Four Factors That Can Accelerate Skin Aging

There are ways to protect against skin aging if the forecast calls for young skin

Most of us blame our wrinkles, dryness, sagging, and crepiness on too many summers spent lounging around the pool. And while sun exposure is the primary cause of premature skin aging, there are several other environmental factors that can add years to your face. Choosing products that specifically address climate-related issues, and thinking about your skincare in a whole new way, will keep your skin looking young and gorgeous all year round.

Pour Moi’s climate smart skincare system is creating an entirely new strategy for your skin and breaking the conventional protocol of shopping by skin type (dry, oily, combination), and instead formulating products to address every climate condition. For the first time, a brand is taking a different approach to hydration and anti-aging ensuring skin stays moist, flexible and protected no matter where you are. And in every climate, there are aggressors that seek to sabotage your skin, here the four environmental factors (beyond the sun) that can accelerate skin’s external aging process – and how to avoid them.

1. Climate and skin aging

Your skin likes temperate weather. In these perfect climate conditions, it doesn’t have to struggle to hold onto every last drop of moisture, scramble to cool you off, or work quite as hard to fight off pollutants (more on those later). But in this age of global warming, temperate weather isn’t quite as common, and we’re experiencing more and more schizophrenic seasons that fluctuate between chilly and balmy. These extreme temps confuse—and damage—our skin.

Cold weather dries out skin, making it rough, dull, and flakey. Cold conditions are usually accompanied by low humidity, and a study by Japanese researchers showed that people in dry environments are more prone to wrinkling. They asked study participants to smile in a room with 10 percent humidity or 80 percent humidity. In the low humidity environment, skin water content was lower, skin was stiffer, and wrinkles were larger after grinning than in the high humidity experiment. (If you live in a low humidity region, you’re probably not smiling as you read this.) When in a cold, dry climate, apply Pour Moi Polar Day Cream twice a day (after cleansing and apply a balancer and serum) to keep skin optimally moisturized. It contains humectants like hyaluronic acid, which pull moisture into the skin, and peptides and botanicals, like white truffle, which help reverse the signs of aging.

In hot weather, our body absorbs water molecules from the atmosphere and also produces sweat to cool us down. All this water lingering on our skin can clog pores and make acne flare. A recent review of research from the Journal of Dermatological Science shows that heat can also accelerate skin aging. Heat exposure triggers MMP proteins that bust collagen (leading to wrinkles and saggy), and melanocytes, which are pigment-producing cells. Pour Moi Tropical Day Cream contains coconut acid which prevents pores from being clogged with irritants; agarikon mushroom extract which makes pores look smaller; and thiotaine and antioxidants, which zap free radicals. Free radicals are tiny particles swimming around in the atmosphere that have unpaired electrons. These electrons want a mate to make a pair, and so they swipe electrons from atoms in our cells, and this cellular hijacking contributes to skin aging. Free radicals tend to cause more trouble in hot weather.

2. Pollution and skin aging

As a culture, we’re making an effort to reduce our carbon footprints by recycling, riding our bikes to work, and screwing in LED lightbulbs (good!), but there’s still a lot of gunk swarming around in the air. A new research review published in the Journal of Dermatological Science shows that exposure to traffic is linked to skin aging; air pollution contributes to brown spots; and ground levels of ozone are associated with wrinkles. Ozone, which is more problematic in hot weather, messes with the skin’s protective lipid (fat) barrier, and we need that layer of fat to prevent dangerous stuff from getting into our skin.

Fight pollution-related damage with skin care ingredientsthat keep the lipid barrier strong and healthy like glycerin, which is found in all of the Day Creams, as well as in the Night Cream and White Serum. Also look for antioxidants that fight free radicals like tocopherol (a form of Vitamin E found in all the Day Creams, Night Cream, White Serum, and Black Serum), ascorbyl palmitate (a source of Vitamin C which is in all the Day Creams); and ergothioneine (a mushroom antioxidant found in the Serums). When applying to freshly cleansed skin, smooth and prep with balancer, next use serum, and lastly blend on your Climate Smart Day Cream.

3. Wind and skin aging

As you read above, skin’s lipid barrier helps keep moisture in and dangerous stuff out. Harsh winds can literally rip off the protective lipid barrier, leaving skin dry, chapped and vulnerable to irritants. Blood vessels also dilate, leading to that flushed look known as windburn. Strengthen the skin barrier healthy and Keep moisture locked in with soothing shea butter, which is in Pour Moi’s Polar Day Cream and Night Cream.

4. Air conditioning, heating and skin aging

During the summer, you shiver as you shop in most stores. And in the winter, most houses are kept so warm that you could comfortably lounge around the house in a bikini. These dramatic temperature extremes—coming in from a cold day to a 75-degree room or setting the A/C to 65 during a heat wave—is jarring to the skin. Plus, man-made conditions like air conditioning and heating dry out the air, which robs skin of moisture. (What’s more, a study published in the journal Contact Dermatitis found that synthetic fibers from air conditioning filters led to skin irritation.) Look for products containing squalane oil, which keeps skin calm and hydrated in these indoor temperature extremes. It’s found in all of the Day Creams, White Serum, Black Serum, and Night Cream.

With a brand that not only thinks differently, but formulates differently, your climate smart skin will only get smarter, healthier and more radiant with each use. That’s why Pour Moi’s climate hydration strategy is a must no matter where you live, or where you travel too, in order to protect your skin from the environmental factors that can accelerate external skin aging. Poor me? No, Pour Moi!

Lesley Rotchford
About the Author: Lesley Rotchford is a freelance writer and editor who has been covering beauty, health, fitness and entertainment for 19 years. She was an executive editor at Women's Health and prior to that held editorial positions at Self, Cosmopolitan and Allure. Her work has appeared in Self, Health, Shape, In Style, Redbook, Seventeen, Fit Pregnancy and Baby, and other magazines.