barrier to boost elasticity with a complex blend of essential fatty acids, antioxidants and plant sterols.
This spray is another quick and easy way to protect skin against harmful pollutants. Institut Esthederm City Protect Spray strengthens skin's natural defences and protects it from harmful environmental factors and photo-ageing so that skin is able to optimise its vital functions and stay looking beautiful for longer.Apply to the face and dÃ©colletÃ© as the last step of your beauty routine, before leaving home and skin will be protected from environmental and urban stress.
This light gel serum helps to combat free radicals and improve skin's hydration with instant and long-term antioxidant effects. Turmeric
helps to protect skin against UV rays and reduces inflammation, whilst Vitamin E
fights damaging free radicals. Microalgae cell culture reinforces skin's antioxidant capacity, helping to deliver powerful antioxidants and super hydration.Not sure where to start? Speak to our skin experts who will be able to help you find the right antioxidant for your skin. Call 0113 282 7744 or shop online now.Written for you by: Alex, Face the FutureImage source: unsplash.com