Everyday Stressors Affecting Your Skin


While we’re running about our daily lives, working hard, planning social events for the weekend and ticking off our endless To Do lists, we rarely spare a thought for our skin and what it might be going through. Over the course of the day, our skin is put through its paces. As soon as we open our eyes, we’re on our phones exposing our skin to blue light, not to mention the pollution we face as we commute into the office, where we then subject our skin to an additional seven or eight hours of screen glare from our computers. Read on to find out about the effects external stressors are having on our skin and what we can do to help alleviate and protect it.

Environmental Stressor: Pollution

How Does Pollution Affect Skin?
The function of our skin is to act as a protectant, keeping moisture and hydration in and harmful antibodies out. The issue with pollution is that it’s made up of tiny nanoparticles, such as dirt, dust and impurities which are able to penetrate the skin’s surface and weaken the protective barrier by breaking down the collagen and lipids contained within it. Once this protective barrier is attacked, skin becomes more vulnerable to irritation, rashes and breakouts.

What Can Be Done?
Washing your face as soon as you get in from work will help to remove the daily build-up of pollution particles that can gather on the skin’s surface. To ensure you are giving skin a thorough cleanse, start with a micellar water, packed with suspended surfactant molecules which naturally attract dirt and oil. Follow your first cleanse with a gentle facial wash to ensure all traces of dirt are removed. We recommend using Oskia CityLife Cleansing Concentrate specifically designed to refresh and calm environmentally stressed complexions and remove impurities and pollutants.

Look out for skincare packed with antioxidants such as vitamin A, C or E to help fight off free radicals and prevent heavy metals and smog from taking its toll on your skin. Productive mists that can be applied to your skin before you head outdoors are also a good idea. We like Oskia CityLife Facial Mist it’s essential to keep the skin barrier healthy and Chantecaille Anti Pollution Essence  which creates an instant barrier and shield skin. Key ingredients to look out for include niacinamide, which works to boost healthy ceramide production as well an vitamins B5, C and E to support and strengthen.

Environmental Stressor: Blue Light

How Does it Affect Skin?
Overexposure to blue or HEV (high energy visible) light, which comes from sunlight and also digital devices such as mobile phones and computers, affects the rate at which our skin ages and causes skin damage such as pigmentation, inflammation and weakening of the skin’s structure. The main issue with blue light is that is has the ability to penetrate all the way into the dermis, the site at which our collagen is produced, which causes disruption and inference, and leads to the loss of elasticity and visible fine lines and wrinkles.

What Can Be Done?
Reducing the amount of time we spend on our mobile phones and in front of our computer screens can really help. Although sun exposure is the main source of blue light pollution, our faces are in much closer proximity to our screens than ever before and so this close-up exposure can be quite damaging. We suggest turning the brightness level on your devices right down and where possible going hands-free to avoid direct screen contact.

It’s also worth investing in some skincare with blue-light-busting properties. We recommend Chantecaille Blue Light Protection Hyaluronic Serum, which is formulated with nasturtium to help protect skin against the effects of blue light pollution. Alternatively, Natura Bisse Diamond Cocoon Ultimate Shield works to protect the face against indoor and outdoor pollution as well as forming a barrier against blue light. It leaves the epidermis feeling supple and moisturised while also supporting a fresh, more luminous appearance. Mineral sunscreens are also worth paying attention to, they contain iron oxide, which helps to block visible light and neutralise and repair skin damage. Try Ren’s new Clean Screen Mineral SPF30.

Environmental Stressor: UV Exposure

How Does it Affect Skin?
UV radiation from the sun is transmitted in three wavelengths. UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC doesn’t penetrate the earth’s atmosphere, so we only really need to protect against UVA and UVB. An easy way to remember the difference between the two, is that UVA rays are associated with ageing, while UVB rays are responsible for burning. While we associate using SPF with warm, sunny days, it’s important to remember that UV rays are emitted in all weather conditions and so it’s advisable to incorporate an SPF into your daily skincare routine. Overexposure to UV rays can eventually alter the DNA in skin cells, which at its worst can result in skin cancer but also has a more immediate effect on skin, damaging and breaking down collagen responsible for giving skin that plumped-up, youthful look.

What Can Be Done?
The easiest way to protect your face from daily UV exposure is to opt for an all-over formula with a high SPF that doubles up as a primer and goes onto skin before foundation. That way it becomes part of your routine and can even be worn alone on non-makeup days. We love Dr. Barbara Sturm’s innovative Sun Drops SPF50, which can be mixed in with anything from your serum to foundation and offers the highest level of protection for face. Alternatively, By Terry UV Base Sunscreen Cream Broad Spectrum SPF50 is a brilliant base for makeup and also filters against the harmful effects of the sun. Don’t forget when applying daily SPF to take the product down to your neck and chest for full protection.