Skincare Routine To Combat 3 Causes of External Aging: (Hint: They’re All Related to Your Climate)

By genevieve / 18 December 2023

Skincare Routine To Combat 3 Causes of External Aging: (Hint: They’re All Related to Your Climate)

You can’t stop aging. It’s a natural part of life–and it sure beats the alternative. However, what you can control is how aggressively the signs of external aging (lines, spots, laxity) ravage your skin, and the skincare routine you can utilize to stop it.

More than 90 percent of the visible aging we complain about are related to climate, rather than our genes—and that’s a good thing. Because, while you can’t change your DNA, you can tweak the behavior that makes you vulnerable to these environmental assaults and your skincare routine. Here, the three most common climate-related, skin-aging culprits—and how to minimize their impact on your skin's outer layer, the epidermis with a new skincare routine.

Skin Ager: Sun Exposure

The number one cause of skin-sagging, wrinkling and uneven tone are UVA/UVB rays. Consistent, unprotected exposure to the sun triggers inflammation, which in turn leads to excess melanin production (translation: sun spots), as well as to the disruption of healthy skin processes like collagen building. (This latter issue matters because without sufficient collagen, the skin becomes creased and slack.) There is also some evidence that the heat generated by the sun may also contribute to skin aging, causing an inflammatory cascade similar to the one initiated by UVA/UVB rays.

Skincare Routine to Minimize the Impact

Wearing sunscreen every time you go outside is the obvious and best strategy. A broad-spectrum, UVA/UVB-blocking SPF 30+ formula is what most dermatologists recommend. (Yes, M.D.s used to advise slathering on SPF 15, but they found so many of their patients were under-applying their sunblock—and rendering an SPF 15 more like an SPF 7—that doctors upped the suggested minimum to SPF 30 in hopes you’d actually reach a 15.) Whether you choose a physical formula (active ingredients are typically zinc or titanium dioxide) or a chemical blend (common actives are oxybenzone or avobenzone) in your skincare routine comes down to personal preference—though there is some evidence that physical blocks may be better at minimizing the impact of the sun’s heat. How? Physical blocks act like walls, bouncing UV rays—and heat—off the skin, while chemical formulas absorb the rays and can cause the skin to heat up during this process. Tip: Layering an antioxidant serum underneath your sunscreen may also keep your sunscreen stable longer and improve its efficacy. Both of Pour Moi’s daily serums, the Black Serum for dry to very dry skin, and the White Serum, for combination, oily, sensitive and normal skin, are packed with antioxidants and absorb quickly, making them ideal for daytime layering.

Skin Ager: Polluted Air

Ozone gases, particulate matter like soot, and even cigarette smoke can all cause the skin to lose 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 …and 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 Routine to Minimize the 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 four of Pour Moi’s Climate-Smart®Day Creams (Desert, Polar, Temperate, and Tropical) 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: Both of Pour Moi’s Climate-Smart Serums (White for normal, oily, combo and sensitive skin; and Black Serum for dry and very dry skin), as well as all four of Pour Moi’s Day Creams (Desert, Polar, Temperate, and Tropical) 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.

Skin Ager: Temperature Swings

When temperatures soar or 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 can also trigger a spike in cortisol, a hormone that causes inflammation. Talk about a one-two punch.

Skincare Routine to Minimize the Impact

Staying indoors when the weather is extremely hot, cold or humid is one defensive strategy. But tweaking your skincare regimen may be more practical. In hot weather, products that keep skin soothed and fight inflammation are key. Both Pour Moi’s Desert Day Cream (for dry heat) and Tropical Day Cream (for humid heat), contain Squalane to keep skin soothed and moisturized, but not sticky. 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. Finally, reducing those feelings of stress may also help temper the cortisol spikes. A visit to (an indoor) spa, sharing a glass of wine with a friend, or sweating out stress in a Spin class can all help stabilize your hormones—and slow down skin aging. #winning