Skin In The City


You know that feeling when your skin feels really dirty? Like a layer of grit is sitting in your pores?

For me that’s often occurs after a day spent in the heart of the city, or on trains and certainly anytime I travel to places like London, New York and Hong Kong.

It turns out that grimy feeling is doing more damage than you might have thought.

New research suggests that up to 80 per cent of skin ageing issues are due to environmental aggressors – UV rays, pollution and smoke.

Makes sense.

But while most of us understand why the sun is damaging and how to protect against over exposure (daily sunscreen people!) the whole free radical world is a beauty road less travelled.

And confusing. I mean, what even is a radical when it’s free?

It’s an area that’s important to wrap your head around as you get older because it’s the invisible stuff that often does most harm.

I’ve been testing Elizabeth Arden City Smart Hydrating Shield, $89  which combines pollution protection and sunscreen in one multi-active product to help combat this type of damage.

But before I get into what it does (and why like it) here’s a quick lesson in understanding how the environment is attacking your skin.

I found it fascinating – hope you do too.

What Is Environmental Damage?


Sun exposure (UVA & B rays) are the major cause of accelerated ageing and that's why it's important to make sunscreen part of your everyday. However new studies have shown a real need to also shield skin from air pollutants - more specifically ambient particulate matter.

I know this sounds like something that only exists in a galaxy far, far away but it is infact hanging everywhere in the air. Our air.

Particularly if you work or live in a city.

When air pollutants enter the skin they trigger the production of harmful free radicals which in turn inhibit the production of collagen and elastin which are is what helps the skin retain moisture.

And therefore youth.

When hydration levels drop, the ageing process speeds up and you begin to see the visible markers of time: pigmentation, inflammation, fine lines and eventually wrinkles.

How To Prevent & Protect Your Skin.


At a cellular level the body does a good job of repairing the damage from environmental aggressors. We naturally produce an enzyme to counteract the effects and this creates a natural protection.

But unfortunately as we age these enzymes are produced at a much slower rate making protection far less effective.

Basically, it you're over 35 you need extra help.

Enter Elizabeth Arden City Smart Hydrating Shield - the FIRST skin product to tackle both sun and pollution protection in a single product. I've always liked the Prevage philosophy. It's about protection and prevention rather erasing lines. It's got an approach that makes sense: look after, nurture and protect yous skin and it will begin to regenerate and ageing will slow down.

Elizabeth Arden City Smart Hydrating Shield works to nurture and protect in three ways:

It's a PROTECTOR:  This little tube will protect your skin from 80 per cent of all ageing aggressors. It combines sunscreen with 'Anti-Pollution Shield Technology'forms an invisible barrier to help prevent pollution particles penetrating the skin. This literally means that the pollution will sit on your skin and be washed away at the end of the day.

It's a PREVENTOR: The 'Anti-Pollution Complex' neutralises free radical damage caused by pollution and UV exposure; the antioxidant blend of Idebenone, as well as Green Tea, Thiotaine, Ferulic Acid and L-Carnosine combine to help to prevent the visible signs of ageing, including lines, wrinkles and hyper-pigmentation.

It's a CORRECTOR:This is the cool part. A DNA Enzyme Complexcombines with the antioxidants  to repair toxic and oxidative stress. By supplementing the skins collagen supply it supports the natural recovery process which means your skin will become more resilient and in turn look healthier.

I've been using Elizabeth Arden City Smart Hydrating Shield as the last step in my skin routine for almost a month. The texture is light and oil-free with just enough tint to add a little extra glow.

For me it's a bit of no-brainer. We live in one of the sunniest cities in the world and our skin needs protection from both of them. Any product that saves time wins and this one ticks lots of boxes for me.


In collaboration with Elizabeth Arden.

BeautyPaula Joye