Beauty Necessities to Fight Off Pollution
How do you treat your face? There are certain things we know we need to stay away from, but unfortunately, we can’t run away from the air and the pollution it circulates.
Fresh air is great until it gets clouded with pollutants. There are few places left untouched by men. So, wherever there are people there are bound to be a few unfriendly particles in the air; however, some places are better than most.
Moving from Florida to China was not only a culture shock, but a skin shock. In the sunshine state, I was used to mostly tropical weather with clear air and the perfect petrichor. When my face got a knock of the Shanghai air, it was like “wait!” It immediately reacted with rashes, acne, and dryness; which, led to blemishes and scaring. How could I get around this bustling city with my face reacting to everything?
There is no getting used to polluted air, but there is working around and trying to beat it. To do this, I had to revamp my vanity set and stock up on some new products that would help my skin fight off the bad air. In past posts, you will find that I follow the Korean 7-step face care routine. I did not throw this out the window. Instead to battle the polluted air, I had to revisit product types and ingredients.
The Product Types
Micellar water is nothing new. You can find it across brands from online stores to drugstores. However, it was new to me because I had not really had a need for it—until now. I can’t get enough either. Good for all skin types, micellar water contains micelles (oil molecules) that lift dirt, oil build up and makeup, while hydrating and nourishing skin. This is great for quickly drawing out impurities of air pollutants.
Yes, you can use oil to cleanse! After slowly warming up to it, I live by it now. Oil cleansers draw out impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils and leaving it feeling dry. With air pollution setting my skin out of whack, oil cleansing helps balance my skin, dissolving oils hardened with impurities and cleaning out clogged pores. At the same time, natural oils used leave skin nourished and moisturized.
Who isn’t masking now?! It has become a lot more fun with bubbles, magnets and glitter. There are various clay masks for your skin needs and types. They are essential for detoxifying skin, absorbing impurities and minimizing pores. As my skin reddens easily and is sensitive, I usually go with the gentler kaolin clay. The key here is, of course, to not let the clay dry completely on your face.
Drink it. Use it in your facial products. Green tea can be utilized in every face care step from cleansing all the way to moisturizing. Depending on the type of product, green tea works well as an exfoliant, toner, and complexion improver. The polyphenols in green tea help neutralize free radicals that harm skin and accelerate aging.
A fairly new product ingredient hailing from Jeju Island, bija is great for trouble skin (which inevitably happens in polluted areas). Bija protects skin from environmental irritants and reduces skin inflammation.
What can rice not be used for? Use it in oil or foam cleansing, water rinses, toning and masking. The starch in rice is where you’ll get all the benefits: soothing, cooling, moisturizing, healing, tightening pores, cleaning out impurities, clarifying skin, brightening dark spots, and antioxidants.
Not as popularly used, green barely is actually great for improving skin tone and elasticity. The same green barely you use for good digestion and nutrition, works wonders detoxifying and healing skin, and regenerating damaged cells.
These products are helping my skin do a 180° from my arrival date. Keep in mind to find the product that works best for your skin type and environment. Before settling on any of these ingredients, brands, and products, I had to try my hand at a few. Discover what treats your skin and keeps it glowing.