5 Ways To Live Your Best Pollution-Free Life
Though this may surprise most Singaporeans, our pollution levels are higher than you’d think. Using the the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines for measuring PM2.5, which measures particulates in the air of size 2.5 microns and below, Singapore air pollution levels measured at 18µg/m³ — nearly double of WHO’s recommended guideline of 10µg/m³!
These particles are so tiny that they can enter the bloodstream right through our lungs, and get stuck in our systems causing long-term health and even beauty issues such as asthma, premature aging and in worse cases, cancer. Fortunately, I’ve found 5 easy and affordable ways to combat city pollution so we can all live our best, clean lives!
1. Get An Air Purifier
An air purifier may seem like a no-brainer, but we can often overlook the need for one. Research has shown that indoor air can contain up to 5 times more pollutants than the air outside, and considering that Singaporeans spend 92% of their time indoors, that’s a lot of exposure to pollutants!
There’s millions of air purifiers on the market to choose from these days, but we’d suggest getting one with a HEPA filter for best results! HEPA filters are able to capture up to 99.7% of tiny particles, and are absolutely necessary to filter out those harmful PM 2.5 microns we were just talking about!
Protip: When it comes to air purifiers, size does matter. The bigger the room, the bigger the purifier of course! Be sure to check in with your purifier providers before you decide on a suitable size for your needs!
2. Air Filtering Plants
In 1989, NASA discovered that some plants actually help filter chemical toxins from the air! Here are some of my favourites that are great as decorative pieces as well:
For anyone who has a bit of a black thumb (hi Andrea lol), this extremely hardy houseplant is perfect for you! Only requiring occasional watering and sunlight, this precious plant repays you by filtering out benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene from the air, all of which are harmful to the body. This is also one of the few plants that still produce oxygen at night, which reportedly helps with curing headaches!
For those who have a bit more room to play with, get yourself a Bamboo Palm! A superstar at filtering benzene, trichloroethylene and especially formaldehyde, the bamboo palm can grow up to over a metre tall, which helps it filter even more air. Just remember to keep it moist and out of direct sunlight to help it thrive.
This slightly more petite-sized plant is perfect for smaller apartments and University dorms. The Peace Lily not only filters out ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, it’s also great for boosting the humidity in a room, which can help relieve dryness caused by air-conditioning. It’s also super easy to maintain, just water it when the soil feels dry and you’re good to go!
2. Paraffin Candle Alternatives
On days where the air feels especially polluted, you might want to reach for a nice scented candle, but be warned. Since paraffin candles are petroleum-based, burning them releases benzene, toluene and soot into the air, which actually adds to the pollution. Instead, opt for beeswax candles or salt lamps.
Beeswax candles give the same visual effect as paraffin candles but burn much slower while releasing little to no smoke. They also ionise the air and neutralise toxic chemicals and other contaminants.
Another alternative could be to use a Himalayan salt lamp. They’re powered by electricity so they don’t produce any smoke and are supposed to help purify the air of pollutants and mould. Amazingly, while Himalayan salt lamps definitely work much better when turned on, they’re said to purify the air even when they are turned off too!
4. Cold-Press Juices
Besides protecting yourself from external stressors, another way to protect yourself from harmful pollution is by giving your body the right tools to fight off the effects! Foods high in Vitamin C and E have been found to be very effective in protecting you from the negative effects of pollution.
Slow juicing is a process which gently extracts juices out of raw fruits and vegetables without destroying their properties through heat or mechanical stress from blending. Perfect for the busy worker who wants their daily dose of vitamins and nutrients fast!
Protip: Broccoli, in particular, has been proven to help you excrete toxins from your body. So throw it in the next time you go for a cold-pressed juice!
5. Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly
Last but definitely not least, here’s some protection for the largest and most vulnerable organ in your body: your skin!
Andrea actually recommended this Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly moisturiser by Clinique after carrying it with her on her travels. Long plane rides and jet lag can take a huge toll on the skin, so if this managed to keep her skin fresh, hydrated and healthy after countless long-haul trips, I knew I had to try it.
Clinique’s Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly works by using specially designed Clean-Shield Technology ™ to provide protection from pollution that causes damage and dehydration while locking moisture into the skin. As it protects your skin from the harmful effects of pollution, it also strengthens your skin barrier over time, making your skin more resilient to external aggressors, and healthier in the long run!
My favourite part of using this is how it leaves my skin feeling fresh throughout the day. This formula isn’t thick or oily, so it leaves no visible residue after application, but as light, as it is, my skin felt instantly soothed and moisturised.
The crystal-clear jelly formula absorbed straight into my skin and left me with weightless 24-hour hydration repair and pollution protection. Perfect for Singapore’s humid weather and those with sensitive skin!
Combating pollution may not be as simple as slapping on a haze mask, but it doesn’t have to be impossible either. So go out there, live your best clean lives, and don’t forget to stay hydrated!