As the PSI index continues to rise, it’s not just our respiratory system that’s suffering. According to Dr Zhang Yijun, medical director of The Face Aesthetic Clinic, the haze can also cause premature ageing of the skin and irritation. Not only that, the pollutants in the air may clog your pores and dry your skin.
One thing to avoid right now: Slapping on more makeup — this isn’t going to create a barrier between your skin and the haze. Instead, here’s what you should do:
Cleanse well, but not excessively
Dr Zhang says it’s important to cleanse your skin to remove all the impurities from the smog, but don’t overdo it. Skin that’s dry and irritable will dry out even further from excessive cleansing. That said, you won’t have to put your once- or twice-weekly scrubs on hold. “You can exfoliate the skin as usual, but remember to do it in moderation and always rehydrate the skin after,” he advises.
Arm yourself with sunscreen
The skies are so grey we can barely see the sun. But did you know that instead of blocking harmful UV rays, the hazy conditions actually trap these rays in the atmosphere, amplifying their effect? So be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunblock to protect your skin.
Load up on antioxidants
Makeup artist Larry Yeo suggests using skincare products that are packed with antioxidants, which can protect skin against pollutants. Yeo recommends Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, a daytime serum that “has the optimal amount of vitamin C and E” to deliver advanced environmental protection. You can also try Skin Inc’s Daily Dose serums. “Get the resveratrol, co-enzyme10 and vitamin C combination — these antioxidant ingredients fight inflammation too,” says Yeo.
Now’s a good time to strengthen your immunity, so if you haven’t, include some vitamin C-rich foods (such as fresh fruits and vegetables) into your diet. Yeo also suggests foods such as salmon, nuts and broccoli that have anti-inflammatory properties, and help keep those zits at bay. If you can’t get your hands on these goodies, supplements with vitamins C and E, and omega 3 will do the trick as well.