Pollution and your skin
Staying in a sooty city like Delhi, the question I’m asked often is how to maintain great skin despite the pollution. While there is no single answer to this question, there are multiple things that you will have to do if you want a clear, radiant complexion. The good news is that good skin is very much possible, but it takes consistent effort. Here’s what you can do:
- Remove harsh cleansers
Most often, problems such as rashes, redness, blemishes and acne will get resolved by just replacing your face wash. We use soapy cleansers to get rid of every bit of dirt and grime, however they strip the protective natural oils of the skin, making the skin dry and sensitive. Switch to a soap-free cleanser, or even a pure cold-pressed oil that you can massage in and wipe off with a hot, damp washcloth. I like Clarins Total Cleansing Oil, Cetaphil, or Avène Cleanance Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin.
- Reduce products with toxins
I use pure avocado oil as a face cleanser with a hot washcloth. I’ve also replaced serums and face creams that are loaded with chemicals and parabens with clean products such as Drunk Elephant, Dr Hauschka, Rahua etc, for most part. Of course I still have some products that contain chemicals but the idea is to reduce usage till I can find replacements for my favourite (albeit toxic) products.
- Give yourself at home facials
A light scrub, massage with a cold-pressed oil, a clay pack, a hydrating treatment, an overnight face mask - these rituals when done on a weekly basis are nourishing for the mind and skin.
- Invest in a good doctor’s office treatment
When you are on the other side of 30, at-home treatments can only take you so far. Find a dermatologist you trust and then go for a laser treatment or peels few times in a year.
- Eat healthy and drink enough water
This is the most important step. You must drink at least three litres of water everyday. Couple that with a vegetable juice, at least three servings of fruit and home-cooked food and your skin will thank you for it. While a sugary treat is great sometimes, keep it occasional. A dermatologist once told me that popping vitamins C and E together is an antioxidant boost from within, so I do that whenever my skin looks dull.