A large city offers a wide range of possibilities: a better work, higher salary, more entertainment, a wider selection of stores with clothes and cosmetics. But living in a big city has its drawbacks too, and if you live in a metropolis, you know about it. Fast pace of life, constant stress whether I will remember about everything, whether or not will I be able to fall asleep tonight, the smog hovering over the city, constantly switched on air-conditioning, the sun which is reflected from the city walls and skyscrapers with doubled power … All these elements of a big-city life interfere with the functioning of our skin and contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles. It is true that the aging rate of the skin is attributed to genes, but we are not without fault either. How does the stress, smog, and sun affect the skin and how to deal with it? Here are my ways for a healthy complexion even in a big city.
How does the stress affect the skin?
In stressful situations, the body releases cortisol, which in large quantities harms the skin. It may result in exacerbation of psoriasis or eczema. What’s more, oxidative stress determines accelerated skin aging. Free radicals, which are formed under the influence of UV rays, polluted air, tobacco smoke and stress caused by a nervous lifestyle are to blame for. In addition, free radicals damage the cell membranes, collagen, and elastin fibers, and consequently accelerate the formation of wrinkles.
How does the smog affect the skin?
Industrial dust and exhaust gases generate free radicals that damage the natural protective barrier of the skin and inhibit oxygen supply. In addition, they are responsible for the increase of pigmentation and the formation of discoloration and wrinkles. Also, they lower the level of vitamins in the skin and increase the fragility of blood vessels.
How does the sun affect the skin?
The sun dries and thicken the epidermis and causes oxidative stress. In the city, the sun is more dangerous than in the countryside and on the beach. In addition, it is difficult to hide from it, because the clouds, windows or clothes do not stop the sun rays. As a consequence, they reach the subcutaneous tissue, where they quickly destroy collagen and elastin fibers. In turn, UVB rays operate in shallow layers of the skin, but they can cause burns.
How to deal with such problems? My tips
The only protection against the sun is provided by cosmetics with sunscreens. Do not worry! When you apply them, you will not be pale. You will still get a nice tan, but you will not burn. An alternative to sunblocks is a coloring cream, which combines business with pleasure because they not only contain SPF filters but also color the skin brown. Their selection is so wide that each of you should find the perfect shade and suitable SPF for yourself.
Activated charcoal has strong cleansing properties – it works like a magnet and attracts positively charged toxins and binds with them. In addition, it protects the skin against particles of airborne contaminants, narrows pores and accelerates cell renewal. It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and brightening properties. The fact that it can be used even by allergiy sufferers makes it an ideal cosmetic for a towny. 😉
What is more, activated charcoal is added to cleansing gels, soaps and peels, i.e. cosmetics that combine with water and have cleansing properties. In order for the skin to be able to take advantage of all the benefits of activated carbon, you must leave it on the skin for at least a few minutes. I highly recommend using masks based on activated carbon.
Anti-smog cosmetics, ie those that should be used in a big city, must contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E, polyphenols, flavonoids, coenzyme Q10, zinc and selenium.
Use the cosmetics with antioxidants in the morning to protect the skin against free radicals during the day and neutralize them on a regular basis. In the evening, after cleansing the skin, use cosmetics rich in regenerating ingredients, for example, retinol, peptides, allantoin and omega acids.
Heat and air conditioning can have a very damaging effect on our skin. High temperature expands the blood vessels, intensifies the work of sweat glands and damages the protective hydro-lipid layer, whilst air conditioning accelerates the escape of water from the skin. Dehydrated skin ages faster, because it loses its firmness and elasticity, and the epidermis becomes calloused and often flaky, which results in wrinkle formation.
The best way to deal with dry skin is by using moisturizing cosmetics intended for care, makeup removal, and express refreshment during the day. They work in many ways: they provide the skin with highly moisturizing substances, attract water from the deeper layers of the epidermis to the calloused layer and form a protective layer on the skin that makes it difficult to lose water.
If your skin is very dry, firstly, reach for a face serum and after a few minutes go for a cream. During the day, spray your face with a moisturizing mist that will reduce the feeling of tightness and give the skin the smell of essential oils.
How do YOU protect your skin from stress, smog and sun radiation? Do you know other ways to facilitate the “hardships” of big city life? 😉