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Skin versus city life: 7 ways to protect skin from air pollution

Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
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Our hectic lifestyles combined with an ever increasing rise in damaging air pollutants is causing havoc with our beauty regimes. Smog, dirt, dust and toxins are causing skin to age prematurely and cause dehydration. Free radicals infiltrate into the deeper layers of the skin, which can also lead to the loss of elasticity and firmness. Here are seven simple beauty tips which will help you revive any tired-looking skin, giving it the extra boost it really needs:

1. Apply SPF (Sun Protection Factor) moisturiserEven though sunscreen alone won't protect the skin from all pollution damage, creams with SPF15 contains multi-vitamins and will help make the appearance look more young and beautiful whilst protecting it against the impact of an urban environment. Senior Scientist Dr. Frauke Neuser said: "This new evidence shows that it is vital for skincare today to incorporate pollution-fighting, barrier building ingredients. One of our essential skincare ingredients, niacinamide (a form of vitamin b3), restores and strengthens the skin's protective barrier, whilst improving skin hydration and promoting skin surface exfoliation."Try Olay Total Effects Day Moisturiser

2. Remove makeup and all the intermingled pollutionAlthough many of us like to use face wipes after a long day at work, cleansers are definitely encouraged – they are so effective and can also contribute to repairing the external skin barrier. Toners will also ensure the cleansing process is complete but again without disrupting key surface skin barrier lipids.Try Epionce Gentle Foaming Cleanser (

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Purify your skin with a good scrub

3. Purify with a good scrubPollution can clog skin and stressful city life can cause breakouts. For a deep clean, a decent scrub can actively fight spots, prevent blockages of the sebaceous gland and reduce inflammation.Try Manuka Doctor's ApiClear Purifying Facial Scrub

4. Take care of you hairWith hectic lifestyles and for women living in urban areas especially, the deposits of air pollutants on hair is a key contributing factor to hair quickly feeling and looking dirty and greasy – something associated with decreased shine and instead leaving locks lank and limp. Ben Cooke, Herbal Essences Ambassador says: "For hair, we all know it's important to keep it clean and refreshed – but sometimes we forget about how much it goes through each and every day. Pollution and weather on top of hair styling can make hair feel like it needs a detox, even after just one or two days.Try Herbal Essences Daily Detox range

skin 3z© Photo: Getty Images

Daily hair washes will remove any pollutants

5. Green teaGreen tea contains catechins, which have demonstrated pretty impressive abilities to fight free radicals. A specific catechin called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is thought to have the most potent protective activity. Matcha tea is known to be a high-quality powdered green tea used in Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies. It's made from only the fresh leaf tips of the tea plant, which are shaded from the sun to increase the chlorophyll and nutrient content.Try Pukka Herbs' Clean Matcha Green tea

6. Dark chocolateAlthough chocolate is generally seen as unhealthy, this is mainly because the average chocolate bar is high in sugar and contains only a small amount of cocoa. The cocoa bean itself is actually a good source of nutrients and is rich in antioxidant flavonols. So the higher the percentage of cocoa in your chocolate bar, the more flavonols you're going to get – ideally go for 85% and upwards, although 70% can still be beneficial. And for the ultimate antioxidant boost, go for organic, raw chocolate, which is becoming increasingly popular.

7. Vitamin CVitamin C will help prevent premature signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles. Supplements will help protect against future damage and stimulate collagen production for firmer, more resilient skin as well as lighten and brighten skin for more even tone. Dr. Goldfaden's revolutionary antioxidant and brightening serum increases hydration and radiance resulting in a flawless and even complexion. Brightening boosting Vitamin C coupled with Vitamin B, E and Ferulic Acid work to increase hydration, improve skin clarity, tone and minimize the appearance of fine lines. Skin is left radiant, smooth and hydrated. Perfect for all skin types.

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