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Between bumper-to-bumper traffic, crowded subway trains and thick pollution, commuting can do a number on your health — not to mention your complexion.
Research published in the journal Experimental Dermatology shows that air pollution, smog and stress can all damage the skin, leading to signs of premature aging, brown spots and general dullness. If you commute every day, that's far from ideal. So, what's a working girl to do?
Fortunately, you can protect your skin for the day ahead, all while saving time as you get ready in the morning! Here are six skincare tips that every commuter should incorporate into their daily routines.
We don't just mean scrubbing extra hard. Before hitting the road, prime your skin to stand up to the effects of sitting under your makeup and sunscreen (not to mention all the grime you encounter on your daily commute) with a gentle cleanser — such as micellar cleansing water or another oil-based cleanser. With your skin now prepped for deeper cleansing, you can clear your pores with hydrating gel or a purifying cleanser to minimize excess oil and lock in hydration.
Between traffic jams, late trains and exposure to UV rays as well as damaging free radicals, your commute is stressful. Over time, that can age your skin, according to a study in the journal Biomolecules. Luckily, you've got a secret weapon against signs of aging: moisture! Applying a moisturizer morning and night can help stave off the effects of stress (like wrinkles) and shield your skin. Spritz a facial spray as you head out to the train or your car — and throughout the day as needed — for extra protection.
You know sunscreen is an absolute must on beach days, but it's equally important to have sun protection during your commute. That's right! According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UVA rays are present throughout the entire year — even on cloudy days — and are able to pass through car windows. Prolonged overexposure can lead to premature signs of aging, so stay shielded with a small bottle in your bag or briefcase.
Chances are, your daily commute can leave you feeling extra parched. Your skin feels that dehydration as well, which means staying on top of your hydration game is extra important. Sipping water throughout the day not only keeps your body running smoothly but actually replenishes your cells and sends dry, flaky skin packing. For extra hydration, finish off your nighttime regimen with a hydrating mask. In addition to face masks, you can find body masks formulated specifically for hands and feet!
Since pollution can expose the surface of your skin to free radicals and trigger inflammation, antioxidant-rich serums and creams are a smart addition to your daily skincare routine. Antioxidants like vitamin C are effective at neutralizing free radicals, boosting the skin's collagen production and fortifying its natural defenses, according to a study from Nutrients. A small bottle of this powerful defender can easily fit in a purse or pocket — you only need to use a dab (or two) at a time.
This step is best saved for the end of the day. Whether you use a facial cleansing brush, scrub or chemical exfoliator, your skin benefits from gently sloughing off the surface layer of dead cells two or three times a week. Not only does it reveal the smoother, fresher skin lying underneath, it also helps increase circulation for healthier skin.
Commuting to and from the office day in and day out can take its toll on your skin — but it doesn't take much extra work to maintain a healthy, glowing complexion! You don't have to sacrifice your shine with a solid beauty on-the-go skincare regimen like this.