How can I protect my skin from pollution?
September 14, 2005 4:24 AM   Subscribe

How can I protect my skin from pollution?

My skin doesn't react well to the polluted air of urban living. What are the best kept secrets for reviving its lustre? I eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water, so they're not the answer. I'm mainly after face washes, masks, moisturisers, treatments etc.
posted by londonmark to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
Dermalogica is great...a bit more expensive than high-street products, but worth it, IMO. You can buy online (I use The Courtyard but there are other sites) or find a local distributor and they're always very generous with samples and aren't pushy about trying to get you to buy products you don't really need.
posted by speranza at 4:51 AM on September 14, 2005

What exactly is wrong with your skin? Acne, dullness, dryness?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:55 AM on September 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: ThePinkSuperhero -- it's generally stressed out: sometimes puffy and blotchy, sometimes oily or limp, sometimes flaky, mild acne, open pores etc -- no two days are the same!

Those suggestions look great, thanks -- Origins sounds particularly promising. I'm a little skeptical of all the pseudo science, but think that's a whole new discussion!
posted by londonmark at 5:47 AM on September 14, 2005

Adding to the suggestion above, Clarins (disclaimer: I work there) and other skin care companies make anti-pollutant moisturizers and lotions that would benefit you. A good example is Clarins' UV Plus Protective Day Screen SPF 40, which provides sun as well as pollutant protection and is designed for daily use.
posted by werty at 6:13 AM on September 14, 2005

Your skin could benefit by boosting cell turnover. Try washing with a scrub designed to exfoliate. L'Oreal, Neutrogena and other drugstore brands make good ones. (For god's sake, avoid the St. Ives Apricot scrub. That stuff is full of sand. Look something with gentle micro-beads instead.)

Then, use a nightly moisturizer that contains retinol, which increases new cell growth. It's usually found in anti-aging, anti-wrinkle treatments, but it can go a long way towards perking up tired skin and adding a bit of glow.
posted by junkbox at 10:35 AM on September 14, 2005

Is there any scientific proof that any of these products help protect the skin, besides removing dirt? Like published peer reviewed studies?
posted by footnote at 11:44 AM on September 14, 2005

Although retinoic acids have been shown to be able to be absorbed into skin and it and it's metabolites are functionally active, there hasn't been any evidence that it can help with skin healing. Here's a review on the efficacy of retinoic acid in cosmetics but there's no free link to the full text.

Here's an excerpt from the discussion

As described in this review, current understanding of the information concerning the phototoxicity and photocarcinogenicity of retinoids is quite limited. However, the number of cosmetics containing retinoids is increasing. As such, the risks to human health posed by retinoids exposed to sunlight as well as other light sources must be assessed.

So... the jury's still out.

If anyone wants the review, my email is in profile - it's not a bad little rerview
posted by PurplePorpoise at 2:12 PM on September 14, 2005

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