I love living in a city, especially Paris. But like living in most built up, urban areas, it can wreak havoc on my skin. I also live on a very busy boulevard and often cycle, so I’m exposed to all kinds of pollution on a daily basis.
Skincare is something I’ve always taken very seriously. Looking younger than my age is something I attribute not only to good genes, but also to how I’ve looked after my skin over the years - I’ve been lathering SPF cream on my face since a young age and don’t smoke. Over time, I’ve also become more conscious of the effect that pollution has on my skin and look for products that not only offer good protection against the sun, but also provide barriers against harsh conditions. So I’m always searching for new ways to care for, clean and detox my skin to make sure I rid it of any impurities that have built up during the day or while I sleep.
Franco-Chinese skin care line, CHA LING (‘cha’ meaning tea - I’ve spoken about the brand before here & here), blends the science of French beauty with traditional Chinese medicine, by harnessing natural antioxidant properties of Pu’Er Tea. The tea exists in two ages: the young tea (freshly harvested), and the fermented tea. It is the only tea which, like wine, improves with age thanks to traditional organic fermentation in a ‘cave’ or cellar. This process involves enzymatic reactions during which the molecules of the young tea are reassembled into new complex compounds and new cosmetic properties are born. (Fascinating right?! I love knowing how the science of skincare works, so you know exactly what you’re putting on your face!) With an understanding of this process, LVMH Research identified these two types and ‘ages’ of tea – young and mature Pu’Er tea. The teas are selected for their complementary properties, which make an enormous difference compared to the use, for example, of a green tea of a single age. Pu’Er tea has more polyphenols (abundant micronutrients that prevent degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases!) than green tea and has 50% more anti-radical activity than green tea.
To summerise: young Pu’Er tea preserves skin cells from oxidation by neutralizing free radicals and boosting natural antioxidant properties. It also reduces the deleterious effects of PM 2.5 pollution by protecting against induced inflammation. Fermented Pu’Er tea reduces the accumulation of toxins in the skin by eliminating certain toxic compounds, whilst at the same time improving the firmness and elasticity of the skin. To create the CHA LING products, LVMH Research has blended young Pu'Er tea with the fermented Pu'Er tea. They’ve coined the process: B-DT Complex™, which offers the skin all the complexity and molecular richness of these tea leaves while guaranteeing the highest purity through a process of 4 successive filtrations.
I’ve been using CHA LING products for a while now and can attest that they not only smell great and thoroughly cleanse and moisterise my skin, but also help protect it against the elements - UV rays, as well as pollution. With the seasons changing, and winter finally turning to spring (there are suddenly green leaves on the trees outside my window!), it’s the perfect time to do a thorough detox of your skin, just as you might prepare your body for showing a little more skin as summer approaches with foods that help cleanse your digestive system.
You might not know this, or have even considered it before, but our skin is our body’s largest organ. Therefore what you put on your skin has a huge impact on your overall health, which is why being sunburnt, for example, can make you sick. Putting your skin through a cleaning regime day and night is just as important as brushing your teeth. If you can take the time to properly cleanse, tone and moisterise morning and night, especially after a day of being outside and exposed to the elements, you will not only help protect it, but also aid its ability to fight aging.
Here is my recommended anti-pollution detox regime:
During the week: 3 steps | 3 minutes
1. Purify: Cleansing Powder
Benefits: Eliminates impurities and pollutants on the surface of the skin.
How to use: mix 3 doses with water, morning and night, to create a rich mousse. You can also blend with the Cleansing Oil at weekends for a natural scrub that gently exfoliates and smoothes.
2. Detoxify: Infusing Serum
Benefits: Deep-treats the skin by neutralizing accumulating toxins from pollution and natural aging. As well as firming and hydrating, it also renews elasticity and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
How to use: Apply morning and night before the Rich Cream.
3. Nourish: Rich Cream
Benefits: Reinforces the skin’s barrier and protects the skin against pollution. The antioxidant and anti-aging capacity of millenary Pu‘Er tea in a rich and creamy texture that moisturizes, smoothes and firms the skin while nourishing. The discomfort and tightness feeling is relieved, whilst smoothing and firming the skin.
How to use: Apply in the morning after using serum.
On the weekend:
1. Spring Mask
Benefits: Removes winter grayness and expels the toxins and pollutants of the season. This mask is heavily-concentrated with B-DT Complex ™ to offer an anti-aging radiance boost with a frosted texture that’s cooling on application.
Apply with brush and leave for 10 minutes at weekends, then remove excess with a damp cotton pad.
2. Relieving Eye Mask
Benefits: Reduces bags, dark circles and refreshes the eyes. (It works in a similar, but more effective way than placing tea bags on the eyes.)
How to use: soak the mask in bowl of cold water for 30 seconds. The cosmetic tea sachets will blow up a little as they soak up the water. Put the mask on your eyes by tying a knot behind your head and then leave on for 10min. For an intensive treatment anti-ageing & anti-fatigue, apply your seasonal mask before using the eye tea bag (spring, autumn, winter).
CHA LING products are available to buy at Le Bon Marché in Paris and online here.