While the fast-paced convenience of city life suits all of us go-getting urbanites to a T, we have to admit, the smoke and smog that gets thrown in for free? We really could live without.
When you think about it, our skin is under pressure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On a daily basis, not only does our skin have to battle with the harsh rays of the sun; harmful pollutants and smoke particles in the air cling stubbornly to our skin, clogging our noses and our pores.
These environmental stressors spell disaster for our skin: Long-term, unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB rays contribute to the development of skin cancer and the appearance of pigmentation and age spots. Smoke and smog residue congest our pores causing blackhead formation, acne, possible bacterial infection, and even skin discoloration.
Not to mention all the additional stress we place on our skin – that last glass of champagne you had over the weekend, or those late nights you spent working, or playing hard? It all adds up and takes a severe toll on your skin. And as if all that wasn't enough to keep you up at night, depriving your skin of its much needed beauty rest results in poor collagen formation, which triggers premature skin aging.
As much as we hate to be the bearer of bad news, considering all of these internal as well as external stressors, toners and moisturisers with basic ingredients just won’t cut it.
In fact, the key to getting 24/7 happy skin is all about what’s inside – inside the bottle, that is. Most skincare products contain fillers (not of the Botox variety), which favour manufacturers’ lining of their pockets but not your skin.
So what exactly are the power-packed ingredients that you should be looking out for?
In the day, to boost your skin’s environmental defenses, consider pairing serums or day creams that contain antioxidants like Vitamin C and Niacinamide, with your sunscreen. Antioxidants are proven to heighten the skin’s defenses against oxidative damage – which causes skin wrinkling, when exposed to sunlight.
Using a day cream that’s also charged with anti-pollution actives further ups the ante on your skin’s defense game. These actives work to purify the skin; repelling pesky impurities in the air and preventing them from sticking to the skin, much like a protective shield. Try using Allies of Skin’s 1A™ All-Day Mask, which essentially enables you to mask-on-the-go. With a light, absorbent texture and clear finish, it's designed to be worn under sunscreen and makeup.
Applying Allies of Skin 1A™ All-Day Mask
In the past, tired, sleep deprived skin didn’t stand a fighting chance against the angry breakouts, dark under-eye circles, dryness, fine lines and wrinkles that came about due to stress and a lack of rest. That is, of course, until overnight sleep masks came onto the scene. Packing a punch in the ingredients department, the sleep masks of today fuse the potency of a mask with the fuss-free application of a night cream, giving you the everyday luxury of an in-home spa experience.
Used in place of your typical night cream, sleep masks like Allies of Skin’s 1A™ Overnight Mask, are supercharged moisturisers designed to provide your skin with an extra dose of hydration. Left on overnight, this Overnight Mask syncs with your skin’s natural repair cycle, releasing nutrients to the skin in consistent doses throughout the night.
In addition to its moisturising properties, the 1A™ Overnight Mask contains 0.5% Ally-R™, a stabilised form of retinol that
a) combats blemishes
b) improves skin firmness
c) diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
d) brightens skin tone
e) smooths and refines the skin surface, and
f) reverses the signs of sun damage
All without any of the traditional irritation.
The Overnight Mask is also supercharged with Prodizia™, an active ingredient extracted from silk tree skin which works to protect and repair collagen and elastin fibres weakened by the process of glycation. A hard but true fact of life - glycation is a process whereby excess sugar molecules from a sugar-rich (or champagne-heavy) diet attach themselves to collagen and elastin fibres in skin, causing your skin to lose elasticity and sag.
Cute on a pug, but perhaps not your mug. To fend off wrinkles, this is one sleep mask to keep by your bedside.
Cumulative damage sustained to your skin as a result of environmental pollution and a lack of sleep can cause serious long-term damage like dark spots, pigmentation and premature skin wrinkling. To counteract this, it is essential you use products that not only fend off skin damage, but also repair and restore your skin. Minimum effort but maximum results, overnight sleep masks are a convenient yet potent solution to this problem.
Like any good recipe, getting your glow on is a simple matter of finding the right ingredients. As we’ve shown above, toners and moisturisers with basic ingredients won’t help your skin stand the test of time. What you need are products supercharged with antioxidants and actives that prepare you and your skin to take on the world – literally.