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  • Writer's pictureAmandla B

Did you know: City living is damaging your skin

It’s no secret that city living comes with its stressors. From navigating busy streets to dealing with noisy neighbours and frequent transit delays, living in urban centers is no walk in the park. But did you know this lifestyle comes with a slew of harmful effects for your skin health, too?

Indeed, there’s ample evidence to show that living in the city takes a toll on your epidermis. Pollution levels are higher in urban areas, and chronic exposure to toxins and chemicals leads to tissue damage and increased rates of aging.

"Pollutants are up to 30 times smaller than our pores," Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr Loretta, told Popsugar in a 2018 interview. "They penetrate into skin and damage its DNA, causing aging changes … when we compare age-matched peers in urban vs. rural settings, we find that city dwellers have more age spots, deeper skin creases, and more wrinkles.”

Not to mention, psychological stress (shown to be higher among those living in cities) is directly linked to the aging of skin and other tissues.

One study of 206 women between the ages of 30 and 45 living in Beijing found urban residents to have lower levels of skin hydration than their rural counterparts, despite, on the whole, displaying more thorough care routines. Urban dwellers studied were found to sleep longer, drink more water, wash off their makeup more regularly, and use skincare products more often than rural residents. But the city-livers surveyed nonetheless saw higher damage to their skin. The investigators behind the study attributed this to higher levels of stress and vehicular and industrial pollutants in cities.

Maintaining a clear complexion while living in a metropolitan area may feel like a losing battle, but there are countless steps you can take to protect your skin nonetheless. Remember to wash your face and hands regularly, clearing your pores of any bacteria clogged that you may have picked up grabbing onto subway poles, shaking hands with colleagues, or simply from living in an area with higher pollution.

End your day with a a Bartholomew Sisters facial cleanser, rich in skin-repairing Vitamin E. Then, dab on our new Lavender & Aloe facial toner to get off any remaining grime. With proper care, you can fight back against the damage of your environment.



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