Living in the city has its perks. For one, there’s a restaurant for every craving, convenient public transport, endless entertainment options, quality shopping, specialist medical care and great career opportunities. But city living takes its toll on your skin.
In metropolitan areas, the pollution index can reach 1000, which is 50 times higher than the World Health Organisation’s recommended levels. This can cause dryness and dark spots, and speed up the skin’s natural ageing processes.
The pollutants you see with the naked eye aren’t the worst culprits — it’s the microscopic particles that penetrate deeply into your skin that cause the problem, like the ones delivered from the hundreds of thousands of cars that drive around the city every day. These pollutants adhere to pollens in the air and become even more allergenic when they get into your skin. Oxidation happens, and toxin production increases, causing free radicals to run amok, damaging skin elasticity. The skin, unable to hold water and fight ageing, starts to look tired, dry and dull.
Your skin is home to a variety of different microbial species, which keeps the integrity of skin intact and prevents infections. Unfortunately, the city environment creates a “fragile microbiome”, leading to wrinkles, rough patches of skin, blood vessel damage and skin problems including dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff and acne.
Without intervention, pollution breaks downs collagen and the lipid layer in the skin, which weakens your skin’s natural barrier. Cleanse properly, however, and use antioxidants every day, and the effect your routine has on your skin can be extremely positive.
Washing your face each day is an absolute must. And at night, you’ll need to remove as much pollution as you can, without scrubbing or being too rough on the skin. Soak a cotton bud in your toner and wipe it across your skin, lifting off any debris that may be left behind. You can then apply su:m37 Water-full Timeless Water Gel Cream, which delivers fermented Rose of Jericho and ceramide cream deep into the skin for firming effects.
When pollutants get into your skin, they create highly-unstable molecules (free radicals) that have unpaired electrons. These molecules bounce in a quest to latch onto an electron from a healthy cell, thereby injuring it. The molecules literally poke holes in your quality collagen, which is what gives your skin its firmness. The more destruction that goes on in your skin, the more fine lines and hyperpigmentation appear. Even worse, these molecules can cause DNA damage and cell mutation, which can lead to cancer.
Luckily, antioxidants found in su:m37 Water-full Range range donate electrons that neutralise these molecules, stopping them in their tracks. Take su:m37 Water-full Radiant Hydrating Glow Cream, for example. Made with Bamboo sap and Aquafirm™, this fermented skin care product is loaded with natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients that increase cell turnover and slow down the ageing process of the skin. It provides intense moisturisation and strengthens moisturising proteins found in skin cells, so that your skin can retain moisture better. And contrary to the belief that deep hydrating products can be heavy, su:m37 Water-full products are lightweight and ideal for both oily and combination skin.
Sunscreen is not just something for a sunny day. Even on cold, cloudy days, UV rays can damage your skin. This is just another effect of city pollutants — they are gradually eating away at the ozone layer, exposing us to more harmful rays.
If you have hyperpigmentation or inflammation, allowing UV rays into your skin will make your skin condition worse. UV rays are accelerants for skin conditions such as these, so ensure you protect yourself at all times when out and about. Apply an SPF that’s 30+ and look for one that’s packed with antioxidants to boost your skin’s pollution-fighting powers. Even better, apply su:m37 Sun-away Cooling Sun CC EX with SPF50+, and benefit from base makeup that is light as air and long-lasting.
When you look at city skin versus rural skin, it may be difficult to notice the immediate difference. This is largely because city people are better at using UV protection than those in the country, and generally earn more – meaning they are prepared to spend more money on products that can reverse the signs of ageing. Get slack in your skincare routine though, and you’ll soon notice the difference.
When you live in the city, you need skin care products that reinforce the skin’s natural ability to regenerate and eliminate toxins. You also need skin care that can block the entry of those pesky fine particles by providing a protective layer on the skin.
What you don’t want are products that are loaded with preservatives, artificial colour and fragrance, as this will only add to your skin dramas. The key is to enhance your skin’s natural ability to maintain wonderful, glowing skin, which is why you should opt for su:m37 fermented skin care.