A Beautiful City Life: Things That Could Be Harming Your Skin – There’s no question about it; living in the city is truly an exciting experience. Your blooming career, the luxurious amenities, the vibrant social life – it seems like everything you’ve ever dreamed of is right there.
But like any other place, the city isn’t perfect. There are some aspects of life in urban areas you wouldn’t miss, including things that could harm your skin.
Of course, you shouldn’t give up on your dream of living a happy and fulfilling life in cities like Dubai just because you get acne breakouts when you’re there. The key is to know what you’re dealing with and how you can protect yourself from them.
To help you urban-proof your skincare in the UAE, here are four things you need to be careful of when living in the city:
Although it’s just one of many factors that negatively affect the skin, pollution is the most notorious of them all. In particular, air pollutants – also known as particulate matter (PM) – can wreak havoc on your skin.
PMs come in different forms. Some are liquid, while others are solid. Here are some examples:
- Small specs or particles
Many of these pollutants come from industrial emissions, heating, and road traffic (specifically, vehicles running on diesel). This means you may encounter them every day, on your daily commute, or even while you’re in the office.
At this point, you’re probably wondering why these things are bad for your skin. You see, some of the chemicals they contain could penetrate the layers of your skin, and lead to oxidative stress. When that happens, the skin barrier will become weak, leaving it more susceptible to inflammation (i.e., acne).
You may also experience skin pigmentation problems when exposed to high levels of particulate matter. It may also lead to dullness, uneven skin tone, and wrinkles – all of which are signs of premature skin aging.
People with sensitive skin and those with chronic skin diseases like eczema are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of pollution since their skin barrier is already compromised.
What You Can Do
If you live in an urban area, you probably have no way of avoiding air pollution altogether. What you can do instead is to protect your skin from its effects, especially premature aging.
An effective way to counteract the consequences of pollution is to apply sunscreen and other topical skincare products containing antioxidants. Check out the list of ingredients on the ones you use and look for the following:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Green tea extracts are also known to aid in the fight against free radicals on the skin’s surface.
It is also important that you wash your face with gentle cleansers regularly. Go for products that cleanse deeply and remove dirt and other impurities for a down-to-the-pores clean.
2. Contaminated Water
This is not to say that water in cities is dirty. It’s just that, in certain places, water contamination still remains an issue.
You see, hard water with high levels of minerals, like calcium and magnesium, can leave the skin very dry. These also aggravate eczema and cause more severe breakouts because they tend to clog the skin’s pores.
What You Can Do
Suppose you have no choice but to use hard water for bathing or washing. In that case, you can protect your skin by opting for skincare products with retinol and Vitamin C. These antioxidants are great for preventing skin damage due to environmental factors and stress.
3. Insufficient Sleep
Living in the city is very exciting – sometimes, a bit too exciting to the point that it already affects your sleep.
Even if you’re not into late-night bar hopping and parties, there is still a good chance that you’ll get too-long nights because of daily stress and caffeine intake. When this happens, your body’s collagen and keratin production – two compounds that contribute to a youthful look – is disrupted.
What You Can Do
The answer here is obvious – get enough sleep.
Don’t make excuses. Even if you’ve been dying to catch-up on your Netflix viewing or have plenty of things you need to do, you still need to get sufficient rest to keep your skin, body, and mind healthy.
Here are some tips you can try for a good night’s sleep:
- Establish a regular sleeping and waking schedule every day, including weekends.
- Avoid taking naps after 3 p.m. and keep your naps to 20 minutes or less.
- Don’t drink alcohol or anything with caffeine late in the day.
- Don’t smoke.
- Make a habit of exercising, but make sure you don’t do it two to three hours before you go to bed.
- Eat light meals later in the day. You may also get a light snack before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom comfortable, quiet, and dark. Maintain the temperature so that it’s neither too warm nor too cold.
- Establish a bedtime routine to help you fall asleep, but make sure this doesn’t entail exposure to screens (e.g., TV, computer, or mobile device) one hour before you go to bed.
- If you can’t fall asleep after lying in bed for 20 minutes, do something calming (like listening to music or reading) until you catch some z’s.
4. Chronic Stress
Using cosmetics available online is one way to hide those fine lines and blemishes. However, no amount of makeup can get rid of the signs of stress etched on your skin.
That said, you have to make sure that your skin doesn’t suffer from the hectic and stressful urban life. Whether it’s because of traffic, work, or simply the small things that build up the pressure in your chest, stress can cause your body to produce higher amounts of cortisol.
Too much of this hormone can cause an imbalance in your body, leading to skin dullness. It also makes the skin more prone to premature aging and damage.
What You Can Do
As mentioned above, including products that contain Vitamin C, retinol, and other antioxidants in your skincare regimen helps your skin counteract the effects of stress.
However, managing the cause is still the best way to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
For example, if you’re stressed because of work, find ways to cope. Adjust your pace and don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. If you’re doing the same things every day, come up with a better workflow, so you’re not caught off-guard and don’t need to cram to beat your deadlines.
Skin-Healthy City Living
It’s easy to forget to keep your skin healthy when you live in the city. The tips shared here serve as reminders that there are some things you can do to maintain that youthful glow no matter where you are.
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