Do you smell it?
Hotspots have been detected in Sumatra, and news reports suggest that the haze is here to stay for a while, and may even worsen over the next few days.
Time to bring out the N95 masks you’ve stocked up in 2013, and take extra care of our health – as well as skin and hair – as the fires continue to loom on in Indonesia. We’ll leave health tips to the doctors, but we’re here to share some beauty tips to haze-proof your skin and hair.
1. No wet hair
Fungi and bacteria thrive in wet and dark areas – exactly what your scalp sounds like when your hair is wet. If you have to head outdoors and brave the haze, make sure your hair is dry before you do so.
2. Wash thoroughly
Dust particles are likely to have landed on the surface of your hair. Make sure they won’t remained trapped within your locks by giving it a thorough wash after you get home. For an effective wash, lather your shampoo first, then apply the foam onto your hair. If you’ve been outdoors for a long time, consider a double cleansing – it’s the same way as you’d double cleanse your face: after rinsing off the shampoo for the first time, apply shampoo again and rinse off for a second time. If your hair and scalp is dry, don’t try double-cleansing.
3. Comb after drying your hair
Pollution from haze can cause more tangles. Combing helps to evenly distribute natural oil throughout your hair and makes it more smooth.
4. Use hair mask
The pollutants are bound to cause harm to your hair. Repair the damage caused by the aggressors by pampering your tresses with hair mask.
5. Cleanse your skin
Smog and dust can also create free radicals when they interact with UV rays. Free radicals are highly-charged oxygen molecules that attack our cells and damage our DNA. This can cause harm to our body and skin, and they are the greatest culprit to discolouration, fine lines and dullness in our skin. So, remember to take extra care of your skin when the haze comes too.
The smog is certainly forming a layer of dust on your skin, so remember to remove your makeup thoroughly when you’re home. Opt for a facial scrub that can help exfoliate too.
The smog can be the cause of dryness in your skin, so remember to hydrate. Moisturiser also helps lock in the goodness from the skincare products you’ve applied, and acts as a barrier between your skin and the environmental aggressors. Never leave your house without applying moisturiser.
7. Don’t forget your sunscreen
Another product you should never forget to apply before leaving your house is sunscreen. Remember how free radicals are formed when smog comes in contact with UV rays? (See point #5.) While the haze is giving an illusion of “shade” from the sun, you’re still constantly exposed to UV rays that are damaging for the skin, and with its effects worsened now, no thanks to the smog.
Bonus tip! Pile up on antioxidants
Antioxidants are great for fighting free radical damage that your sunscreen didn’t manage to protect you from in the day. Antioxidants reverse the effects of free radical damage and you should incorporate products that are fortified with antioxidants especially into your night regime. Look out for products with vitamin C and E, these are common ingredients that have potent antioxidant properties.