It is puzzling how little thought and care is sometimes given to our skin. All through lockdown we had people worrying about not being able to visit the hairdressers in order to have their locks maintained. We go to manicurists to keep our nails in tip top condition, and visit the gym so our body is trained and toned. But our skin, which is, after all one of the first things people see that makes an impression, is often neglected. Think about it, everything from sun damage by not wearing SPF, to eating the wrong kinds of food, to sleeping in our make up, there are so many things we do that hurt our skin. And lets not even get into the more dangerous things that we ignore, like changes to skin tone, those new blemishes that suddenly appear, and moles that are raised and unsightly, and may just be a sign of a cancer.
If you live in a big city like London, Birmingham and Manchester, your skin is also subjected to environmental pressures. I used to travel to London regularly for work, and also noticed that when I cleansed afterwards the cloth would be noticeably dirtier than it would from a normal day. Traveling by the underground often made this even worse, a friend who lives in London now often mentions that when she blows her nose after a tube trip, the mucus is often black in colour. Dr Mervyn Patterson, cosmetic dermatologist at Woodford Medical says:-
The high levels of London air pollution cause defects in the functioning of our external skin barrier, and that’s what lies at the heart of the ageing process in the skin. (Evening Standard)
The air you are breathing in and walking through in the big cities is so much more polluted than it is if you live in a more rural setting, and this means that you are subjecting your skin to a daily barrage of nasties that are both wearing and ageing. London rain is another problem as it can be more acidic than rain in rural areas. All this can lead to a need to seek professional help for your skin, you may need to look at a dermatologist in London, check out https://dermatologist.london who can address all skincare issues.
But if you do live in higher polluting places, and are already beginning to see signs of damage, or age spots on your skin, is there anything else you can be doing to help matters yourself? The answer is yes, there is actually a lot you can do to help yourself to better skin, regardless of where you live.
Taking the layers of the day off is crucial to good skin, so a good quality cleanser is a worthy investment. Treating your skin to a face mask or enzyme peel is also a treat that will give your skin a pick me up. Choose a brand like Elemis or Decleor to really give your skin a nourishing treat.
Some people only seem to put on sunscreen when they are on their holidays, or on really warm days, when the reality is you should probably wear it every day (think of those lovely Winter sun days when it is cold and bright). Even if you are wearing make up, you still need good sunscreen, the higher the factor, the better the protection.
Our skin, like our bodies in general, needs to be kept hydrated, so we really need to be drinking plenty of water each day. In general, it doesn’t need to be a fancy bottled variety, fill your water bottle from your tap and just make sure you keep on drinking. If water really isn’t your thing, why not help it by infusing it with fruit to give it a little flavour.
However, the story is a little different when it comes to bathing in London, as it is a hard water area with a lot of calcium in the supply. In this case, be careful with the products you use to shower with as this can be an irritant that can lead to eczema.Dr. Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist at Skin55 and author of The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Great Skin explained to Refinery 29:-
Research has shown that hard water – water that passes through chalk and limestone rock and carbonates along the way – can damage the barrier of the skin and contribute to the risk of developing eczema as well as increasing its sensitivity.
Don’t Ignore Skin Problems
Our skin does change over time, but there are changes you need to look out for and to seek advice for. Moles are usually harmless, but the NHS states that if they change shape, have more than two colours, or if it is bleeding, itching, crusting or raised, you should seek medical attention.