How To Protect Your Skin From The Haze

The annual haze is truly back with a big bang. In addition to the pollution affecting our respiratory systems and eyes, our skin takes a huge beating as well. Boo!

There’s been lots of talk about the effects of pollution on the skin in the recent years. But for those not in the know here’s a quick summary – it increases free radical production in the skin, causes premature ageing, weakens your skin barrier and can even lead to acne. (On top of dry skin – the worst kind of acne to tackle, by the way.) 

Follow these tips to ensure that your skin doesn’t suffer from this annual affair:

(+) Cleanse Well
This is pretty much a no brainer, but keeping your skin clean is vital during this period. Not only will the haze cause short-term damage, Dr Low Chai Ling from The Sloane Clinic says that its effect is beyond the average pimple: “Long-term, free radical damage (from the haze) can also cause premature ageing. When the pollutants in the haze rob your skin of its oxygen supply, the result is signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and loss of elasticity in the skin.” Which is why using a gentle but efficient cleanser will not only protect your skin from short-term effects, but also prevent pre-mature ageing in the long haul.

Besides religious twice-daily cleansing at home, those who are acne-prone will find thorough purification treatments like the Deep Deep Clean facial very helpful to keep breakouts at bay. The Deep Deep Clean facial combines ultrasonic deep pore cleansing and microdermabrasion to degunk pore-magnifying debris and dead skin cells, and pave your way to a silky smooth clarity.

(+) Load Up On The Antioxidans
Smog and dust can create free radicals (highly charged oxygen molecules) when they come in touch with UV rays. Free radicals attack our cells and damage our DNA, which can cause harm to our body and damage to our skin. Free radicals are the greatest culprit to problems like discolouration, fine lines and dullness. The best way to combat pollution in the skin? Antioxidants, which neutralise excess free radical production caused by UV rays and pollution.

Antioxidants are your skincare heroes that’ll take the blow from free radicals in your stead and boost skin repair. In fact a little amount, applied in the morning before you start your day, goes a long way in keeping your sin radiant and glowing for years to come.

Sloane Inc Skin Superfood Red Algae S9.8 uses Astaxanthin, the world’s most powerful antioxidant, for maximal rejuvenation. Studies have consistently shown that Astaxanthin protects the skin against sunburn and UV damage, and improves skin smoothness, elasticity, hydration, fine lines and pigmentation. Antioxidants along with suncreen are your lifelong BFFS as they help to stave off age-accelerating free radical damage from pollution, hectic schedules, smoking and dietary indiscretions.

Great sources of antioxidants are: Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Green Tea, Astaxanthin, Coenzyme Q10, Resveratrol etc.

(+) Anti Pollution Skincare
Antioxidants along with suncreen are your lifelong BFFS as they help to stave off age-accelerating free radical damage from pollution, hectic schedules, smoking and dietary indiscretions.

It's not the UV rays that can cause damage to the skin — pollution can too. Lots of SPF products today are made with pollutants in mind (shielding you from things like harmful gases from cars in addition to UV rays). Now if you’re the sort who gets really sensitive to pollution – I mean dry, itchy skin with the slightest increase in PSI levels – this one’s for you.

Toxins are everywhere – including in the air. Did you know that just by walking on the streets, you can accumulate up to seven billion toxins on your skin? This accumulation of pollutants can deprive the skin of oxygen, which in turn can cause signs of ageing such as wrinkles and dullness to appear more quickly. To counter this problem, the new Dior One Essential City Defense SPF50/ PA++++ ($95) is formulated with moringa seed extract, which can reportedly prevent dust and other micro-particles from settling on the skin.

Dior’s new One Essential City Defense targets pollution in 3 ways. First, it is said to form a shield over the skin’s surface, preventing particles from adhering to the skin. (Think of it like water bouncing off a glass surface.) At the same time, it strengthens the skin barrier to minimise penetration of pollutants. And finally, should any pollutants enter the skin, they are neutralised by antioxidants contained within the formula.

