The truth about pollution and our skin

We chat to Emma Hobson, Education Manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, about the impact pollution is having on our skin and what we can do about it.

Just because we can’t necessarily see pollution here in New Zealand, is it still something we should be concerned about?

Indeed it is, and it’s not just in our cities, high pollution levels can be found in the countryside too as a result of things such as bush fires and even from farming.

Why is pollution so bad for our skin?
One clear finding is that pollution and the toxins in our environment are causing our skin to prematurely age. In the last few years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed Particulate Matter (PM) to be a carcinogen to humans. We know the dangers of breathing in hazardous levels of air pollution and how it affects our overall health; but more and more research has surfaced that links these tiny particles of air pollution to skin damage, as a result of entering through our pores.

Pollution damages the skin resulting in the following signs of premature ageing;
• Increased sensitivity and irritation
• Increased dehydration and the breakdown of our natural protective barrier on the skins surface
• Breakouts and acne
• Uneven skin tone
• Hyperpigmentation

How is the Daily Superfoliant different to the Microfoliant?
It’s very different in so many ways, primarily by virtue of all the different ingredients and its function on the skin and the skin type it is best suited for. Daily Superfoliant is designed to treat the signs of premature ageing (particularly caused by our toxic environment) it’s also suited for those with an oilier skin that need a good detox. The Daily Superfoliant is a skin Resurfacer containing an active blend of Hydroxy Acids and Digestive enzymes, whereas the Daily Microfoliant is a very gentle skin polisher for all skin types especially those who are more sensitive. The similarities are in how it is applied, that they can both be used daily and they are both a powder!

Can you talk about some of the key ingredients in the formulation?
The specialised cosmeceutical ingredients housed within this product including Binchotan Charcoal, powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories and the Anti-Adherence Complex of Tara fruit and Red algae make it a high-performance product when it comes to detoxifying, clearing and very importantly protecting the skin against the harsh effects of our environment.

What other steps can we take to protect our skin from pollution?

Ensure the products you apply contain three key things, and remember pollution can be just as bad indoors as it can be outdoors, sometimes even more so!
1. Anti-adherence complex (Red Algae and Tara Fruit Extract), creates an invisible protective mesh on the skin surface to help prevent PM entering the skin.
2. Powerful anti-oxidants needed to neutralise free radical attack from the environment
3. Sunscreen SPF30-50+, vital to protect the skin from UV exposure

Double cleansing is an essential step to ensure the skin is free from pollution. I’d recommend the first cleanse with a cleansing facial oil. The oil is brilliant at dislodging and removing surface oils, dirt and pollution. The second cleanse can then be with a clay based cleanser or a skin resurfacing cleanser to thoroughly absorb any excess oils and remove surface dead skin. Follow this with a daily use ‘superfoliant’, a powder that turns into a frothy paste that effectively adsorbs the PM matter trapped within the surface pores by virtue of the Charcoal, super smooths the skin with a combination of Hydroxy acids and digestive enzymes and protects the skin from pollution with an anti-adherence complex.

The white shirt that can save lives

Witchery and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) have teamed up again for their ninth annual White Shirt Campaign.

Ovarian cancer claims the life of one woman every ten hours in Australia and a further 350 women are diagnosed with the disease each year in New Zealand. There is no early detection test, and there is no cure. The OCRF are on a vital mission to develop an early detection test and this year when you buy a white shirt during the white shirt campaign, Witchery will donate all the proceeds (except GST) to help build a future free of ovarian cancer.

The White Shirt collection is available in-store now. Get behind it and don your white shirt Monday 8 May to show your support using #whiteshirtcampaign.