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Skin in the City

BY: Nic |17 Dec 2015

I know Belfast isn't exactly the Big Smoke, but living and working in a city can still take its toll on our skin. Air con in Summer, central heating in Winter; the total opposite of either when you step out the door... our environment can impact on our skin, so here are some tips to address 3 common issues that lots of us struggle with.


This is one that I'm particularly prone to. My skin is super thirsty and often feels parched. Dehydrated skin is lacking in water - and usually can't get enough of it.

I like to add it back in by layering various products, starting with a hydrating serum under my moisturiser, such as Vichy Aqualia Thermal, a light gel that sinks in quickly and plumps up the skin, or hyaluronic acid packed Hylamide SubQ by Deciem.

I'll spritz my skin throughout the day with a hydrating mist like Clinique Moisture Surge, fine enough to apply over makeup without disturbing it and instantly soothing. Use straight from the fridge in Summer. (All three available at Boots.)



Dry skin is lacking in oil and keeping levels topped up will help avoid that parched feeling after a long day in a centrally heated office. There are three products I reach for when suffering from dryness:

  1. A rich cleansing balm like Ren Rosa Centifolia No1 Purity Cleansing Balm (Space NK), which deep cleanses yet leaves skin feeling nourished rather than stripped.
  2. An intense moisturising mask such as Pixi Nourishing Sleep Mask (M&S), which sinks in quickly and leaves my skin soft and comfortable, without any heaviness.
  3. I'm a big fan of facial oils, especially in Winter, and Clinique Smart Treatment Oil contains conditioning oils and antioxidants to treat pollution-stressed skin.


I regularly use chemical exfoliants such as Pixi Glow Tonic (M&S) to remove dead skin cells, add radiance and avoid that grey, lacklustre look that can come from too much time behind a screen and too little fresh sea air!

My skin is sensitive and I find these more gentle than grainy exfoliators, which can be very abrasive. If you'd rather introduce chemical exfoliants slowly, you could try Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (M&S), which gently resurfaces over time - and is of course rinsed off the skin after use.

Oskia Get Up and Glow (Space NK) is a serum style product that adds a boost of radiance and helps give that lit from within healthy skin glow. The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask leaves skin looking brighter and feeling softer when you wake up, ready for that train journey back into the city.

Just had a bit of a moment when I realised that I'm prone to all three of the above, so don't worry if you are too... just give your skin what it needs, when it needs it. Your face doesn't always benefit from the same products every day or every week - a mask one or two nights a week and a face oil every few days or only in cold weather could be right for you. Think about how your skin feels as well as how it looks - and don't be afraid to ask for samples from different counters until you find something that works well for you.


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