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9 media mavens share their best skin care tips for living in a big city

Anti-aging anything isn’t exactly easy when our skin is up against pollution, practically unable to escape chemical pollutants, free radicals and God knows what toxins. Chemical pollutants are known to damage skin, linked to dark spots and wrinkles. UV radiation and free radicals trigger inflammation and break down collagen. Exposure to all of these things skyrockets when you live in urban areas. So what’s a city girl to do?

Well, take it from these hardworking media pros who work, live and breathe in big cities, where pollution runs high. This is how they scored healthy skin despite everything trying to offend it.

1. Erika Kirschner, SheKnows client services manager, New York

When you’re relaxing, so is your skin. Make sure you give it what it needs. Kirschner wears her favorite serum, even if she’s laying in bed all day. “I’d never go a day without it,” she says. Healthy skin requires diligence, my friends. Wear serums, even when you Netflix and chill.

2. Lauren Swanson, editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Scottsdale Magazine, Scottsdale

Why add to the list of chemicals doing a number on your skin? Check labels and do your research. Make sure the ingredients are working for you, not against you. Swanson says, “I recently started using a moisturizer that is made of organic ingredients, like jojoba oil, aloe vera, extra virgin coconut oil and this stuff called Queen of Hungary’s water. It’s a blend of rosemary and vodka (yes, vodka!) and it tightens fine lines like a dream.” 

Uh, how cool does it sound to say that you use queen water on your skin? Yes, please.

3. Adriana Velez, SheKnows food editor, New York

Take it from a food editor, your diet matters. Velez says, “I consider eating a lot of fresh produce part of my skin care.” Why? Because antioxidants fight free radicals, and they win. (Hint: Blueberries, kidney beans and cranberries are just a few examples of foods high in antioxidants. And let us not forget about wine.)

More: It’s official: these are the very best products for exfoliating you skin

4. Erica Miller, SheKnows client services manager, New York

Air pollutants can cause dry skin and that goes for your lips too. Miller says, “I like to use a lip scrub once a week before bed and then use petroleum jelly nightly. I have found that this keeps my lips feeling hydrated.”

5. Kenzie Mastroe, SheKnows branded content and pets editor, Scottsdale

Just because you live in the sunniest state in the U.S., doesn’t mean you should be basking in the sun’s glorious glow every day. Mastroe told us, “It’s sunny just about every single day in this city, so it would be easy enough to go outside and tan, but to save my skin from a lot of UV damage, I get a spray tan about once a week.”

6. Melissa Kirsch, SheKnows deputy editor, New York

There’s no time for no SPF. In addition to applying sunscreen daily in the morning, Kirsch reapplies mineral powder sunscreen before going back outside. “You’re outside so much in the city, and it’s easy to forget that you’re always, always, always exposed to the sun,” she says.

Bonus tip: She also cleanses with micellar water, which is basically oil molecules in a cleansing water that removes city grime makeup like a charm.

7. Ilana Levin, SheKnows director of west coast sales, Los Angeles

You may actually need to wash your skin less. “I try to wash my face as little as possible (assuming I’m not wearing makeup),” says Levin. Her reason: Soap can be too drying. And she may actually have a point. Overcleansing can strip and dry skin — not exactly what your skin needs in the already dry winter weather. As long as you’re #makeupfree, you may be able to get away with just rinsing. This doesn’t mean you should ditch cleanser for good because, rest assured, there are consequences to going too many days without a cleanser.

8. Lauren Caruso, StyleCaster site director, New York

It’s all in the mist for Caruso. She follows her exfoliator with a facial mist and thena serum. But why? To replenish moisture, of course. Winter is brutal on our skin. Facial mists can make it right again.

More: Insanely easy DIY exfoliating scrubs your skin will thank you for

9. Crystal Lewis Brown, SheKnows director of editorial operations, Phoenix

Believe it or not, living in a big city often means living (and bathing!) with hard water. If you’re not among those, count yourself lucky — washing your face in hard water can leave it dry and flaky. “I religiously moisturize day and night,” said Brown. “And my family also invested in a water softener. My skin and my hair are all the better for it.”

This post was sponsored by Elizabeth Arden.

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