The city can be exciting; the buzz, the chaos, the late night shopping. The city has something for everyone, but did you ever think what it might have in store for your skin? Do you get home after a hectic day out and about, and aside from the panda eyes, find your skin doesn’t look or feel that great? Yes, our skin is sometimes the last to know it, but the city throws many things our way which can impact the look of skin and cause sensitivity. Your skin faces a lot each day- dirt and pollution, the weather, air conditioning, even a lack of sleep and eating on the go. In the short term, these things can lead to dry patches, redness, blemishes and cause your skin to feel sensitive. In the long term, you’d be surprised but it can increase the sensitivity of your skin, and even cause premature aging! That’s a lot to take in, but don’t worry! Read on to get the low down on skin and the city, and what you can do for naturally healthy looking skin. You can’t take the girl out of the city, but you can take the city out of her skin!
What does your skin face in the city? Read more
Then you have the things which you have more control over; things like your stress levels, and your diet. Let’s start with those environmental factors, the things you find in city around you.
Dirt and pollution
– Things like exhaust fumes, smoke and dust – these can leave your skin feeling irritated and grimy when you live or work in the city. Throughout the course of the day pollution in the air sticks to your skin and is absorbed by the skin’s natural barrier. Over time, it can irritate and weaken the skin’s natural barrier, which means it can no longer do its job properly and leaves your skin feeling more sensitive.
– Hard water you say? Yep, hard water is a pretty common thing in big cities, and as harmless as it is to drink, it isn’t quite as straightforward when it comes to your daily shower or weekly laundry. Hard water contains high levels of minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium, and is highly alkaline. You often see the signs of hard water around taps, sinks and in kettles in the form of lime scale. Want that on your skin? No, neither do we! Washing in hard water can actually make skin feel more irritated.
– Cities can go from baking hot, to freezing cold, to wet and miserable in a matter of minutes! Changes in temperature, humidity, wind, sun, air-conditioning and central heating all play a role in the condition of your skin. Extreme conditions really put your skin’s barrier to the test and push it to its limits. It doesn’t always take much for your skin to be at risk of blemishes, dry patches and redness. Sometimes even a change in seasons can irritate the skin and cause it to become more sensitive.
Bet you didn’t think all these things could have an impact on your skin! But wait there’s more! Let’s take a look at the things in the city which you do have more control over.
Lack of Sleep
– Being in the city can take its toll on your sleep, even if you aren’t an all night party animal! Stress from the day, too much coffee drinking, the occasional late night; they can all impact your sleep. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing! We produce growth hormones at night, which encourage cell renewal and repair. When you're asleep your body also produces keratin and collagen – proteins that give your skin firmness and a fresh, youthful look. If you haven't had such a good night’s sleep then you might find your skin looks tired and sallow and you may even have dark circles under your eyes.
– We all know that living in the city can be stressful. Whether it’s stress at work, sitting in traffic, or just experiencing the hustle and bustle all around you it’s pretty common. When you’re stressed your body produces higher levels of cortisol, a hormone that helps manage our stress levels. If your body produces enough of it, it can throw your whole system out of balance and one of the first things you might notice (as well as wanting to tear your hair out) is your skin starting to look tired and sallow. Stress can lead to high blood pressure, and can impair your skin’s ability to repair itself. And when skin can’t repair itself properly, it’s more susceptible to damage. As a result it may become dry, irritated or even start showing signs of premature aging.
Quick fix meals
– Food glorious food! City life can get pretty hectic so why not make life easier and grab a quick meal or sugary snack while you’re out? Did you know that when sugar attaches itself to collagen it makes it more brittle and easier to break? We need collagen to help keep skin looking young and plump. High levels of sugar, which you find in some processed foods, make it difficult for skin to repair itself and can cause premature aging.
– It’s just one of those things. When you’re busy rushing from one place to the next, cappuccino in hand and slightly hot under the collar, dehydration can be hard to avoid. When you’re dehydrated the water content in your skin drops, and skin can look sallow, and dry. And after a longer period of time, this can also make your skin lose its resilience, leaving it prone to wrinkling.
Lack of exercise
– One of the first things to be thrown out the window when you're running tight on time is your fitness. We’re not sure if walking to get your morning bagel really counts as exercise! The problem is that it isn’t always easy to fit exercise in to your daily routine, especially when you’re living a busy life in the city. The benefits make it well worth trying though! Exercise gives you energy, and energy means you can keep going for longer during the day. Not to mention the added benefit of improving the look and feel of your skin! Skin can look less sallow and more radiant as a result of adding exercise into your lifestyle.
