How to Hydrate Skin by Using Its Naturally Climate-Smart Way

It’s hardly a secret among dermatologists that thirsty skin is setting itself up for all sorts of drama.

The question of how to hydrate skin – especially in dry climates – really has become the million-dollar question, as moist skin is not only more radiant, smoother and youthful-looking, but it’s healthier and more resilient.

There are many ways skin shows how healthy it is, like being: less likely to become inflamed, to crack, to be sensitive. What many of us don’t realize is that a complexion that’s parched can actually make your skin age faster. A Japanese study tracked volunteers as they smiled in a room that had a humidity level of either 10 percent or 80 percent. They used special technology to see how the expression of smiling caused their skin to fold. And wouldn’t you know that the faces of volunteers in the dry (low-humidity) rooms were stiffer. Their folds weren’t just more pronounced while they smiled, but remained that way after their faces relaxed. So, what gives?

First, The Bad News

Science has confirmed what we already knew: that something we have no control over–the climate–directly affects the condition of our complexion and how old we look.

Now, Here’s the Good News

Our skin is already naturally climate smart, and figuring out how to hydrate skin simply means taking its innate climate IQ and running with it.

Yes, Your Skin is Naturally Climate Smart

“In climate smart skincare, we separate between outer skin and inner skin,” explains Pour Moi Founder, Ulli Haslacher. “Outer skin is the epidermis where skincare lives. It never reaches the inner skin–the dermis–and functions completely differently.  The skin barrier has an amazing ability to repair itself as skin renews itself on the outside quickly, so it’s important that what you put on it can help it best do its job.” The epidermis can turn oily, dry and anything in-between when it faces two core climate factors: temperature and humidity. The epidermis cools down or warms up depending on the climate’s temperature.

Here’s What It Means that Skin Is Climate Smart

Sensors in the dermis pick up the temperature of the outer skin and send this info to the brain.  The majority of these ubersensitive tiny skin thermometers are located in the face, around the nose and forehead, where skin is exposed directly to the climate. Think of the brain as the body’s thermostat. Its job is to keep the internal temperature steady and comfortable. To do so, the brain launches different responses in the dermis, depending on whether temperatures are hot, cold, or mild.

For example, here’s how skin responds to high/hot temperatures: It immediately starts releasing the heat. To do so, the blood vessels located in the middle of the dermis expand further out to get closer to the outer skin.  “By increasing the blood flow, excess heat radiates outwards. This is why you look rosy when you feel hot–it’s the blood vessels giving you the flushed look,” explains Ulli. The release of heat in a hot climate can cause the sebum (waxy substance in the epidermis) to change from waxy to oily (think of it melting into a slicker, shiny oily substance). This can result in anything from a shiny complexion to very greasy skin, as the gland can quickly go into over-gear if too much sebum is lost in the outer skin.

Next, the skin-cooling process springs into action. The sweat glands transfer water from the dermis to the epidermis. “This works well if the water can evaporate quickly, creating a cooling effect. The best way to describe it is to put a drop of water on your skin and then blow on it—you feel a cooling sensation,” says Ulli.

Now we get to the part that humidity plays in this whole process. If humidity is high, sweat simply can’t evaporate and stays with the outer skin, providing little to no cooling. If humidity is low, sweat quickly evaporates and cools the skin.  “This is the reason why 80 degrees in the high humidity in Florida feels crazy hot, while 80 degrees in the low humidity in Arizona feels comfortable. However, if humidity is low, the outer skin cannot pull any water from the air into the skin, which it needs to stay hydrated.” So, how to hydrate skin in hot climates? For hot, humid environments, you’d need Tropical Day Cream, for hot and dry try Desert Day Cream.

How to Hydrate Skin

So now that we know why our skin is so affected by what’s happening in our climate, doesn’t it seem silly that our skincare hasn’t traditionally taken any of that into consideration? After all, no matter what we do, the temperature and humidity regulating processes are taking place every second of every day. Ignoring them means skipping over a huge part of the puzzle when it comes to how to hydrate skin.  Pour Moi is the only skincare brand that’s changing how we think about the formulation of hydrators based on hydrating by climate via lightweight products that deliver high performance ingredients and benefits by climate.

The HyalurTruf+ complex is a new light-weight skincare ingredient system created to help skin find its natural moisture balance in all climates. Made from a blend of 3 different sizes of Hyaluronic acid molecules, it takes into account that varying molecule weight helps with absorption because each molecule size has a different job. “Penetration of Hyaluronic acid into the skin depends on how stable the ingredient is when applied to the skin and gets exposed to heat, air and light and also what molecule size the ingredient has (as it depends how deep it can sink into the skin),” explains Ulli. “Hyaluronic acid is an excellent hydrator that not just attracts water from the atmosphere but also holds the water molecule. Because the large size molecules are the water grabbing kind, they sit on the surface. If there are no different sizes of Hyaluronic acid molecules, and there is not enough water in the air for the large molecules to grab, they can turn against your skin and pull water from the deeper skin layers. Excellent skincare chemistry can take advantage today of pulling humidity from the air and keep it (plumping effect) when available but when skin faces dry climates the smaller kind of molecule will help to offset the larger molecule size acid to turn against the skin. This is the most premium way to help skin restore its natural moisture balance. “

HyalurTruf+ complex also includes White Truffle, which is rich in amino acids and valuable sugars and uniquely combines with the advanced Hyaluronic acids for intense moisturization without the heaviness and a shine-free glow. It helps skin to find the delicate balance of water and lipids so skin is optimally hydrated and moisturized in every climate. Voíla – you can finally stop worrying about how to hydrate skin.

Now that you know your skin is already pretty darn climate smart on its own, use Pour Moi’s 3-step ritual (which includes Hydrating Balancer, Serum and Day Cream or Night Cream) twice daily to amplify skin’s natural intelligence and keep it hydrated and youthful no matter where your day takes you – and no matter what climate conditions it endures. Poor Me? No, Pour Moi!

Karina Giglio
About the Author: Karina Giglio is a lifestyle, beauty and health writer whose work has appeared in numerous national publications including Women's Health, Washingtonian, Ladies Home Journal, OK!, Allure, Fitness, Marie Claire, Bride's and The New York Post. She was a regular contributor to makeup.com, and her articles and blog posts can be found on prevention.com, dailyglow.com, yahoo.com and huffingtonpost.com. Karina has worked on staff at Cosmopolitan and YM, as well as being a part of the original launch team for Sephora.com.