Skin Care Tips From a Born-and-Bred New Yorker
Curious to know how a New Yorker cares for her skin? From protecting skin against air pollution to maintaining a fresh-faced look while on a 6 train with no air conditioning, one beauty editor—and New York native—has the scoop on everything you need to know. Below, we share five skin care tips from a born-and-bred New Yorker.
A little background about me: Long Island was home base until I turned 18 and moved to Manhattan. I went from picture-perfect tree-lined streets to cramped, trash-filled sidewalks where traffic is just as aggressive by foot as by car. Questionable scents waft up my nostrils at any given moment (dog urine? human feces? who really knows?) and there’s no real way to dodge the smells. While those are certainly downsides of living in this amazing city, what really gets under my skin (pun intended!) is the incredible amount of air pollution—smog, car exhaust, smoke…you name it—that New Yorkers like myself come in contact with daily. But instead of packing up my bags and moving out of NYC in the name of good skin, I take extra steps to ensure that my body’s largest organ is adequately protected from UV rays, air pollution, and more. To discover real skin care tips from a real New Yorker, keep reading!
NEVER FORGET SPF
Rain or shine, warm or cold, daily broad-spectrum sunscreen is an absolute must. The sun’s harmful UV rays never take a break so neither should your defense against them. Apply broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher onto all exposed areas of skin, including your décolleté, face, and hands. Remember: UV rays can penetrate through windows, so being indoors is not an excuse to skip a sunscreen application!
Unloading my belongings out of the trunk of a yellow cab, I am typically greeted with none other than fumes upon fumes of thick exhaust. There are instances where the pollution coming in contact with my skin is super apparent, and others where it’s less obvious. My point is, you don’t have to see dark smoke or fog to know that pollution is present. As a refresher, air pollution can contribute to the development of free radicals. Free oxygen radicals like to have a mate and often their favorite thing to attach to is your skin—namely the fibers that help to make your skin to look youthful. Overtime this process can break down those fibers and lead to premature signs of skin aging like loss of radiance, fine lines, wrinkles, and more. This is why it’s important to help protect your skin, even if you are only going for a short walk around the block. A good place to start is with antioxidants—vitamin C is one to look out for—since they can help neutralize free radicals, which bind to the antioxidants instead of your skin.
CLEANSE YOUR SKIN
After a day of being exposed to pollution, dirt, excess oils, germs, and sweat, it’s crucial to remove pore-clogging impurities off the surface of your skin with a gentle cleanser. If not, you risk experiencing a breakout. What’s more, your skin can begin to look dull and lifeless over time when it’s bogged down with unwanted grime. Even if your skin is makeup-free, give it a good cleanse each and every morning and evening. Swap in an exfoliating cleanser once or twice a week—as tolerated—to help kick dead skin cells to the curb.
Editor’s note: If you’re particularly lazy or forgetful, store cleansing wipes or micellar water on your nightstand. That way, you’ll never have an excuse not to cleanse!
New York is notorious for its brutally cold winters and harsh winds, which can certainly take a toll on skin. A common cold-weather skin concern is dryness. Not only does dry skin feel uncomfortable, it can exacerbate the look of wrinkles. To avoid this conundrum, use a heavy-duty facial moisturizer in the winter, and a lighter gel moisturizer in the warmer months. Extend the hydration love below your jaw with skin-nourishing lotions, butters, creams, and oils as well. The key is to moisturize from head-to-toe daily, especially after cleansing or showering, while skin is still slightly damp. If your skin still feels dry after liberal coats of moisturizer, artificial heating or air conditioners could be to blame. Consider investing in a humidifier to help create a more comfortable, skin-friendly environment. This can be beneficial during both the warm and cold months!
Editor’s note: You’d be hard-pressed to find me without good ol’ H20 within arm’s reach, whether at home or at the office. Heck, I even drank a gallon of water per day for a month just to see how it would affect my skin. (Those results, in case you’re interested, are here.) Hydrate from the inside out by drinking the recommended amount of water per day. Jazz it up with your favorite fruits and herbs to make it taste less bland.
FIGHT THE HEAT WITH FACE MIST
Part of a New Yorker’s initiation process involves being wedged elbow-to-elbow with complete strangers in a brutally hot subway car. In all honesty, though, subway trains are often incredibly congested, hot, sticky, and uncomfortable during rush hours, especially in the summer. A quick and easy way to feel instantly refreshed is with a few spritzes of face mist. It’s a total lifesaver when the weather is hotter than hot.
Editor’s tip: If there’s one thing that doesn’t mesh well with sweat and oil, it’s makeup. In addition to carrying around face mist, I keep blotting papers in my purse to help soak up excess moisture without budging my highlight and contour.