How to Combat Climate-Caused Aging (Hint: Start with the Right Skincare)

By genevieve / 18 December 2023

How to Combat Climate-Caused Aging (Hint: Start with the Right Skincare)

Every time you step outside, your skin is exposed to age-accelerating aggressors like UV rays, pollution, extreme cold, and oppressive heat. Here, how to protect your skin from the climate—without becoming a hermit

More than 90 percent of the visible, external skin aging we complain about (wrinkles, discoloration, sagging) is related to climate, rather than our genes—and that’s a good thing. Because, while you can’t change your DNA, you can modify the behavior that makes you vulnerable to skin-aging environmental assaults. Here, four common climate-related culprits—and how to tweak your skincare routine to minimize their impact.

Climate Culprit: Extreme Cold

When temperatures plummet, it’s stressful—for both you and your skin. Literal stress on the skin wreaks havoc on its barrier function, leading to dryness, irritation, and, you guessed it, inflammation. Feeling stressed about the weather (e.g. having to commute in it) can also trigger a spike in cortisol, a hormone that causes inflammation. Talk about a one-two punch.

Skincare That Minimizes the Aging Impact:

Staying indoors when the weather is extremely cold is one defensive strategy. But tweaking your skincare regimen may be more practical. In extreme cold, blood vessels in the skin constrict and thus under-deliver nutrients to your skin cells. Your mission, therefore, is to use protective products, such as topical antioxidants and rich moisturizers to boost your skin’s barrier function. During the day, the Polar Day Cream will fight free radicals with anti-oxidants Vitamins A, C and E, as well as hydrate and reinforce your skin’s barrier function with Shea Butter and Hyaluronic Acid. At night, Pour Moi Night Cream provides a second dose of nourishing Shea Butter.

Climate Culprit: Oppressive Heat

There is growing evidence that extended exposure to high temperatures may boost unwanted melanin production (a.k.a. hyperpigmentation), as well as inhibit the skin’s ability to protect and repair itself by lowering antioxidant levels. And, of course, not being able to fight off free radicals can lead to inflammation and skin-aging oxidative damage.

Skincare That Minimizes the Aging Impact:

Slather on an antioxidant serum to make up for any heat-related depletion. All of Pour Moi’s Climate-Smart® Serums (White for normal, oily, combo and sensitive skin; Black Serum for dry and very dry skin; and Blue for acne-prone skin) are fast-absorbing and non-tacky, making them comfortable to wear on the hottest, most humid day. To combat inflammation, layer on a lightweight, calming moisturizer, such as Pour Moi’s Desert Day Cream (for dry heat) and Tropical Day Cream (for humid heat). Both contain Squalane to keep skin soothed, but not sticky. Then top the serum and moisturizer with a physical sunblock, which will sit on top of the skin, bouncing UV rays—and heat—off the skin. (By contrast, chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV rays, which may cause the skin to heat up.)

Climate Culprit: Sun Exposure

The number one cause of skin-sagging, wrinkling and uneven tone is UVA/UVB rays. Consistent, unprotected exposure to the sun triggers inflammation, which causes excess melanin production (translation: sun spots), as well as the disruption of healthy skin processes like collagen building. This latter issue matters because without sufficient collagen, the skin becomes creased and slack.

Skincare That Minimizes the Aging Impact:

Wear a broad-spectrum, UVA/UVB-blocking SPF 30+ sunscreen every time you step outside—and layer an antioxidant serum underneath your sunscreen to keep your sunscreen formula stable longer and improve its efficacy. All of Pour Moi’s daily serums, the Black Serum (rich) for dry to very dry environments, the White Serum (light) for comfortable environments and the Blue Serum (ultra-light) for very humid environments, are packed with antioxidants and absorb quickly, making them ideal for layering.

Climate Culprit: Pollution

Ozone gases, particulate matter like soot, and even cigarette smoke can all cause the skin to loose lipids, a crucial component of the skin’s barrier function. (Quick refresher: Your skin’s barrier function keeps moisture in and irritants out). Thus, regular pollution exposure is largely to blame for chronic dryness and sensitivity, conditions that can lead to dreaded inflammation, as well as all of those unwanted signs of aging like wrinkles, dark spots and loss of firmness. Pollution is also filled with free radicals, little skin-aging soldiers that invade your skin looking for a missing electron. While they search, free radicals zoom around, damaging your collagen and triggering hyperpigmentation.

Skincare That Minimizes the Aging Impact:

To combat lipid loss, slathering on a daily moisturizer with hyaluronic acid will help draw in and retain lost moisture, minimizing dryness and alleviating sensitivity. All six of Pour Moi’s Climate-Smart® Day Creams (Desert, Polar, Temperate, Tropical, Mountain, and Marine) are packed with this moisture-boosting ingredient. It’s also smart to use a product in your skincare routine that contains antioxidants, as they are your best defense against pesky free radicals. Antioxidants work by supplying the missing electron free radicals seek—and thereby diverting them away from your skin. Multiple Pour Moi products are laced with antioxidants: All of Pour Moi’s Climate-Smart® Serums (White - light texture; Black Serum - rich texture and Blue - ultra-light texture), as well as all six of Pour Moi’s Day Creams (Desert, Polar, Temperate, Tropical, Mountain, and Marine) are packed with the antioxidants Vitamins A, C and E. For maximum protection, apply the serum that’s right for your skin type, then top with the appropriate climate-oriented day cream. Finally, reducing feelings of stress (we know—easier said than done these days) may also help temper the cortisol spikes. Meditation, sharing a glass of wine with a friend (even if it’s virtually), or breaking a sweat (stream an exercise class at home) can all help stabilize your hormones—and slow down skin aging.