City living is not as perfect as it looks. Sure, all the fancy malls and cafes are just one Uber ride away, but all that convenience comes at a price. You guessed it. We city folk have to deal with pollution every day, and as you might expect, it's horrible both for our health and our skin. For one, the toxic remnants of smoke can stick to our skin and cause irritation, while dirt can sink into our pores and cause breakouts. Pollution has also been proven to cause premature aging by harming our skin barrier.
Luckily, we don't have to leave ourselves at its mercy. In fact, here's how you can protect your skin from the great outdoors:
Step 1: Oil Cleanser
The first step, as always, is to cleanse away all the nasty stuff on the surface of the skin. The quickest and most effective way to do this is with a deep cleansing oil that'll have everything slide right off.
Laneige Perfect Pore Cleansing Oil, P1550, SM Aura
Step 2: Cleanser
To make sure there's nothing left on your skin, do a double cleanse. Pick the gentlest yet most thorough cleanser for your skin type for this step. Don't forget to cleanse your neck, too!
Dewytree Clean Healthy Foam, P689, Glamourbox
Step 3: Exfoliator
If you spend quite a lot of time braving the great outdoors, it's best to exfoliate often. This will prevent irritants from seeping deep into your pores and causing breakouts. For daily exfoliation, avoid products with beads or any harsh scrubbing ingredient. Go for ones with exfoliating acids (AHA, BHA) that truly penetrate the surface of the skin.
Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant, P3150, Rustan's Makati
Step 4: Toner
Toner can be considered an optional step. However, it's a great alternative for daily exfoliation since a lot of toners have exfoliating ingredients that are gentle enough for every day.
COSRx One Step Pimple Clear Pads, P900, Beautymnl
Step 5: Detoxifying Mask
Since we don't always have time to get a facial, face masks are the next best thing. Put on your favorite detox mask every two or three days to get the best results without overcleansing your skin.
IMAGE The Body Shop
The Body Shop Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask, SM Megamall
Step 6: Serum
At this stage your skin should be squeaky clean. So while it's open to more nourishment, charge it with pore-healing products or serums with nourishing vitamins.
Celeteque Acne Pore Minimizing Serum, P325, Zalora
Step 7: Moisturizer (Day/Night Cream)
During the day time, stick to a light moisturizer that will keep you hydrated all day. Using one that's too oily might make it easy for dirt to cling to your skin, while using one that's not moisturizing enough will make your skin more prone to irritation.
At night, opt for intense hydration and calming creams to repair and strengthen your moisture barrier.
IMAGE Burts Bees, Origins
Burt's Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream, P1595, Beauty Bar; Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Sothing Face Cream, SM Makati
Step 8: Sunscreen
UV rays are as harmful to our skin as pollution (hello, skin aging), so slather on the sunscreen before you leave the house. Use one with at least SPF40 and make sure it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
Biore UV Aqua Rich Whitening Cream SPF 50+ PA ++++, P445, Beautymnl
Step 9: Primer
Believe it or not using primer can help your skin fight pollutants, especially if you choose one that's silicone-based. It creates a barrier between your skin and the environment. That, and it helps your makeup stay on longer.
IMAGE Beauty Bar
Smashbox Photo Finish Light Primer, P895, Beauty Bar