Like your body, your skin has an immune system that functions less efficiently with time, environmental exposure and stress. Shiseido's Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate helps boost skin’s multi-defensive powers while helping to strengthen its resistance to day-to-day damage and signs of aging. Over time, skin looks smoother and more resilient, making wrinkles less noticeable as your complexion begins to glow. It restores skin’s powers to resist, protect, regenerate, and strengthen, leaving skin smooth and deeply nourished.

(+) Top Up Your Moisture Tank
Every single drop. Long term exposure to air pollution can cause our skin to become dry and rough, making it more susceptible to skin irritation. If the skin suffers from dryness, it is because it has lost its ability to retain water, which evaporates. Surface lipids, produced in smaller quantities, no longer form a homogeneous barrier. Because the skin barrier no longer performs its function as effectively, it allows external aggressors and irritants (pollution, allergen particles, etc.) to penetrate deeper into the skin. Skin thus becomes more vulnerable and reactive, and is more rapidly and more strongly irritated. Asian women are generally more susceptible to moisture loss as our skin barrier is more easily disrupted by factors like temperature fluctuations.

A beautiful marriage of Nature and Science, this serum concentrate acts like a veritable GPS for hydration – using adaptive technology to carry the mega-moisture and pollutant protection of naturally-sourced, antioxidant-loaded organic olives right down to the heart of the epidermis. With an exceptional silky touch, highly prized pure olive squalane delights the senses as it deeply conditions, strengthens and brings relief to dry, flaky skin, and nurses it into a supple, healthy glow without plugging pores or causing breakouts.

Clinique Moisure Surge Intense is a cream-gel that instantly rehydrates for 24 hours while helping fortify and repair skin's moisture barrier. This rich, oil-free cream-gel instantly rehydrates. Skin stays comfortably plumped, even 24 hours after you put it on. Daily use helps fortify and repair skin's moisture barrier to keep moisture in and environmental irritants out. A better barrier means happier skin.

(+) Sensitive Skin
Your skin has a natural moisture barrier – when it’s compromised, your skin will lose moisture, be more prone to breakouts and more sensitive due to the compromised barrier not being able to protect skin against external irritation! Sensitive skin can flare up at the slightest provocation.

For drier or sensitive skin in need of extra TLC, layer on Sloane Inc. Luminizing II to repair your skin barrier with ceramides and other natural skin lipids for improved moisture retention, better skin healing, and strengthened defense against ageing environmental forces. 

Jurlique's Calendula Redness Rescue Restorative Treatment Serum is a powerful treatment to help provide a natural protective barrier against environmental aggressors and helps restore the skin's epidermal defences. 

This natural, non-greasy serum provides hydration and instant relief to irritated red skin. This highly effective concentrated serum features a proprietary comfort complex including calendula extract to help soothe skin sensitivity, while prickly pear extract helps to reinforce skin’s natural protective barrier and calm skin sensitivity. Skin feels deeply restored, hydrated, and comforted. 

For a clinical solution, The Sloane Clinic's Green Tea & Ginger facial uses all-natural products for deep detoxification and conditioning to bolster the skin’s defensive barrier.

(+) DIY Home Solutions

For HydationSloane Inc Water Infusion Mask saturates skin with moisture-magnetising hyaluronic acid for a quick radiance bounce-back anytime, anywhere.

For Acne/ Blackheads/ Whiteheads & Sheer Gunk: GLAMGLOW'S supermud clearing treatment was clinically developed by GLAMGLOW® dermatological chemists to help fight all common skin concerns including breakouts, discoloration, black and white heads, razor bumps, and in-grown hair. Powerful, skin-clearing mud visibly draws out dirt and congestion while a proprietary six-acid blend dramatically brightens and softens skin. It works to magnetically draw out dirt and pores with Activated-X Charcoal, leaving skin smooth and healthy-looking.


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

I test all products & treatments with age and skin colour in mind, break down the latest health fads, and source for expert opinions from international skincare leaders. All in all, my goal is to make sure that I am on top of every beauty innovation and skincare trend the world has to offer.