Skin agingSome years ago while visiting my brother for a few days in the big city, a friend of ours suggested how nice the skin of the people who live in a town looks relating to the people who live in big cities.

Even more than that, can you imagine the skin of the people who live in the countryside, on a mountain or in a nice small village on an island?

Of course, it all depends on how careful you are with protecting and caring for your skin even in those closer to nature areas.

So, it is a fact that living in big cities can have negative effects on your skin including dryness, premature aging, acne, dullness, congested skin pores, irritations and even skin allergies.

When it has to do with your skin surviving in city conditions, what are those factors that steal its beauty and health, and what can we do to reduce those damaging effects?

Does Pollution Age your Skin?

Pollution is one of the main reasons which negatively affect your skin in two different ways, the visible and the less visible way.

The visible damage takes place due to the smog and dirt which are transferred to the skin and hair, and we realize that it´s there when we cleanse our skin in the evening and we see those gray residues appearing on the cotton pad.

The invisible damage is afflicted due to those toxic fumes existing in the atmosphere like nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide which promote the creation of free radicals in the skin. Those free radicals rob off your skin´s hydration, cause discolorations as well as fine lines and wrinkles.

What You Can Do

To remove all those impurities that sit on your skin due to the environmental pollution, an effective cleansing is more than just necessary. In my case, I use two types of organic cleansers but not at the same time.

While the milky one is perfect at calming my skin, removing dirt and making it soft, nicely moisturized and really relaxed, the other one, which is more like a clear gel, congests the skin pores better. I also use cotton pads to rub and massage the skin softly while having the milky cleanser on. Some people use muslin cloths or konjac sponges.

A cleansing system facial and body care kit can also be very useful for good cleansing. Once or twice every week don´t forget to use an exfoliator or a skin scrub mask. People who are acne prone choose scrubs that contain AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) like glycolic acid, lactic acid and others.

Lately, I have been using Pai Organics Exfoliator which is great for my sensitive skin and doesn´t dry the skin at all but on the contrary, it leaves it soft and glowing.

For more information about cleansing, you can read our face cleansing tips and tricks.

How Does a Stressful lifestyle Affect your Skin?

I have heard that stress can make you look even 10 years older and that should contain not only one but lot´s of grains of truth. Unfortunately, living in the city is most of the times followed by some amount of stress.

Different factors like driving long distances, traffic jams, increased working responsibilities and everyday duties increase our stress levels. But how can stress affect our skin?

Stress promotes the production of cortisol, a hormone that reduces our skin defences and slows up the skin cells renewal. This can result in acne breakouts, redness, dehydration and even skin peeling off.

Bad habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can make the skin condition even worse.

What You Can Do

A stressful lifestyle or getting stress as a personal way of reacting into pressuring conditions cannot easily be changed but it all depends on how persistent you are and how much you really want and you are able to change this situation.

Relating to a stressful lifestyle which is caused by the general life conditions and responsibilities, my advice would first be not to add new responsibilities to yourself and second to try and take some load up off your shoulders relating to your already existing duties.

If the period is not the most appropriate one for you to start minimizing those duties, then find a way to relieve your stress such as taking up yoga classes or any other form of exercising, try meditation, aromatherapy, or simply a more healthy diet.

If stress is more like an internal reaction of yours to outside pressuring triggers, then you need to work deeper into yourself to find the roots of your stress and try to control and even get rid of it.

Relating to the oxidative stress of your skin, antioxidants in skincare products can be of a great value. Protecting your skin from the Sun is also very important.

Does Less Oxygen in the Atmosphere Equal Less Sleep?

Answering positively to the above question comes from actual life examples. For instance, I still remember that whenever my brother´s wife came to spend some days with us in the Summer, she always used to say that she sleeps a lot more than the amount of sleep she gets when in her city.

She attributed this to the increased amount of oxygen of the atmosphere in our town relating to the oxygen that she was able to breathe in the city, but I would also add that the relaxing feeling one has when on holidays also helps the body find relief from everyday stresses.

More and better quality sleep results to a regenerated, more calm and youthful looking skin, so keep in mind that getting a sufficient amount of sleep works like getting an excellent beauty and health spa for your skin.

Before sleeping, you can also apply a good retinol cream which will boost your collagen formation and for some extra moisturization, you can apply a hyaluronic acid serum before the cream application, which will prevent the loss of your skin´s hydration.

So, after reading all about the way the city life affects your skin´s beauty and health, are you ready for a different style of life? If not, just make sure that you protect your skin as much as you can so that you can minimize if not eliminate the city life´s negative effects on it.