Everyday air pollution is an inescapable consequence of city living, especially here in Hong Kong. Well, you may have noticed that the air quality has been fluctuating between moderate to very unhealthy so Hongkongers, beware! From cigarette smoke, car exhaust, smog, dirt, dust, and the rest, (I want to wash my face just thinking about it!) pollutants increase the levels of free radicals produced by the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that attack human cells and damage DNA. They lead to ageing, tissue damage and possible disease. Enough of the bad news, thanks! Despite the humidity this week (and the two litres of water we all drink each day, just like we’re supposed to), has anyone else noticed their skin drying out? Even those with classic combination skin are suffering from parched patches. If you’ve got particularly sensitive skin, you might also be experiencing sore, itchy skin around the delicate eye area. Yes, that’s the pollution again. Yuck! For the most sensitive among us, we would recommend shunning your makeup bag this week. We can’t all move to the Himalayan Mountains, but we can take some simple steps to minimise the damage.
1. Consume a diet rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are nutrients that can prevent or slow damage to the body. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is an excellent line of defence against the damaging effects of pollution. Antioxidants are found in brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, leafy greens, and more.
2. Stay hydrated with good old water
Many of us neglect to consume the requisite daily water intake. We consume sugared drinks, caffeinated drinks to stave off thirst and tiredness. It is essential that we consume just simple plain water. It helps us stay hydrated which helps to then flush toxins out of our system and keeps our skin (and entire body) healthy.
3. Choose skincare products with natural ingredients
It is necessary that you choose skincare products that contain protective natural ingredients, such as vitamins A, C and E. The only thing that our sensitively-skinned Annie from LTIL HK will use this week is Rhino Repair – made from Manuka Honey and Aloe. This is a healing moisturiser designed to soothe eczema, sunburns and itchy bug bites.
4. Do a thorough cleanse at the end of each day
Cleanse your skin thoroughly each day to remove the layer of dirt and grime and prevent build-up and congestion.
5. Apply an everyday sunscreen
UV exposure increases free radicals so protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun with an everyday sunscreen. You can’t take the girl out of the city, but you can take the city out of her skin! Or that’s the plan anyway.
This article first appeared in The Hong Kong Resource Guide 2016 Edition.
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