: Women told us that they were interested in how their city impacted their skin and what they could do about it. That’s why we made our video, dramatising the effect city life can have on skin. Pretty shocking isn’t it, when you think about everything your skin goes through over time? A lot of people have asked us how we did it, so here is the low down. We worked with our leading scientists and dermatologist Dr. Luftman to reveal how the different factors could affect your face. Now we didn’t want to really put anyone’s face unnecessarily through all those factors all at once, so we worked with a leading production company to recreate the affect using make-up & effects in a studio, under the guidance of our experts. Our video starts with naturally healthy looking skin on both sides, with minimal products and make-up used. Then we’ve used effects & make-up to give a realistic portrayal on how the city could affect your skin over time on the left side of the face (so no skin was harmed in the making of this commercial). Our aim was to raise awareness of just how harsh the city can be on your skin. It’s one of the main reasons we formulate our products to be kind to skin- with no harsh chemicals, we choose only our purest possible skin loving ingredients. The world is harsh enough, we think skincare needs to be kind.
Our top city skincare tips with Dr. Debra Luftman Read more
- Pollution and dirt can impact the effectiveness of your natural skin barrier– ultimately leading to skin irritation. This fact makes twice-daily facial cleansing a key step in removing impurities your skin may have collected throughout the day. Keep your skin barrier in top condition by cleansing both day and night. Use the Simple cleanser of your choice and gently massage in upward movements to clear skin of any dirt. At night, make sure you’re effectively removing make-up to achieve a deep clean effect. “I love Simple® Cleansing Wipes because they remove dirt, pollution and make-up in one step – no rinsing required,” says Luftman.
- Did you know that warm weather and time spent in hot cars, subways and busses increases the sweat and oil your face produces? This leads to speedier cell production, which causes an increase in the dead skin cells that sit on the surface of your face. These dead skin cells don’t come off naturally and can mix with bacteria and oil, leading to clogged pores, blackheads and blemishes. Add an exfoliation step to your skincare routine once or twice a week to help gently remove dead skin cells for healthy looking skin. “If you’re strapped for time, use an exfoliating cleanser to pull double-duty for skin. I love Simple® Smoothing Facial Scrub because it’s designed to be gentle enough for everyday use, while giving you smooth, healthy-looking skin - it couldn’t be easier,” Luftman explains.
- Moisturization is the key to keeping your skin hydrated and healthy. Protect your skin from the drying effects of air conditioning and indoor heating by using a moisturizer day and night. Keep a moisturizer in your make-up bag for those times your skin needs an extra moisture surge during the day. “I love the New Simple® Ultra-Light Gel Moisturizer because it provides instant hydration, is an ultra-light and fast absorbing gel and it can easily fit into a make-up bag.”
- “It’s critical to use a moisturizer with an SPF year round, not just in the summer,” says. Luftman. Even on cloudy days your skin can be affected by UV rays which can damage skin and cause premature aging. Make sure you’re protected with Simple® Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15. It absorbs quickly and moisturizers skin with a light non-greasy feel.
- Too tired to take your make-up off at night? Going to bed without washing your face is a double no-no as it keeps make-up on your face and increases the chance of dirt sticking to your skin, so there's more risk of waking up with clogged pores. Try keeping a pack of Simple® Cleansing Wipes by your bed for quick and easy make-up removal that makes it a breeze to wipe away the city day and climb into bed!
Our top 5 skincare products for City Skin Read more
- Simple® Exfoliating Facial Wipes. Our cleansing 2-in-1 wipes help exfoliate to give you clean, fresh and super smooth skin. Simple Exfoliating Facial Wips remove dead skin cells to help your skin look brighter and more evenly-textured.
- Simple® Smoothing Facial Scrub. Our gentle, yet tough formula removes dirt, oil, and dead skin cells for smother, clean skin.
- Simple® Moisturizing Facial Wash. Simpe Moisturizing Facial Wash gently cleanses while helping to maintain a healthy skin barrier by hydrating and nourishing skin. Our gentle formula is suitale even for sensitive skin.
- Simple® Cleansing Facial Wipes. Cleanse away the harshness of the day with a wipe. Leaves nothing behind apart from that noticeably clean & fresh feel – Simple®!
- Simple® Protecting Light Moisturizer SPF 15. This moisturiser will boost skin's natural moisture level giving your skin the hydration it needs, whilst the SPF15 protects against harmful UV rays. The perfect antidote for city skin.
Find your zen in the city with Dr. Josie Howard Read more
- Is the stress of the day getting to you? This is a signal to take a breather! Take five minutes for a quick breathing exercise. If possible, sit in a comfortable spot and softly close your eyes. Begin by completely exhaling. Now, as you inhale, focus on areas where your muscles are feeling particularly tense. Notice how your body feels. Then, exhale slowly and visualize that tension being released. Continue with slow, even deep breaths.
- Think positive! What are the issues that having been worrying you? Reframe your thinking to perceive problems that threaten your well-being as creative challenges. This shift in perspective will open doors for alternative solutions.
- A balanced routine is essential for your well-being and will have a positive effect on your skin too. “Make a daily relaxation practice a priority in your beauty routine. Ensure that you get a balance of active and passive relaxation so that you glow from the inside out,” advises Dr. Howard. It can be anything from a run around the block to a night in with a book. The important thing is to find an enjoyable activity that helps you unwind.
