Living in Australia, you probably think of the sun as having the most damaging effect on your skin. And you’re right! But beyond UV light, there are a few other environmental aggressors that can take a toll on your skin and leave you with a dull, discoloured or blotchy complexion. This can be really disheartening, especially if you’re obsessive about your skincare routine and use only the best natural products.
Don’t worry — we’re here to help you cope!
Our beauty experts share the top 3 environmental effects on skin, and how to protect and treat your skin the natural way.
Pollution is all around us no matter where you live and unfortunately cannot be avoided. Exhaust from cars, factories, air conditioners, heating, cigarettes and even chemicals from our home cleaning products all produce a microscopic offset that attaches to the skin and has been clinically proven to cause skin ageing.
Between car exhaust and petrol fumes to cigarette smoke and cleaning chemicals, we’re exposed to pollutants all day, every day. It’s unavoidable!
The problem is: All these gases and microscopic particles can clog your pores and create “oxidative stress” — which is just a fancy way of saying that pollution stresses out your skin.
This can lead to cell damage, breakouts, uneven skin tone, dullness, dehydration and dark spots, and it can also cause your collagen production to slow down.
Aside from never leaving your house, there are a few things you can do to protect your skin and keep it healthy.
1. Do use anti-pollution skincare
Believe us when we say anti-pollution skincare is well worth the hype. It’s formulated with ingredients that shield the skin from everyday pollutants. By doing this, it strengthens your skin’s outer layer, which is known as the lipid barrier. When the lipid barrier is strong, it locks in moisture and stops those aggressors from making contact with your skin cells.
Our Top Pick: Our Phytofuse Renew Maca Root Day Cream works to create a barrier between the air and your skin, and it’s proven to prevent up to 90% of pollutants from penetrating. The anti-pollution face cream is intensely hydrating and absorbs quickly.
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2. Don’t forget to cleanse your skin morning and night
Boost the results of your anti-pollution skincare by cleansing twice a day. When you wake up, cleanse to remove any sweat or oil that may have accumulated overnight. In the evenings, it’s important to double cleanse. The first cleanse lifts any pollution particles, and the second deeply cleans your skin. Look for a gentle cleanser with a silicone applicator. Bacteria can’t survive on silicone — making this the most hygenic way to wash your face!
Our Top Pick: The Phytofuse Renew Camellia Oil Cleanser is a creamy cleanser that dissolves all impurities while nourishing the skin with antioxidant-rich camellia oil. It also has a unique silicone brush head that gently massages the skin while cleansing, so every day can feel like a spa day!
3. Do eat an antioxidant-rich diet
Antioxidants fight free radicals — those nasties that can damage your skin cells and leave you with a less-than-lustrous complexion. Give your skin a helping hand by loading up on antioxidant-rich goodies, like spinach, kale, tomatoes, blueberries, nuts, and green tea.
4. Don’t smoke
Cutting down on smoking is the quickest way to reduce your pollutants. While you’re tweaking your lifestyle, drink plenty of water and switch to cleaner cosmetics and household cleaning products.
As much as we try to protect our skin from pollution, expecting 100% protection from any skincare product isn't possible just yet. This is why it is extremely important to wash the skin every evening to remove any micro particles that may have built up on the skin throughout the day. Look for a gentle cleanser with a hygienic applicator made from silicone which helps massage the skin to remove grime and impurities. It's known that bacteria and germs are unable to survive on silicone - making it the most hygienic way to wash your face!
You might not think of your daily shower as damaging — but it can be. Sometimes, our waterways contain alkaline and other minerals that reduce the quality of the water. These nasties can stay on the skin after cleansing, and cause dryness and irritation.
If you’ve ever heard of someone talking about how the water in their city is “hard” or “abrasive,” that’s exactly what they mean.
Luckily, there are a few ways to protect your skin from the potentially damaging effects of water.
1. Do add the best antioxidant serum to your routine
Moisture is the aim of the game here. Apply an antioxidant-rich serum under your moisturiser each morning to hydrate and nourish the deeper layers of your skin. The antioxidants will also help to reduce free radicals (like pollutants). If your skin is naturally dry, you can also use a face oil over your serum, such as the Phytofuse Renew Rosehip Oil Blend.
Our Top Pick: Our Phytofuse Renew Resveratrol Serum is a silky serum that contains 14 botanical oils to boost skin cell regeneration, fight free radicals, reduce fine lines, and speed up collagen production.
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2. Don’t overwash or over-exfoliate your skin
Cleanse your skin twice a day. Any more than this, and you might dry out or irritate your skin even more.
3. Don’t use hot water to wash your face
As tempting as it is to turn on the hot water, this can break down your skin’s precious protective layer. Use cool or lukewarm water instead. Remember, the goal is to keep your skin as moisturised as possible.
A serum applied under a moisturiser throughout the day will create a nourishing boost of hydration and nourishment through the skin' epidermis. Using a serum or face oil that is highly concentrated and rich in antioxidants will help reduce free radical skin damage as an added benefit.
Do you know your skin always feels dry on a super windy day? That’s one example of how the weather can affect your complexion.
When you’re exposed to elements like heat, humidity, air conditioning, cold or wind, these can break down your skin’s protective barrier. This is known as the “lipid barrier,” and it works hard to seal in moisture and shield our skin from those pollutants.
So, when our lipid barrier is weak, our skin is more prone to dryness, irritation, sunburn and photoageing (aka age spots and fine lines).
You can’t control the weather, but there are a few key ways to protect your skin from environmental elements.
1. Do switch up your products in summer and winter
In summer, your main skin concerns are probably oiliness, congestion, season change breakouts and redness. Reach for gel-like formulas and lightweight moisturisers that lock in hydration without weighing you down. In winter, you might be dealing with dryness, dullness and chapping, so go for creamy cleansers and nourishing products.
Our Top Pick: In the cooler months, use a resveratrol face cream. Our Phytofuse Renew Resveratrol Rich Night Cream works overnight to deeply hydrate and promote skin cell renewal so you can wake up with fresher-looking skin.
2. Do steer clear of harsh exfoliants
Microbeads can aggravate skin and increase sensitivity. An acid-based exfoliant is a much better bet — just be sure to only exfoliate 2-3 times a week.
Our Top Pick: Phytofuse Renew Caviar Lime Exfoliator. This beauty contains natural fruit acids to remove dead skin cells for a clearer, brighter complexion.
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3. Don’t rely on air conditioning
Whether it’s on hot or cold, blasting the air conditioner can be incredibly drying. In summer, try to fling open your windows to get a natural breeze. And when the temps start dropping, layer up before reaching for the “on” switch!
Repair and Nourish
Using a nourishing day and night cream with and protecting occlusive properties is a must for all types of weather conditions. Look for a natural moisturiser with lots of rich natural butters and oils like Shea Butter and Argan Oil which will enrich and deeply nourish the skin.
Protect your skin from pollutants
Our skin takes a beating every day, between pollution, poor water quality and wild weather. While you can’t change that, you can definitely do a few things to support your skin from the effects of the environment.
That’s where specially formulated skincare steps in to help.