Reader Reiley lives in Santiago, Chile, and her skin is paying the price. She writes:
How do you clean your face when you live in a polluted city? (With cruelty free options, please!) I use exfoliating face wash and astringent at night…but i had to go to the derm because my skin got too bad. I’m also curious as to whether those exfoliating brushes work….
Here are my thoughts…
According to this study, pollution has minimal effects on the clarity of a person’s skin. But based on personal experience, I beg to differ. When I moved to San Francisco from Santa Cruz, my skin had to adjust. I have been blessed with relatively clear skin, but I found myself battling pimples on a much more regular basis. Regardless of the cause, there are always things we can do to improve our skin care routine…
Reiley mentioned that she uses both an exfoliator and astringent every night. But exfoliation is something that shouldn’t be overdone. If you are using a gentle exfoliator that is specifically designed for the face, then daily use is fine. But if you’re using a grainy scrub, this should only be used once a week.
Using astringent is a great habit, but make sure you use a cleanser first. Astringents and toners tighten up the pores, which keeps pollutants out, but if your pores are not properly cleaned out, you’re really just keeping the bad stuff in!
I recommend trying Clinique’s Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam. Not only is Clinique endorsed by PETA as a cruelty-free brand, they are known for amazing skin care products (and for good reason!)
The study I mentioned above acknowledges that pollutants lower the skin’s natural levels of both Vitamin E and antioxidants, so I would find products that are high in both.
Origins A Perfect World moisturizer is designed to combat the wear and tear caused by pollutants, sun, etc… and is super high in antioxidants. (Plus, it’s also a cruelty-free brand!)
We’ve discussed Alba before, both for its PETA endorsement and its great line of sun care products. For an extra-deep clean, I’d use their Vitamin E-packed Deep Sea Facial Mask once a week.
And here’s the deal with those exfoliating brushes:
Brushes can totally help to dig deep into pores and thoroughly clean the skin, but make sure you’re not using the brush in conjunction with an exfoliating cream (one is plenty!) These brushes are meant to be used with a regular cleanser, and should only be used 2 or 3 times a week. (Over-exfoliation can be super harmful to your skin, even if it feels like you’re deep-cleaning daily!) Also, make sure you buy a brush with soft bristles, meant only for the face, and not a body brush, which will be too harsh for delicate facial skin.
Reiley, I hope this helps!
For a full list of cruelty-free companies (beauty related and otherwise) check out PETA’s website.
Have you ever moved to a new town and noticed a change in your skin? What did you use to combat this problem? How often do you exfoliate? And do you buy only cruelty-free products? (Props to Reiley for doing so!) Tell me about your skin in the comments!