- Sleep is not optional! Adequate rest is just as essential for your physical and mental well-being as it is for the health of your skin. Work on maintaing a regular sleep schedule. Set a goal of going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time. Also, avoid caffeine for at least four-six hours before bed and eliminate screens and electronics from the bedroom.
- A calming and gentle routine before going to sleep won’t just help you drift off; it’s good for stress reduction as well. Take off any make-up and massage a good moisturiser such as Simple® Nourishing 24HRDay/Night Cream into your skin for about five minutes. Use this as a cue to tell your brain it’s time to start relaxing. Ensure your sleep routine is a technology-free zone. “Working before bed or using a laptop or smart phone will give ‘wind up’ signals to your brain and start the stress process going again,” says Dr. Howard.
Making the right food choices with Ellie Krieger Read more
Here are some of Simple Advisory Board member and Registered Dietitian Ellie Krieger’s key tips to keeping up a balanced diet when you’re out and about in the city:
- The most powerful step you can take toward a healthier you is to enjoy an array of colorful fruits and vegetables each day. They are full of protective, healing nutrients that can also help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Skipping breakfast is a big no-no! This critical meal helps set you up for the day. Try taking something to work with you, like a piece of fruit or a bag of nuts if you’re pushed for time or just not that hungry when you wake up.
- Forget missing meals! You should always try to eat three meals a day. When you skip meals, chances increase that you’ll reach for junk food in place of healthier options.
- Proper preparation will help you avoid those surprise moments in the day when hunger strikes. Throw some easy, healthy foods into your bag, such as almonds or dried fruit in case a snack urge comes along. Another way to plan ahead is to use dinner leftovers as a delicious next-day lunch option.
- Just because you’re trying to bring healthy foods into your diet does not mean you need to stop eating out. “Most restaurants now offer healthy food options. Check out the menu online beforehand to get a sense of the restaurant’s choices,” says Krieger.
When it comes to incorporating healthy food options into your city life, it all comes down to small choices that add up to big results for your skin and body. “When you eat the right foods, you’ll see results with a better you and better skin. It’s about making small steps and doing it deliciously,” says Krieger.
Make the city your gym with Kacy Duke Read more
Simple Advisory Board member and fitness expert Kacy Duke says, Stress and tension can run high in the city, and exercise helps to release these negative feelings that can build up inside our bodies.” She continues, “Working out can also improve your skin’s appearance, making it a fantastic way to get your body and mind in shape.”
Fitting exercise into your busy day might sound like an impossible task at times. So, why not use your city environment as your own personal gym? There are lots of ways you can start adding a bit of physical fitness into your busy day – from getting off the bus or subway a stop early to taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
“You’ll be amazed by the difference you can make with both your fitness routine and the look and feel of your skin by adding these small steps into your day,” says Duke.
Here are some easy ways to ramp up your fitness routine, even with a busy city schedule:
- Power walk to errands, work, or even around the house. Ankle weights can take this to the next level.
- Compete against yourself and make any daily task a challenge. Take the stairs to your apartment or office. Turn your morning escalator ride into an impromptu stair master session and climb the steps for a cardio boost. Go for a lunch time walk around the block. Anything that gets your pulse racing counts!
- At night, after dinner, take a head-clearing walk around the block or blow off a little steam by dancing around the living room to a few of your favorite tunes — embrace the joy of movement!
- Try some tricep-dips as you sit at your desk. To avoid working up too much of a sweat, try one set at a time when you find downtime.
Gita Bass' Top Make-Up Tips for City Living (Big or Small!) Read more
- Gorgeous, glowing skin is always in style. Make sticking to a daily skincare regimen a top beauty priority. Not only does a regular cleansing and moisturizing routine keep skin in good condition, but it ensures make-up spreads easily and stays on longer. “I advise my clients to choose products that are sensitive to skin’s needs, like the Simple® Skincare range. Before applying make-up, I use the Simple® Ultra-Light Gel Moisturizer. It provides instant hydration and has a unique, fast-absorbing texture that helps give you a smooth, moisturized canvas,” says Bass.
- Step up your eye make-up game in the warmer months by incorporating waterproof eye pencils in subtle colors. Cream shadows that dry to powder can also add definition and fun pops of color. “When it comes to make-up application, I like to start with the eyes and then follow with foundation so it’s easy to fix any messes. Simple® Eye Make-up Remover Pads are ideal for correcting mistakes, so there’s no need to be timid,” Bass explains.
- As the weather heats up, using gel and cream blushes will help you melt-proof your glow. When it comes to your pout, avoid heavy lipsticks and glosses that can become sticky and run. Instead, reach for tinted balms with built-in SPF.
- City life can lead to long nights. Remove all make-up before bed with a cleanser or cleansing wipes. Be sure to also care for the delicate eye area by using an eye cream twice daily to prevent dark circles, fine lines and puffiness. “This area is extra delicate, so choose a formula free of harsh additives and full of skin-loving ingredients, like the Simple® Soothing Eye Balm,” advises Bass.