As the summer months begin (we hope, after the recent incessant rain!) and we look to spend more time outdoors, let’s look at sun and pollution care.
You may have noticed current trends in skincare around ‘anti-pollution’ and ‘antioxidant’ products.
It makes sense because cellular damage that results in visible ageing is caused by oxidative stress. To put it simply, this is essentially an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants. We can’t avoid free radicals; they’re created by waste from the body’s own processes as well as coming from pollution, pesticides, drugs, alcohol, processed vegetable oils, and U.V. damage.
So, we need to take care to avoid an imbalance that leads to oxidative damage. Your skin’s sensitivity to UV damage and sunburn are improved when antioxidant levels are optimal throughout the body.
As well as minimising our intake of poor quality foods and pesticide chemicals, we can:
– Use SPF barriers to UV – preferably natural sunscreens that use zinc oxide rather than chemical sunscreens. Natural barrier sunscreen is breathable and won’t cause prickly heat – great for kids!
– Increase our antioxidant intake
Antioxidants from food
It’s repeated so often it’s boring…..but the saying ‘eat a rainbow’ holds true! Eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables every day maximises the variety and quantity of antioxidants you consume.
It’s not all about phytochemicals from fruit and veg though. The antioxidant system also involves minerals, proteins and fat soluble vitamins. So we need to include nuts and seeds, quality cold pressed oils (extra virgin olive oil & coconut are ok for cooking – don’t heat seed oils), protein from organic animal produce and beans, lentils and tofu.
Antioxidants from supplements
There are many types of antioxidants and they work in synergy – some regenerating others – so in supplementing it’s best to have a complex rather than taking a single nutrient e.g. Vitamin C. In the City Survivor range, Pollution Protection Daily Multi with Antioxidants replaces your usual multivitamin and also contains a wide range of antioxidants.
About the author
Daisy Connor is Nutritional Therapist and founder of
City Survivor – simple supplements for busy people.
Find her on Instagram @citysurvivoruk