Protect your skin from pollution: Vicky Lee’s top 10 products to beat the smog in the big smoke
For many of us, living in a big city means that our skin is constantly attacked by smog, dust and fumes floating in the air. These harmful toxins seep into the skin and can cause numerous problems in the long term such as DNA cell damage, inflammation or an increase in free radicals, all of which speed up the ageing process. Unfortunately in addition, if you live in a city, you are much more likely to suffer from greasy, dull skin with an increased chance of premature ageing.
For this reason, anti-pollution products have become one of the biggest beauty trends on the market in South Korea, a country often found to have a high level of air pollution. Anti-pollution products typically contain antioxidants, DNA repair technology, toxins-absorbers, and anti-inflammatory ingredients all of which work together to help reduce the damage that harmful toxins cause. As a result, the skin is left looking revived and vibrant on the surface, having been deeply nurtured and restored beneath the visible epidermis.
Here, Vicky Lee, beauty and lifestyle guru and founder of Sorabelle, reveals her top 10 Korean beauty products which help protect her skin, defying her 40 years and 4 four children.
1. IOPE URBAN AGING CORRECTOR
This is one of my favourite products that is specially formulated for those who live in a heavily-polluted city. It’s a corrector which helps to reduce large pores, dullness, and fine lines – all symptoms of urban ageing. The key ingredient is Bio-Reno 3, a new technology developed by Iope after years of research into the effects of pollution on skin.
2. THE HISTORY OF WHOO HWANYUGO ESSENCE
What makes this essence a must in my anti-pollution skincare routine, is that it contains serion germanium, a patented Korean complex made of selenium and germanium which work together to provide the skin’s cells with oxygen. It further works to regenerate damaged cells and eliminate all kinds of pollutants from the body.
3. INNISFREE JEJU SPARKLING MINERAL MIST
I always like to carry a mist in my purse because it’s a convenient way to refresh my skin throughout the day, without ruining my makeup. This mist is particularly powerful because it contains two antioxidants; green tea and vitamin C, which are known to fight free radicals. Green tea also has soothing properties which work to relieve the skin from environmental damage, whilst vitamin C contains brightening properties to reduce dullness whilst encouraging radiance.
4. HERA SUN MATE PROTECTOR SPF50+/PA+++
This is one of my favourite sunscreens as it thoroughly protects against UV rays and pollution, whilst also brightening the skin. Like most luxury Korean products, it contains a blend of natural extracts and cutting edge technology; water hyacinth extract purifies the skin of pollutants, whilst the new Anti-R complex soothes the skin that has become weak and tired under the effects of UV rays, stress, and pollution.
5. MISSHA M VITA BB CREAM (MATTE) SPF20/PA++
A must have BB Cream, which I often wear in both London and Seoul. It’s a great anti-pollution weapon because it contains the Natural Protector complex which is made up of fermented soybean, willow, cassia bark, oregano, portulaca oleracea extract and gold extract. All these ingredients have soothing and antioxidants properties that counteract the damaging effects of pollution on stressed skin.
6. SULWHASOO CLARIFYING MASK
Using a clarifying mask once a week is a must, as it works to gently remove all the impurities and pollutants that have settled on the skin throughout the day. This one contains both the impurities-absorber of solomon powder and plenty of pollution and wrinkle-fighting antioxidants. A true multi-tasking hero product.
7. ELIZAVECCA CARBONATED BUBBLE CLAY MASK
Another great way to detox and purify the complexion is by using a mask containing charcoal powder and clay. Both ingredients are very absorbent, working to remove excess oil, impurities and toxins from the skin quickly and effectively. Like the Sulwhasoo mask, this one also contains plenty of antioxidants – including green tea that works to soothe irritated skin and prevent further environmental damage to the skin.
8. SU:M37 SECRET REPAIR CONCENTRATE
SU:M37 is a brand known for using fermented ingredients which are particularly good against the effects of pollution on skin. This is because the fermentation process increases the quantity and potency of antioxidants allowing for the end beauty product to be much more effective in its design. I use this concentrate each night before bed to help my skin repair the damage it has sustained throughout the day.
9. VANT 36.5 CAMELLIA EXTREME MOISTURE CREAM
This moisturizer, designed specifically for dry skin, is just as effective at hydrating skin as it is at fighting against harmful pollutants. The key ingredient here is camellia which contains vitamin A and E, two powerful antioxidants that can fight environmental irritants and premature wrinkles whilst keeping the complexion soft and moisturized for hours at a time.
10. DOININBI RED GINSENG DAILY AGING PREPARATION ESSENCE
An essence is a must in my skincare routine because it provides a much-needed extra layer of hydration to dry and polluted skin. This is one of the most effective essences I have used because it contains the roots of 6-year-old Korean ginseng plants. Korean ginseng is of the best quality ginseng in the world, due to the soil conditions on the peninsula which allow the ginseng to produce more than twice the amount of saponin content in its makeup. Saponin is the effective nutrient that gives ginseng its collagen-boosting and pollution-fighting properties.