Skin Deep

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to take better care of yourself then this post is definitely for you. This isn’t one for losing weight, getting fitter, or even for your mental health, but this is one all about taking better care of your skin.

If, like me, you didn’t think this was very important, think again and read on…

I’d say I look after myself fairly well – emphasis on the word fairly – I don’t smoke, I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t eat meat (although the majority of my diet consists of the three Cs; cheese, chocolate and coffee, but that’s a different story). However, I am guilty of not taking care of my skin very well. My friends are always telling me to use toners, cleansers and a bunch of other products whose purposes I did not understand, but I never took their advice, until, that is, I began researching the effects that living in London has on our skin.

Second only to the sun, pollution is the biggest aggressor when it comes to ageing and harming your skin. One of the many factors skin has to contend with is air pollutants such as soot, dust or smoke or even smaller specs, which cannot be seen by the naked eye. These are pretty unavoidable when living in the city as the pollutants originate from heating, industrial emissions, UV light, cigarette smoke and cars; particularly from diesel engines. Combine these factors, and how often we encounter them on a daily basis, and you’ll understand the amount of pollution our skin has to endure. We may not see the difference on a day-to-day basis, but it will be obvious over time.


As well as leaving skin feeling dirty, some chemicals attached to pollution particles can penetrate through the skin’s layers, weaken the skin’s barrier and trigger inflammation. If your exposure to these particles is high and your skin isn’t protected this can result in dry patches, breakouts, dull skin, wrinkles and premature ageing of the skin.

Unfortunately, pollution is rife, and continues to grow, so there is no way to avoid pollutants completely. But there is good news: we can limit the effects it has on our skin by using good skincare products. The products I mentioned before; toners, cleansers ect? It turns out we need those to keep skin healthy and looking good. In fact, experts state that it is vital to use cleansers, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors, or if you leave windows open to let ‘fresh’ air in.

Deep cleaning your skin using more than just water every night can make the world of difference. Micellar water attracts dirt and dust like a magnet whilst feeling gentle like water on skin, while toners will lift any access particles that a cleanser may have missed. Experts also advice drinking plenty of water throughout the day – it may seem obvious, but how often we forget – as pollution strips moisture from the skin. In addition to this, sunscreen is recommended even in the colder months, as you may not be able to see the sun, but UVA rays work all year round.

Remember that FaceApp Age Challenge everyone was obsessed with a few months ago? Or what about the old person filter on Snapchat?  That will be our reality sooner rather than later if we continue to leave our skin welcome to pollutants.

Thankfully, we don’t need to harm the environment in order to help our skin as brands are reacting rapidly to the demand of sustainable products and the rise of veganism, so there are a range of products you can buy which promise not to harm the earth or the creatures of it. It is important to protect your skin but also ensure that we do not compromise on protecting the environment to do so.


To save you the hard work, I have rounded up some great products that promise to be kind to our skin and kind to the planet:

The Body Shop’s Carrot Wash Energizing Face Cleanser
Pioneers of cruelty-free beauty, The Body Shop, have a range of skincare heroes to choose from. One quirky favourite is the new Carrot Wash Energizing Face Cleanser which uses organic carrots that were too crooked to sell to the food industry, so instead were used for this special product. This face wash promises to leave skin cleansed, smooth and purified from daily grime. In addition to this, the packaging of the delicious-smelling product is 100 percent recyclable. Try it alongside the Carrot Cream moisturiser for double the protection.

Rituals’ Ritual of Namasté Cleansing Balm
Rituals promises never to test on animals, limit their carbon footprint, and leave you feeling good. With that in mind, we recommend their award-winning cleansing balm. The balm, from the brand’s Ritual of Namasté range, starts as a gel, melts into oil when massaged into skin, and then transforms into a cleansing lotion. When used in combination with a hot cloth, it removes impurities and can help fight against environmental stress leaving skin looking and feeling supple and radiant.

Green People’s Sunscreen
Green People – leaders in eco-friendly, anti-animal cruelty products – have made their sunscreen even more environmentally-friendly thanks to plant-derived packaging. Already one of only a few sun lotions worldwide that is reef safe and non-toxic to marine life, the sunscreen range now comes in plant-derived sugar cane packaging. If we have to wear sunscreen all year round, we couldn’t think of a better one to use.
From £14

With Love, Abi X


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