How to pollution-proof your skincare routine

Arm your skin against irritants!

03 July, 2024
How to pollution-proof your skincare routine

You don’t need us to tell you that we are living in grievous environmental conditions. And while organizations and various courageous people are fighting global warming and pollution on a global scale, you need to take a moment to think about how it impacts you and your health. Today, we are discussing one such factor—pollution and skin.

Stepping out means dealing with smog, dust and a thousand different types of skin pollutants. They strip our skin of its moisture and the irritants bury themselves into our pores leading to breakouts, dullness and premature ageing.  It’s impossible to avoid them all. Whether you see the damaging effects immediately or over time, there is no denying that our skin can’t withstand it all without protection. And that is where we come in. 

We’ve rounded up a few guidelines you can use to defend your skin against pollution and keep nourished and happy. 

Double cleanse 

If you think simply washing your face with water and your trusted fash wash is enough, think again. No matter how much you switch up your skincare routine and play around with it, there is no alternative to double cleansing. This technique may have started out as a trend but do it regularly and you’ll it’s magic. It deep dives into your pores and cleans out all the gunk in there and on the surface of your skin leaving it squeaky clean but not overly dry. 

Start with an oil-or-gel-based cleanser to break down your day’s makeup, SPF and other pollutants. And then follow it up with a gentle cleanser. Rinse and repeat every night.  

 Apply and reapply SPF  

SPF is your skin’s best friend. No matter how many times we say this, it’s not enough. You have to apply and then reapply sunscreen every few hours. The reason is simple—the rays of the sun are your skin’s archnemesis. From hyperpigmentation to premature ageing, its harmful rays do more damage to our skin than we realise. And the pollutants in the air, as you can imagine, only make matters worse. Hence, sunscreen is not optional. When you are shopping for one, look for a broad-spectrum product that has an SPF of at least 30 and protects against UVA and UVB rays. 

Pay attention to the ingredients you use  

If anyone ever decides to print a skincare manual, this needs to be one of the rules. Most of us don’t generally pay attention to what is in the products we are using. But when you’re aim is to arm your skin against pollution (as it should be), reading labels is crucial. 

You want to pick products that are rich in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E to neutralise free radicals that are generated by pollution and prevent them from damaging our skin cells and causing premature ageing. Since pollution can strip your moisture barrier, also look for ingredients such as ceramides,  hyaluronic acid and centella asiatica that can lock in the moisture in your skin and strengthen your barrier. 

Exfoliate regularly but don’t overdo it   

Sometimes, we overlook the importance of a good exfoliation. But when it comes to pollution-proofing your skincare routine, this is a must-have step in your weekly session. A lot of the time, dead skin cells trap irritants and pollutants in our pores which then lead to a host of skincare concerns. Exfoliation deep cleanses your pores and gets rid of all these impurities, allowing your skin to breathe again.  

Consistency is key  

If you’re expecting that your skin will become pollution-resistant just by following these steps once, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. However, if you keep at it and religiously focus on keeping all irritants and pollutants at bay, you will be rewarded with glowing, nourished and healthy skin. 

Feature image: Pexels 

Also read: What kind of water should you wash your face with?

Also read: This National Sunscreen Day, make these sunscreens your skin's BFF