[By Tania Hui]
With the haze becoming a mounting problem in some parts of Southeast Asia including Singapore, complaints of red eyes, itchy skin and other health woes are now talk of the town. Despite the gloomy outlook, here are some effective tips you can employ to keep yourself happy and healthy.
SOOTHE THE EYES
As soon as you step out into the open, your eyes begin to protest by tearing up, itching and stinging. Does that sound familiar? The poor air quality quickly affects the delicate membranes in our eyes, causing them to feel irritated. While red eyes may be all the rage amongst the vampire set, they certainly do nothing for us mere mortals. Combat them with this range of calming tips.
Mild: If your eyes are giving you cause for concern, soothe your eyes by closing them for a period of time, and letting your own natural tears do their work of cleaning and clearing. Feeling a little stressed? Cut two slices of cool cucumber and lay them over your tired peepers for that perfect afternoon shut-eye. If your eyelids feels hot and inflamed, your can also try cold tea bags or cold metal spoons that have been refrigerated for over an hour for your DIY eye treat.
Severe: Look for eyedrops that can calm red eyes such as Alrex; it contains anti-pruritic (anti-itch) and anti-redness ingredients. If you are not able to get prescription eyedrops, using artificial tears can also help.
Tip: Resist the temptation to rub your eyes. If your eyes are giving you problems, try to stay indoors as much as possible. Unfortunately wearing sunglasses is not going to help this itchy situation but may mask ugly red eyes from nosy glares.
DETOX YOUR SKIN
Your skin responds to the haze in many ways— by feeling itchy and irritated, or simply by clogging up like a blocked drainpipe, looking dull and lackluster. Make sure you give your skin a thorough cleansing after each exposure to the haze. Rinse thoroughly with water, and use a skin appropriate toner to ensure your pores are cleansed ad primed thoroughly. If you are at work and unable to give you pores a good scrub-a-dub, get a skin mist such as Epicuren Colostrum Mist to help dissolve any surface impurities and recharge overwhelmed complexions.
Mild: If your skin feels mildly irritated, opt for a skin soothing facial such as Epicuren Green Tea & Ginger Detoxifying facial which infuses skin with natural antioxidants to protect it from pollutants and other irritants lurking without.
Severe: If you are experiencing constant itching or redness, apply a skin soothing balm such as Sloane Inc Emergency Balm, sold exclusively at The Sloane Clinic. It contains calamine and anti-redness, anti-itch ingredients to combat niggling skin frustrations.
PROTECT YOUR AIRWAYS
Stop all strenuous activities outdoors. Limit your time outdoors if possible.
Mild: If you are out and about, wear a mask to protect your nose and mouth.
Not many masks are able to filter out haze particles effectively. Having a thin paper or cloth mask may not do the trick, opt for a N95 mask used by medical professionals, manufactured by 3M. If you do not have adequate protection when you are outdoors, try not to breath through your mouth; instead, breathe through your nose to ensure that the air gets properly filtered by your nasal passages before reaching your lungs.
Severe: If PSI spikes, stay indoors. Use an air purifier to clean the air in your area. If you do not have an air-purifier, then keep windows closed and turn on your air-conditioner instead. Mist the air in your room with water from time to time.