How to Detox and Soothe Skin Damaged by City Pollution and Haze
De-puff and detoxify your way to smoother skin!
Stifling a yawn even as you’re scrolling through this story? Click through the gallery slides to be privy to my personal trove of tricks that will aid you in decongesting dull skin and fending off fatigue for a visibly softer and smoother complexion, even if you’re running on empty. Jiayou!
B for balm and beauty
Cleanliness is truly of the essence, not least of all when your skin has been marinating in a slurry of airborne pollutants the entire day.
The solution? Zero in on soothing soap-free solvents. You’ll be in for a ton of good clean fun with a comforting cleansing balm, the latest It-beauty swag worth sussing out right now for your smoothest skin yet.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm, price unavailable, from Sephora Singapore
What are balms, anyway?
As voluptuously velvety as their mouthwatering moniker suggests, most balms are designed to calm and comfort your distressed and dehydrated dermis – which means they’re less likely to cause the itching and irritation that can boil over into blemishes. Just remember to cap your cleansing to twice a day to avoid drying out your hide.
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, $52
Expel impurities with exfoliation
Another basic building block of a blemish-free face? Elementary, my dear: Exfoliation is where it’s at. I’ve found that regular use of a rinse-off pore-tightening poultice is excellent at eliminating excess keratin, the key culprit of milia seed formation, and affords me a noticeably brighter visage, even when I’ve been pulling all-nighters in the office.
What to try, what to buy? I’m obsessed over Mary Kay’s terrific Timewise Microdermabrasion Refine, $78, which comes with a carefully calibrated blend of botanical soothers and does an ace job of sloughing off dead skin without aggravating acne or exacerbating eczema. You need only use the most minuscule amount for your mien, so it’s money-smart, too!
Mary Kay Timewise Microdermabrasion Refine, $78
Shake that scaly skin off
Well okay, slough it off, more like. I’m talking about at-home overnight peels, which are great for sloughing off debris and dead skin. The perfect midway point between milder everyday scrubs and mysteriously long lunch breaks spent with an aesthetician, zero in on products containing star players salicylic and glycolic acids – with any luck, your face should boast a smooth-as-silk finish the morning after.
If peels sound too potent for your purposes, try a milder mask instead. There are a plethora of pore-purging poultices lining the beauty aisles, but I’m particularly fond of Laneige’s antioxidant-rich Anti-Pollution Mask, which is wrought from incredibly absorbent bamboo carbon fibres that promise to draw out all the riff-raff clogging up your pores.
Laneige Anti-Pollution Mask, $28
Priming the pump
Okay, so slapping on the odd face mask or two is probably de rigueur for beauty beginners at this point. Time to “upgrade” your beauty vocabulary and get acquainted with the glowing new concept of mask prep.
Here’s a neat analogy. Think of mask prep as the skincare equivalent of a makeup primer – you need to set the stage and prime your complexion for all the lotions and potions to follow. In other words, a pre-mask elixir is the essential first step to “unlocking” your skin and making it better equipped to soak up the good stuff from all of your subsequent skincare steps. Incredibly intuitive when you think about it, right?
Origins Maskimizer Skin-Optimizing Mask Primer, $38
Vitamins for your visage
If you have say, sensitive skin that’s pimple-prone to boot, you may find that standard-issue scrubs may actually aggravate acne. In this instance, it’ll do you well to gun for a gentler alternative like Fresh’s fantastic Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask – its fruit-derived AHA blend will purge your pores of sebum and sludge, while the infusion of vitamins helps to revive the vibrancy of your visage.
Once you’ve splashed off with warm water, top up with a soothing spot-reducing sheet mask of your choice to calm and comfort. Taken together, this two-step regime may actually reduce the amount of oil your face produces by tricking sebaceous glands into cutting back on overproduction, decongesting pores and nuking angry red pimples in the process. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask, $105
Clarify with charcoal
Charcoal-based cosmetics are a crackin’ good choice if you’re looking for a deep clean, as the ingredient is superb for clearing out unwanted riff-raff clogging up your pores. I’m in love with Dermalogica’s complexion-correcting Charcoal Rescue Masque, $94, which does an ace job of sweeping away dullness and blackheads without leaving my face uncomfortably tight and stretchy. #DieDieMustBuy!
Right, then. These easy tricks should get you out of a spot of bother. You and your pores can thank me later!
Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque, $94
Finally, a gentle reminder to slip, slop, slap
Little Miss Sunshine, cover up, please. Tanning thickens the outermost layer of skin (the “epidermis” in derm-speak), which can cause the buildup of gunk in your pores. A sunscreen also serves as a shield against the smog – if you’re loathe to layer your products, gun for multi-purpose marvels like Laneige’s superheroine of a sunscreen, the new Anti-Pollution Day Defensor SPF30 PA++, $50, which does triple duty as a skin-soothing serum and complexion-perfecting base.
Easy enough, right? We can’t change the weather, but we can certainly buffer it against the elements with these simple skincare tips, which should get you out of a spot of bother. You and your pores can thank me later!
Laneige Anti-Pollution Day DefensorSPF30 PA++, $50