January 21st 2019
If you’re concerned about premature skin ageing and damaged hair, the fact that 59 per cent of us live in an area where air pollution is consistently above the legal level, according to a recent study commissioned by the Labour party, makes for a poor forecast where pigmentation, collagen and elastic breakdown, inflammation and sensitivity are concerned. It’s been proven that pollutant particles can penetrate the skin and cause free radical damage, resulting in a degradation of healthy skin cells with side effects ranging from eczema flare-ups to scalp irritation and early onset wrinkles and age spots. Research indicates that pollution is no longer simply an urban issue, and given that everything from diesel cars to cooking fumes and household cleaning products are part of the problem, walking about in a pure air bubble is essentially impossible.
Aside from running for the hills (...even then), what can you do? Hit your skin and scalp with a load of free-radical fighting antioxidants, that’s what. The following will help to shield your skin from external aggressors in the most natural, environmentally friendly way possible. Because really, our planet’s had it up to here (*gestures skywards*) already. Happily, they’re all 25 per cent off in the Whole Foods Market Organic Beauty Week Sale running from 12th – 21st May. You’re welcome- seek them out at your local store here.
The first step to shirking pollutants from your skin is creating a clean canvas, and this organic cleanser/mask duo does just that with gently exfoliating, probiotic aplomb. Yes, it’s got kale in there, but don’t be put off, as it sweeps away impurities effectively while preserving the skin barrier (all important given that pollutants deplete it), plus it’s vitamin rich and fortified with soothing aloe and nourishing natural plant extracts. Pair it with a green juice and you’ll be holier than thou.
If you’re a fan of an antioxidant loaded matcha latte, this 70% organic matcha based mask can be customised to your taste in a similar way- add honey for extra moisture or yogurt for a fresh, creamy cleansing concoction. Green clay draws out the grime of the day and the powder formula contains just five ingredients, all of which are 100% natural, meaning it’s pretty pure no matter which way you look at it. Handmade in Skin & Tonic’s workshop in Hackney, this detox mask is fighting the smoke and smog of the city from within. Add in the sustainable production element and skin isn’t the only thing that looks healthier after a mask session- it’s easy on the environment too.
After a steamy day’s commute, a spritz of this cooling antibacterial mist will transport you straight to the Amalfi coast- lemon and grapefruit mingle with peppermint and rose to soothe and revive both skin and stress levels. Clarifying witch hazel helps to nix blemishes and the 99% organic, UK blended formula keeps things clear and on the environmental front. Keep it in the fridge for extra “ahhhh” after cleansing.
Plants oppose pollutants in this lightweight yet potent serum- slip it under your daily SPF or night cream and antioxidant blackcurrant, kiwi and pinot-noir grape derived Vinanza Oxifend Plus® extracts help skin to defend itself 24/7. It’s scientifically proven to inhibit oxidative stress by up to 90%, which is especially impressive considering that 95% of its ingredients are organically cultivated. Whoever doubted the efficacy of organic and natural skincare in the face of toxic fumes and the like can pipe down.
Skin isn’t being bombarded with external pollution at night time, so it’s the ideal window to intensively treat your skin and give it the best chance at recovery. Antioxidant white tea is the hero here, along with plumping hyaluronic acid to dispel any dryness aggravated by pollutant particles. In fact, if no-nonsense hydration is your number one priority, the three moisturising musketeers of glycerin, sodium hyaluronate and squalene will sort you out. As you’d expect it’s 100% natural and vegan, with plant actives sourced from certified organic agriculture. Again, a triumph of nature.
If you suspect that air pollution is aggravating your eczema, psoriasis or sensitive skin, this 100% organic healing omega-rich oil should visibly calm skin while cushioning it with anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids. Take your time to massage it in for maximum impact, using around 2-3 drops at a time for the whole face. Apply in the evening for smoother, more radiant skin the next morning, and it’s also a great perker-upper if skin is looking dull and fatigued.
This buttery multi-purpose skin protector was recently awarded the prize of Best New Certified Organic Skincare Product at the CEW Beauty Awards, and for good reason. From chapped lips to babies’ bums, it’s endlessly versatile, and packed with antioxidant rich plant oils and anti-inflammatory calendula to tackle all manner of skin woes. Unlike many a balm it’s not too heavy and also free of lanolin, beeswax and petroleum jelly, which makes it particularly suited to vegans and those with very sensitive skin, although be aware that it does contain nut oil if you know that that’s an issue for you. Otherwise, crack on- it’s especially satisfying for repairing ragged cuticles.
Soaring pollution levels can dull and damage hair as much as skin, not to mention provoke scalp irritation which can lead to limp roots and even hair loss. A scalp massage with this organic cold-pressed skin pacifier will help to boost circulation while providing vital hydration to flaky areas. Do wash it out afterwards, however, to avoid looking like a greasy Medusa. Head rub aside, castor oil can be used as a general body moisturiser, with antioxidant vitamin E and essential fatty acids to encourage healthy skin cell turnover. Dab on lashes for added gloss and accelerated growth, slather onto chapped hands or smooth a little over split ends- much are this oil’s multitasking charms.
Taking the definition of a ‘healthy tan’ to new levels, this 80% organic aloe-vera based mousse delivers a believable (although dark) glow while also soothing rather than stripping skin thanks to an injection of humble hyaluronic acid. If you find conventional self-tans irritating, this foamy faker will be quite the revelation, plus it’s one of the only natural and organic options in the market at the moment, so it’s ahead of the game in that respect. Antioxidant-wise you’ve got aloe and beetroot to put free-radicals in their place.
Get all of these products and more at 25 per cent off in the Whole Foods Market Organic Beauty Week Sale from 12th – 21st May
Don’t live remotely near a Whole Foods store? Have any of these products delivered to your home by choosing custom pick-up here
This feature was written in partnership with Whole Foods Market
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