If there’s anything this week was memorable for, it was the haunting and daunting smell that we woke up to.
The haze is back and we can’t escape it. With it being, quite literally, right in our faces, we have to step up our defence to make sure we’re in tip-top shape – whether it’s with our health or our skin.
How does the haze affect our skin?
We know that the haze is bad for our health, now how about our skin?
First, the haze contains pollutants such as soot, dust, and other impurities. These can irritate our skin and cause itch, rash, and even cause inflammation. This is why you may see redness or even break out when you’re constantly exposed to bad air.
Haze is also a cause of free radical damage, which we know contributes to premature ageing. Living in a city already exposes us to a lot of free radicals, and haze just adds to the damage.
And as if we need more free radical attack, did you know that UV rays are stronger when it’s hazy? This is because the smog traps UV rays in the atmosphere, which makes harmful rays even more powerful, causing more harm to our skin.
Now that you know the kind of harm haze can cause our skin, read on for six tips – and products to use! – that can help mitigate the damage.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
It’s a centuries-old secret that should be especially maintained through these hazy times.
Drinking adequate ensures help with detoxification of the body while ensuring that your skin is hydrated and reduces the chance of clogged pores.
Hydrating your body also improves your immune system, which isn’t just important if you don’t want to fall sick, but also helps you fight against inflammation in your skin.
Give your skin a thorough cleanse
When you’re out and about in the haze, the most important thing you’ll want to do at the end of the day is to make sure there’s no impurities left on your skin.
Cleanse your face thoroughly after going out. If you’re willing to spend a little, look out for cleansers with antioxidant properties.
Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi+ Pollutant & Dullness Clarifying Cleansing Oil, which has glowing reviews online, is formulated with Korean ginseng and green tea, natural antioxidants, as well as Japanese camellia.
These ingredients keep your skin soft and supple, moisturised, and has anti-inflammatory properties. The oil cleanses your skin of micro-sized pollutants and restores radiance to your face, making it perfect for cities where air pollution (yes, including the haze) is a concern.
Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi+ Pollutant & Dullness Clarifying Cleansing Oil retails for S$65 for 150ml and is available at Shu Uemura counters and boutiques, as well as Sephora.
Go for a weekly deep cleanse
Exfoliating scrubs are good – but don’t overdo it, once or twice a week is enough. You’d want something that goes beyond the surface of your skin and into your pores for a thorough cleanse.
The Skin Inc Oxy-Recharge Bubble Mask is made with the brand’s award-winning smart peel technology. This detox mask bubbles up in order to deep cleanse and re-energise your skin – a great benefit when you want to protect your skin from the damaging haze.
The technology lifts away dead, dull skin cells and has a soothing blend of natural antioxidants that aid in getting rid of the effects of environmental pollution on your front. It’ll leave you with firmer, brighter, and healthier skin that you can see and feel.
Skin Inc Oxy-Recharge Bubble Mask retails for S$78 for 30ml and is available at Sephora.
Use sunscreen made for the city life
Smog and UV rays are part of city life and are responsible for causing free radical damage.
You should already be using a good sunscreen on a daily basis, but during the hazy season, be more conscientious with application; this means applying a good amount of it and to reapply regularly.
P.S. Sunscreens that protect you from blue light are a bonus!
Drunk Elephant Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 is packed with antioxidants that defend your skin from free radicals and environmental aggressors in the haze.
It’s perfect for sensitive skin since it’s made without chemical screens and silicones, and is infused with non-irritating and non-sensitising ingredients.
You can use the sunscreen daily, plus it doesn’t leave a white cast or any greasiness! Best of all, it offers a glowing tint that suits all skin tones.
Drunk Elephant’s Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 retails for S$52 for 90ml and is available at Sephora.
You’d also want to remember your lips, and the Supergoop! Lipscreen Sheer SPF 30 Lip Balm is perfect for this.
While it moisturises and smooths your puckers, it also shields it from environmental aggressors including UV damage.
We love that it is antioxidant-rich, which helps eliminate free radicals from the haze.
Supergoop! Lipscreen Sheer SPF 30 Lip Balm retails for S$36 and is available at Sephora.
Pamper your skin
Whether it’s in the day or overnight, make sure your skin stay moisturised and hydrated.
However, avoid sticky products – moisturisers, serums, as well as any makeup products such as glosses that are sticky. It’ll make a good landing spot for micro-particles in the haze – and nobody wants that!
A good product to keep by your bedside is the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Face Cream.
The DV team reviewed the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Face Cream and love how it gave us supple and baby-soft skin when we woke up.
It’s a lightweight antioxidant-rich cream powered by the Super Lotus, that works overnight to repair and strengthen your skin after all the environmental stress it has encountered throughout the day.
In the morning, your skin is recovered, moisturised and refreshed! Its soothing scent also sets the tone for a good night’s sleep.
Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Face Cream retails for S$97 for 50ml and is available at Sephora.
Load up on antioxidants, pronto
Make sure you’re fighting free radicals from inside out, too, to fight the damaging effects of the haze on your skin. Incorporate antioxidant rich foods into your diet.
To get you started, here are some foods that are rich in antioxidants: dark chocolate (in moderation, of course), pecans, blueberries, strawberries, goji berries, raspberries, artichokes, dark green vegetables, and fish.
Natural green tea is also a great beverage that you can drink frequently to load up on antioxidant to keep your health and skin in tip-top condition!