I recently came across this article about the effects of pollution on your skin. It made me stop and think. I live near New York City, and your skin can really take a beating, with exposure to taxi and bus exhaust, among other things. It’s not just UV rays that age your skin before it’s time. A lot of pollutants in the atmosphere can age it, too.
“The topic of pollution, and its effect not just on skin health, but on overall health, is becoming a trending concern as more people travel and live in cities,” Dr. Daniel Stengl, director of innovation for La Prairie, told me in an email. He went on to say your skin’s primary function is to serve as a protective barrier between you and, well, everything else. “As your skin’s barrier becomes compromised, visible signs may include redness, flakes, and dryness,” said Stengl. How unattractive.
Pollutants release free radicals into the environment. If the skin becomes overloaded with free radicals, the result is the degradation of collagen along with a decrease in cell function and health that leads to visible signs of aging, Stengl said. The breakdown of the skin’s structural elements can show up on your face as wrinkles, fine lines, and rough, dry patches. Yuck.
Skin care companies are jumping on the bandwagon to market products designed to protect your skin from the effects of free radicals. I thought I’d try some of them and see if they really work.*
Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Aging Moisturizer Olay released three new Total Effects moisturizers back in January. One is fragrance free, one is fragrance free and has an SPF, and one has a (pretty) fragrance. Procter and Gamble, makers of Olay, said these new formulations have 40 percent more vitamins than previous Olay products, including the antioxidant vitamin E. They also have the highest level of niacinamide (vitamin B3) in an Olay product. I tried the one with SPF 15. It felt nice, if a little chalky, on my skin. It smelled a bit like sunscreen, but that makes sense, because it contains sunscreen. You can buy Olay products at CVS.
Prescriptives Super Line Preventor I remember going to the Prescriptives makeup counter in Macy’s as a kid. I used to wear Prescriptives Calyx perfume. The brand wont online only in 2011, but its Super Line Preventor is turning 30 this year. It contains antioxidants to help boost collagen production, the company said. It also said Super Line Preventor should increase skin’s moisture level by 71 percent and turn up its radiance by 35 percent. This product felt nourishing and soothing on my skin, especially after a day in the Florida sun. And I thought my skin looked brighter and smoother. It would be great to have a Super Line Preventor with an SPF. Super Line Preventor is available at prescriptives.com.
PriyanaMD C + DNA Repair This new daily moisturizer from PriyanaMD contains antioxidants to fight free radicals, hyaluronic acid to help skin retain moisture, and evodia and vitamin B5 to reduce inflammation or redness. I loved this stuff, which I used twice daily, along with the HylaSilk serum and VersaLift eye cream. It did not leave my skin feeling greasy, and my makeup went on smoothly. And my skin looked amazing. PriyanaMD Damage Control C + DNA is available at PriyanaMD.com.
La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Collection This collection is one of La Prairie’s newer lines, and its chock-full of exotic ingredients. The Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Complex combines purple saxifrage, Soldanella alpina extract, and Swiss snow algae to protect skin against oxidative stress, fight free radicals, and protect mitochondrial DNA, Stengl said. I tried the emulsion, eye cream, and dry oil, and they were beautiful. They smelled like baby care products, and I felt they really improved the appearance of my skin. La Prairie products are available at NeimanMarcus.com.
So what do you think? Do you do anything extra to protect your skin from pollutants other than the sun?
*Products were sent to me for review, but opinions are my own.