Suddenly, everybody is talking about nitrogen dioxide and free radicals in the air and the direct effect it has on our skin. I, for one work in the City of London where the air is thick with harmful pollutants and I do worry about the how it can have a significant impact on my skin, not just on the surface.
The tipping point was in January 2017, when pollution readings taken from Brixton, Oxford Circus, Kings Road, Chelsea and Kensington High Street showed that nitrogen dioxide levels had breached the EU annual limit for an entire year - in just five days. Since then, MP's called the crisis a "public health emergency" whilst the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Paediatrics have reported around 40,000 deaths each year are due to the exposure of pollution.
Something that is becoming harder to miss is the effect it is having on our skin, although pollution particles cannot be seen or smelt, women living in urban and built-up areas are seeing more visible signs of ageing, higher rates of dark spots, pigmentation, imbalance in pH levels and adult acne. According to the Journal of Dermatology, environmental pollutants increase age spots by 25% around the cheek area as a direct result of nitrogen dioxide concentrations. So with all this bad news in mind, we now know that air pollutants can deplete antioxidant defences and perhaps even degrade proteins in the skin.
While politicians debate and universities research about how to clean up the air, there are some everyday simple things we can do to protect ourselves, on the surface and from within. Here's our breakdown of treatments and products available to help defend your skin against the baddies in the air.
Antioxidant Defence Serum by NeoStrata
- Concentrated SynerG Formula containing 8 powerful multi action antioxidants is designed to combat oxidative damage and protect the skin from premature ageing
- Patented Bionic and Polyhydroxy Acids trap oxidation promoting metals and help prevent sun-induced cellular damage
- Citric Acid, Lilac, Green Tea, and Chardonnay Grape Seed Extracts work together to neutralise free radicals and help preserve healthy DNA, lipids, and cellular membranes.
Antioxidant Booster Serum by Intraceuticals
- Revitalises and balances dull, stressed skin with exceptionally powerful natural antioxidants sourced from the Australian Rainforest.
- Clarifies and refines the appearance of skin prone to blemishes, visible pores, sun damage, uneven texture or deep wrinkles.
- As a booster serum, it can be used in conjunction with your own daily serum or as a stand alone. It's also very pocket friendly.
Glutathione supplements or intramuscular shots
- This works from the inside, if you're taking injections you'll only need it once fortnightly/monthly depending on what your practitioner tells you. Or opt for supplements.
- Plays an important role in detoxification reactions, protecting the cells from harmful effects of unwanted chemical substances, such as free radicals.
- With high cysteine concentrations in the cells, explaining the protective effect against unwanted foreign chemical substances.
- It helps with cell growth, wound healing and immune function.
- Plays pac man and eats up free radicals which are created during exposure to hot and cold environmental temperatures and UV light from the sun or toxicity. There are others factors such as exhaust fumes, pollutants for those in the City and for those who travel a lot by trains or planes where cabin fever can effect the air (re-circulated air).
Harpal skinCity Detox Lymphatic Facial 30 & 60 minutes
- The lymphatic system is designed to remove waste products and toxins in the body.
- We use a lymphatic drainage suction devise to draw out impurities.
- Deep cleanse, steam, extraction and mask with the full hour facial.
- Your therapist will even show you the suction devise at the end to prove how much grime can build up in your pores! This is a very satisfying facial, consider your skin well and truly cleansed.
Heliocare 360 Fluid Cream SPF 50+
- Protect, protect, protect with spf
- Very high photoimmunoprotection with an innovative ulra-light fluid cream texture.
- Its exclusive combination of advance filters and BioShield System provides broad spectrum protection against UVA, UVB, IR-A and Visible Light.
- Enriched with Fernblock FC for powerful antioxidant activity, and actives which repair sun damage. Suitable for all skin types, with a soft, invisible skin-feel.
NeoStrata Resurface Ultra Daytime Smoothing Cream SPF15 10 AHA
- Correct the visual signs of photo-ageing and prevent future damage with a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen in this antioxidant-rich day cream.
- Ideal daytime exfoliating moisturiser helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- It contains three potent antioxidants, including MMP inhibitor Lactobionic Acid, plus broad spectrum sunscreen, to help preserve collagen and maximise protection against oxidative damage. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) exfoliate to visibly smooth skin.
Intraceuticals Bespoke Facial with Antioxidant Booster
- There is no greater satisfaction than having serum sprayed onto your face with pure oxygen, truly the essence of a city smart facial. The Antioxidant Booster will bubble wrap your face against the elements, smooth, brighten, refine.
- Low molecular hyaluronic acid is infused with an antioxidant booster to leave you looking and feeling clean and radiant for up to a week.