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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > September 2018 > Skin & THE CITY

Skin & THE CITY

Growing anxieties about the health impacts of air pollution are fuelling a demand for protective skincare. But what does it actually mean for our complexion? And how can we deal with it?

Earlier this year, the government published its Clean Air Strategy, with an emphasis on reducing the wider impact air pollution has on both the environment, and our health. But, for the past five years, the UK has breached EU pollution limits.

Clearly, change isn’t going to happen overnight and, in the meantime, you wouldn’t be blamed for wondering what dangerous levels of toxins in the air means for your skin. ‘The environment is becoming an increasingly complex soup of fine, invisible particles, which come from many different sources,’ says aesthetic doctor Dr Mervyn Patterson. ‘One of the biggest offenders is diesel particulate matter. These are microscopic particles and mainly come from the soot emitted from cars and lorries. But it’s a complex mix, including other carbon particles, all of different sizes and chemical compositions. They sit in the atmosphere in the air we breathe and on our skin, too.’ Linked to both premature ageing and worsening skin conditions such as eczema, this particulate matter affects us all – city-dweller or not. Much smaller than the pores through which our skin breathes, the particles find their way in, triggering inflammation. It sounds doom-and-gloom, but there are measures you can take to face up to pollution.

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About Healthy Magazine

How are you feeling today? I’m asking as this September edition is our first-ever dedicated healthy mind issue. With growing awareness of, and discussion around, mental health (one in five of us experiences mental health problems, according to the Government), we wanted to unpack some of the most commonly experienced problems, such as anxiety, depression and stress. The aim: to give you a ‘mental health toolbox’ to help you feel empowered as you navigate the obstacles of modern life, such as feeling at breaking point doing your ‘third shift’ (the first shift being your actual job and the second being chores at home; the third shift is managing your digital life). See our self-care strategies in Your Healthy Mind Protection Plan, p32. ‘For me, it’s definitely a very personal battle against an ongoing buzz of stress – a racing mind and heart in the middle of the night, or when I wake up – that I am just Not Going To Get Everything Done. Somewhere, a ball will be dropped. The only remedy that regularly works for me is exercise – cycling, swimming (my favourite for mindfulness) and, now, as I prepare to take on the Three Peaks Charity Challenge with others in my office (including our writer, Hattie), it’s walking whenever I can. We deep dive into the idea of exercise as prescription on p120. ‘Elsewhere, we’ve gone mad for manuka honey, which is definitely having A Moment. Discover why this wonder stuff is better than ever, p17, and what exactly you can do with it, p108. Editorial director @elliehughesUK PS If you want to know how Hattie and I get on in our mission to climb up (and down) the UK’s three tallest mountains in 24 hours this August, we’ll be keeping you updated on our website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Delicious and nutritious – now that’s my kind of superfood!’

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