Photo: Courtesy of Fresh

The Scourge of Urban Pollution

We often think of pollution as something we’re exposed to when we’re outside – exhaust fumes, second-hand cigarette smoke, particulate matter in the air etc. And we often assume that once we’re indoors, we’re home safe.

But are we really?

Being indoors simply means you’re less exposed to the bad stuff outside. It doesn’t mean there’s no more pollution. Or that it’s any less harmful. What you should be aware of: dust that blows into your home, chemicals from furniture and upholstery, and mould.

Not to mention, digital pollution – blue light from our many digital devices, from the TV to mobile screens, and even lighting.

What it means: Pollution is everywhere, and there’s no way to avoid exposure to it. And it doesn’t just affect your body, it has an impact on your skin too (even when we’re not in haze season), so your skin could be more polluted than you imagine.

You also need to know that dealing with collective pollution on skin isn’t as easy as washing it off at the end of the day.

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What’s the damage – and why the fuss?

Next to the sun, pollution is the next thing that ages your skin most. That makes pollution protection as important as sun protection.

Why? Two words: free radicals. Pollution, whatever its source, creates free radicals in the skin. And when there’s a whole lot of them – too many for the body to naturally neutralise and get rid of – skin damage occurs. It takes the form of fine lines, dullness and pigmentation.

What you need to do is to protect your skin from the very start.

Photo: Courtesy of Fresh

Find out how much pollution is affecting your skin:

Fresh has launched a Skin Pollution Index quiz that makes it easier to find out how pollution affects your skin based on your lifestyle. Plus, redeem your complimentary anti-pollution skincare kit to get you started.  Click here to take the quiz.

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The first step to pollution protection

Pollution protection starts right at the beginning of your skincare routine. New York-based skincare brand Fresh has introduced its Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence, which provides triple pollution defence for luminous skin. It is your skin’s first line of defence against pollution.

Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence is powered by kombucha, a fermented black tea. It’s no ordinary ingredient because the fermentation process breaks down the tea’s nutrients, so it absorbs into skin faster. It’s also rich in antioxidants.

The ingredient works to neutralise and eliminate the free radicals that cling to skin’s surface. The goal is to fortify skin so it can protect itself better.

The result: a complexion that looks more luminous and feels smoother, with a reduced appearance of fine lines. Pores also appear more refined, while skin is moisturised for up to 24 hours.

How to use this liquid gold essence

The Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence is meant to be paired with a toner. Use it morning and night on cleansed skin, after toner. Pour a little essence on your palms, press your hands together and inhale deeply. The essence has the collection’s signature black tea scent that’s relaxing and calming. Pat onto your face and neck, and continue with the rest of your skincare routine.

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What happened when we tried it 

Our tester used the Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence and here’s what it did for her skin:

The first time I used it: My skin looks instantly clearer and brighter, and slightly more luminous – as if the essence wiped away some of its dullness. It comes with a herbal scent that is a bit intense but fades away after application.

The texture is lightweight and a little more viscous than water, so it spreads easily over my skin and didn’t leave a tacky feeling. I can feel its hydrating effects right away. It has a long-lasting moisturising effect that made our skin feel supple.

I used it after applying toner and my skin felt tighter with a light protective film over it. It makes for a good preparatory step before serum and moisturiser. My foundation felt smoother to apply especially around the face contour areas.

After using it for a few days: My skin feels softer and smoother, and my follow-on skincare seems to be absorbing better. What I enjoy about using Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence: It’s a wonderful skin pick-me-up. My complexion feels refreshed and supple, and the overall effect is that my skin looks and feels less tired.

To find out how polluted your skin actually is on a day-to-day basis, take the Skin Pollution Index quiz here.

Photo: Courtesy of Fresh

Journey to triple pollution protection

As a city dweller’s best friend, the Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence is now celebrated with a limited edition design showcasing hand-drawn illustrations of the New York City skyline. The dreamy print featured is a nod to the brand’s American roots.

Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence comes in three sizes: $45 for 50ml, $108 for 150ml and $165 for 250ml. The 250ml bottle also comes in a limited edition packaging (at the same price), which features the New York skyline – a tribute to where the brand’s American roots. Available from Fresh boutiques at #B3-46 Ion Orchard, #01-32 Raffles City Shopping Centre, #02-33 Jem Beauty Kitchen, and Takashimaya.

Exclusively for our readers
Flash this story when you buy a bottle of Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence (any size), and receive a 20ml size Fresh Soy Face Cleanser as a gift. Valid for the first 100 readers only, until April 30, 2020. Available at Fresh boutiques and Takashimaya.