Skin Damage: Why Climate May Be to Blame for Your Battered Skin Barrier
By genevieve / 18 December 2023
Fine lines, dark circles and spots get lots of anti-aging attention, but protecting your skin barrier from skin damage should be your number one skincare priority, and here’s why: a healthy, protected skin barrier is what stands between you and seeing the signs of external aging as early as in your 20’s (which include fine lines, dark circles and spots!). Ignore it, and you allow climate and environmental aggressors (like temperature shifts, pollution, sun, etc.) to cause skin damage.
Using products that are climate smart, like Pour Moi Skincare, should be your first line of defense against skin damage. They're excellent for maintaining healthy, damage-free skin, because they’re infused with high-tech, sophisticated ingredients that help to balance skin, fight off the signs of external aging and keep your skin barrier protected. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Your Skin Barrier
It’s a protective shield (a.k.a. barrier function) that exists in your skin’s outermost layer known as the Stratum Corneum. The skin barrier operates a bit like a brick wall, with corneocytes (flattened skin cells) acting as bricks, and lipids (fatty acids) serving as the mortar that holds the bricks together. The barrier’s main function is to keep moisture in, irritants out—and your skin healthy and balanced.
Why the Skin Barrier Gets Damaged by Climate
This barrier can become damaged by extreme climate conditions, such as blustery wind, super-dry air, or very hot/very cold temperatures plus man-made conditions. This damage (picture missing or crumbling bricks in your wall) enables water to seep out (known as Transepidermal Water Loss or TEWL) and harsh chemicals or bacteria to sneak in. The result: Your complexion becomes dry, irritated, acne-prone, and more vulnerable to age-accelerating damage from external factors like UV rays and pollution.
Preventing – and Repairing - Skin Damage
To protect your skin barrier—or repair it if it’s already damaged—the first step is to choose a daytime moisturizer that minimizes the barrier-damaging impact of climate. In any climate, all four of Pour Moi’s Day Creams—Polar, Desert, Tropical, or Temperate—will counteract the dehydrating effects of the aforementioned TEWL by drawing water to the skin from outside air. Their secret water-attracting weapon? HyalurTruf+, a sophisticated fusion of multi-weight Hyaluronic acid molecules in three different sizes that enable your skin to get hydration in any environment, and also from every glass of water you drink. All four day creams are also packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E, and White Truffle extract to fight off the skin-aging free radicals we encounter courtesy of UV rays and pollution. For extreme climates (very cold or very hot), when the skin barrier is at its most vulnerable, Pour Moi has added extra skin-barrier-protective ingredients. Polar Day Cream (for frigid weather), contains Shea Butter, which sits above the skin barrier and acts as a second shield; Squalane Oil which penetrates quickly and provides immediate hydrating relief to stressed skin; and protective agents that soothe and cool the skin when you go from one extreme to another, like stepping out of the blustery weather into an overheated building. Desert Day Cream (for hot, dry weather), is also packed with quick-penetrating Squalane Oil to instantly hydrate without clogging pores; glycerin, which draws water from the air and supports the efforts of Pour Moi’s hyaluronic-acid trio; and Caprylic Trigyceride, a coconut oil/glycerin derivative that acts as a non-greasy barrier from moisture zapping heat.
Maintaining a Healthy Skin Barrier
Once you’ve upgraded your day cream to a climate-appropriate formula, other steps you can take to protect your skin barrier include avoiding harsh cleansers; using lukewarm water (never hot or cold) to splash away your cleanser; and being careful not to over-exfoliate - and instead using a Hydrating Balancer twice a day to add another layer of hydration, gently exfoliate, prep skin and balance pH levels.