In terms of city living, New Yorkers have it made. The culture, the food, the architecture, the parks and the people make NYC one of the greatest cities in the entire world. However, that's not to say there aren't a few disadvantages of living in the Big Apple.
For one thing, city-dwellers are exposed to numerous pollutants, carcinogens and other toxins, which wreak havoc on health and appearance. In addition to the long-term effects of these toxins, one problem with the air in New York and other major cities is that it seriously affects the health of the skin.
Thankfully, there are ways to safeguard your skin from the hazards of the city. Keep reading to find out how.
How the City Affects Skin
First of all, it's important to understand how the air in major cities affects the skin. As a result of pollution from car exhaust, impurities in tap water, factory emissions, soot, ash, UV rays and other factors, New Yorkers often experience effects that include premature aging, drying, acne breakouts and skin that loses its overall luster. And while there may be no way to avoid the hazards associated with the air, there are ways you can protect yourself and repair some of the damage.
Protecting Your Skin
To protect your skin from airborne toxins, the right products are essential. Some skincare formulas are packed with unnatural dyes, fragrances and other chemicals, which can only exacerbate the problem and further damage the skin. Thankfully, other products are designed to protect skin from the dangers of free radicals, as well as repair some of the ill-effects associated with these substances. DDF Skin Care products, for example, are formulated with antioxidants, hydrating emollients and other ingredients, which reduce free-radical damage and leave the skin softer, smoother and healthier.
Also, it's important to keep the skin clear of as many toxins as possible. As a rule, cleansing twice per day is recommended, or more often if you spend large quantities of time outdoors. When washing your face, remember these guidelines:
- Don't scrub. While exfoliating treatments are a great way to reveal fresher, younger-looking skin, they shouldn't be used as a part of your everyday routine. Instead, use a mild cleanser and gently wash the skin in circular motions.
- Use toner, as it removes residue left behind after washing.
- Moisturize. To combat effects like drying and aging, be sure to use moisturizer every day. In the winter, it may be a good idea to use a heavy moisturizing cream, while the warmer months only require light hydration.
- Use sunscreen. Even when it's cold and/or cloudy, SPF 30 or higher should always be a part of your skincare routine.
Protect and Repair Your Skin, from the Inside Out
A balanced, nutritious diet is a great way to ensure healthy skin. Plus, the antioxidants found in fresh fruits, vegetables and other natural food sources will help protect and repair the oxidized damage associated with free radicals. For optimal skin health, be sure to incorporate these items into a balanced meal plan:
- Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C. Think citrus fruit, berries, leafy greens and other colorful fruits and vegetables.
- Cruciferous vegetables. Veggies like broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and are therefore necessary to healthy skin.
- Nuts. Almonds, cashews, pecans and other nuts contain high amounts of vitamin E, which has been shown to promote skin health.
- Whole grains. By providing a mineral called selenium, whole grains can help improve skin's health, appearance and elasticity.
- Hydration. Water is essential to skin health. Be sure to drink bottled water or purchase a purifier for your tap, and drink 8-10 glasses each and every day.
Although living in NYC can be hard on your skin, the tips here will help prevent and repair damage, as well as improve the skin's overall health and appearance. By taking the proper skincare precautions, you can rest easy in the city that never sleeps, knowing you're protected.
Jill Kelly is a healthy New Yorker, or at least trying to be! Jill has lived in Manhattan for 8 years after moving from her childhood home in New Jersey. Jill is an avid fitness participant who enjoys biking, yoga, and jogging. She is also one for cooking herself, healthy or unhealthy :)