[By Tania Hui]
The PSI watching days are back again, with the whole of Singapore shrouded in a thick blanket of rancid smelling haze blown over from the raging fires caused by deliberate deforestation in Sumatra, Indonesia. Like second-hand cigarette smoke, particulate pollution causes many issues, with airways and skin woes topping the list. Being the largest organ of the body, our skin is the first line defence against environmental pollutants and it is little wonder that the haze might wreak havoc to it. Such detrimental effects include dryness, skin rashes, eczema, acne outbreak and even premature aging! So while the government bodies are busy sorting out the big picture and we pray that the rain will continue to fall, let us at RSB show you how to care for your skin during these smog filled days.
If you’ve sensitive skin
If you’ve sensitive skin like me, chances are the haze had already gotten to you and a dermal emergency ought to be declared, with alarm raised to calm your skin down ASAP.
Mild: Start loading up on calming ‘agents’ as these not only help soothe the skin, they also act as efficient moisturising nutrients to protect it from further damage. Chamomile, green tea, aloe vera, cucumber and gingko biloba leaf are some of these naturally ocurring skin saviours with calming and soothing effects that will help get rid of the redness in your skin. Lull you skin back to normalcy with a skin soothing treatment such as the Epicuren Green Tea & Ginger Detoxifying Facial. By infusing the skin with selected natural antioxidants, this gentle yet effective skin treat calms and protects it from pollutants and other skin irritants lurking around.
Moderate: If you are experiencing constant itching or redness, apply a skin soothing balm such as Sloane Inc Emergency Balm, which as its namesake, is a godsend must-have that’s suitable for both face and body in times of need. Sold exclusively at The Sloane Clinic, it contains calamine and other anti-redness, anti-itch as well as anti-inflammatory ingredients that help combat niggling skin frustrations when the PSI continue to climb.
If you’ve oily skin
Toxins and particulates from air pollution are easily trapped in the outer layer of our skin known as the epidermis, and they can get lodged in the hair follicles leading to clogged up pores. This interferes with our skin’s natural ability to slough off dead skin cells and debris, often leading to the formation of pesky whiteheads and blackheads (comedones) as well as acne papules, pustules and even cysts in a severe breakout.
Mild: To guard against an acne breakout of catastrophic proportion, seek out specially designed ‘skin-solvers’ such as the Matte in Heaven skincare kit put together by the medical experts behind The Sloane Shop. Consisting of an Active Cleansing Gel, Calendula Toner, Clarifying Gel and Fruit Enzyme Renewal, this oil-foiling set will deep cleanse, close pores, zap shine and mattify your skin so that your complexion will look as fresh and spotless as the clear Singapore skyline that one is familiar with.
Moderate: Often hailed as the ultimate skin treat for thorough cleansing, the Deep Deep Clean Facial combines Microdermabrasion with a fruit acid wash followed by Ultrasonic deep pore purging to tackle the grit and grub of the enveloping smog that’s attacking your skin relentlessly. If there are already signs of impending acneiform eruption, sign yourself up for Clean & Clear, a comprehensive zit-busting program of eight effective deep exfoliation and skin-clarifying facials, to help clear blemishes and boost skin clarity without resorting to painful manual extractions which potentially, can lead to permanent scarring.
If you’ve normal skin
If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with normal skin, this doesn’t mean that you can rest on your laurels and sit unfazed in the enveloping haze. Air pollutants rob our skin cells of precious oxygen with the increased number of free radicals in the air and will lead to decreased production of skin collagen in any skin type, normal ones included. This causes the skin to lose its natural elasticity, leading to signs of premature aging such as sagginess, fine lines and wrinkles.
Mild: If you’re holed-up indoors most part of the day (which you should be!), why not turn this into a beauty opportunity to cleanse and pamper your skin with a DIY ‘Haze Home Kit’? Start off with a Sloane Inc Skin Superfood Pumpkin Purifying Peel. Bursting with powerful antioxidants to work against the assault of free radicals in the polluted air, this pumpkin enzyme treatment unlike your traditional face scrub tackle clogged complexions by ‘melting down’ the dead skin cells to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, minimise pore size, improve texture and control oil. Follow up with a the ultra luxe Sloane Inc Gold Glow Recovery Mask, Thanks to Sea Buckthorn Berry added to an enriching mix of multivitamins topped with a generous helping of real 24 carat pure gold flecks, this soothing complexion-enhancing mask helps increase skin moisture levels and oxygen uptake to “haze-proof’ your skin and boost it to a luxuriously luminous finish.
Moderate: If you feel that your pores are clogged up with muck in the air like a choked drainpipe, bring your skin back to cloud nine with the Triple Oxygen Heaven spa treat. An all-round complexion reviver for fatigued skins, it starts off with a jet spray of fine, misty pure oxygen and vitamins to thoroughly clean, exfoliate & brighten, followed by a soothing oxygen whitening wrap and a nourishing vitamin C sonophoresis therapy to plump and firm up skin ravaged by toxins and free radicals overload.
And one tiny lesson in life that I’m always reminded whenever the haze comes around each year, is never ever to take what you have (fresh air in this case) for granted….
The public is recommended to adhere to the MOH haze health advisory. Do drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated. Individuals with existing chronic heart and lung conditions should ensure that your medications are on hand and readily available. Should you encounter symptoms or discomfort, please take additional measures to prevent further exposure.
* Selected as Editor’s Choice Sep 2015*