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The end is in sight! Better weather feels like a reward for our efforts over the past year as lockdown eases and a sense of normality resumes. However it’s now important to adapt your routine and keep protecting your skin as it faces a different set of post-lockdown challenges. 

Protect against pollution

If you live in the suburbs or countryside, you’re probably looking forward to heading back into the city to visit your favourite restaurants, bars and museums to socialize. However, cities have one big downside for our skin – pollution. 

Airborne pollutants can cause skin damage over time, if you’re regularly exposed to pollution such as car exhausts and general city-living, it’s worth investing in some anti-pollution skincare. City pollution speeds up the ageing process and is generally inflammatory, meaning you’re more likely to experience sensitivity and redness. 

You may already have some anti-pollution ingredients in your skincare, most newer sunscreens do. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Niacinamide all disrupt pollution’s effect on the skin. After a day in the city it’s important to use a chemical exfoliant to dislodge any remaining pollutants still present on the skin after cleansing – Azelaic Acid is a great exfoliant as well as an antioxidant. 

SPF for (nearly) summer

Hopefully you’re already wearing SPF everyday, but if you aren’t, now is the time to start! We’re all spending more time outside, and while it might not always feel like it, summer is well and truly on its way. 

While you probably know SPF is the best thing you can do to prevent skin cancer, it can also greatly reduce the impact of UV rays on skin ageing. SPF only applies to UVB radiation, and doesn’t refer to UVA. A sunscreen that adequately protects against UVA will be labelled “broad spectrum”. Choose a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 that provides broad spectrum UVA coverage and opt for a higher SPF when using active ingredients as many ingredients increase photosensitivity. An SPF is an essential part of any effective skincare routine at every time of year.

Alcohol and skin

Pubs and restaurants are open and it’s wonderful. If you occasionally overindulge, you know that you’ll probably feel it the next day. Besides a headache, your skin may also be off-colour  and the reason behind both is dehydration. 

As we start socialising more try to stay hydrated; it’s always a good idea to have a glass of water before bed if you’ve been drinking. While we can’t help with hangover headaches, we can help with your skin. Rather than using your usual retinoid routine, Dr Malvina Cunningham recommends a gentle hydrating routine for stressed skin, using a serum and moisturiser or a hydrating sheet mask. Drink plenty of water, relax and restart your usual routine the following day. 

Whether you’re busy planning a June 21st party or shielding for a while longer, make sure you continue to prioritise your health and wellbeing. 

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