The Capsule Beauty Kit You Need If You Live in the City

Living in London is great. In fact, I'm one of those odd cases that was born here and never left. After all, with the best museums, bars and restaurants on my doorstep (and by doorstep, I mean a 30-minute underground journey regardless of where in the capital you live), why would I want to leave? Well, actually, there might be one reason—pollution.

Although there hasn't been a breach in the air pollution levels yet this year, London's annual pollution levels were breached just five days into the new year back in 2017 and within the first month of 2018, according to a report from The Guardian. Yes, living in London is officially toxic, and it's not just the capital—pollution is a massive problem in cities all over the UK.

It's not just our lungs that we should be worried about. Being regularly exposed to high levels of pollution can wreak havoc with our skin and hair—causing inflammation, sensitivity and pigmentation. 


(Image credit: @ALYSSAINTHECITY)

Luckily, beauty brands are starting to sit up and take notice, and this year has seen a prevalence of new launches specially formulated to combat the effects of pollution on our skin and hair. In fact, Revlon has just launched its new collection of PhotoReady Candid makeup products, which have been specially created as an extension of your skincare routine. The new products contain the antioxidant and anti-pollutant power of vitamin E plus anti–blue light ingredients to help protect your skin from environmental stress.

But where should you start if you're new to the anti-pollution beauty game? I caught up with consultant dermatologist Justine Kluk to get the full lowdown on everything we need to know about the effects of city living and what we can do to combat it. Plus, keep scrolling to shop the capsule beauty kit that all city girls need.

What are the risks of pollution to our skin and hair health?



"Our skin is the main interface between our bodies and the surrounding atmosphere, so it comes into direct contact with pollutants," explained Kluk. "It is not absolutely clear if the toxic effects of pollution are caused by direct penetration of these agents into the skin or whether exposure to them triggers internal processes that lead to inflammation and injury—or, indeed, if it's a combination of both."

But even with more research needed to understand the triggers, it's evident that pollution does cause damage to our skin. "For example, exposure to air pollution leads to the formation of free radicals, which increase inflammation, deplete antioxidants—such as vitamins C and E—and disrupt the skin barrier," said Kluk.

What are the visible effects of pollution damage?


(Image credit: @ASOS_LESLEY)

Pollution is particularly linked with the early signs of ageing on both the skin and hair—which means pigmentation and dark spot formation and going grey earlier.

"There have also been studies showing a link between pollution and wrinkle formation," Kluk pointed out. "As well as the threats to otherwise healthy skin, pollution can be detrimental to those with existing skin conditions such as eczema and acne."

So what can we do about it?



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"The beauty industry is responding to the threats pollution places on our skin, and more than a third of beauty products launched in the Asia-Pacific market in 2016 had a pollution claim," explained Kluk.

Here in the UK, we're rapidly catching up. Cult Beauty currently lists over 200 anti-pollution skincare products while skin specialist retailer Face the Future has seen a 56% rise in the search term "anti-pollution skincare" over the past year.

On an individual level, there are also steps we can take to protect our skin from the damaging effects of pollution by reducing the particle load on the skin and optimising our skin barrier function to reduce penetration with the right beauty products.

Shop your capsule pollution-fighting beauty kit now.




Related: I've Tried Hundreds of SPF Products—17 I'd Actually Recommend







Next up, five sustainable beauty brands I'd definitely recommend.

Mica Ricketts