3 Things Secretly Affecting Your Skin and the Solutions to Them All

external factors affecting skin

For many people, keeping their skin plump, juicy, and healthy-looking is an ongoing battle. From combatting dullness and dryness, or dreaded acne, most of us have sunk some serious time, energy, and money into optimising our skin. But figuring out your skin’s love language can be hard. Otherwise, why else would dermatologists spend so many years honing their craft?

The skin is our body’s largest organ, and it has a big job, being responsible for protecting us from the weather and infections, and playing a crucial role in the body’s immune system. It also helps to control body temperature, allows us to feel things (like heat, cold, touch, pain, and vibration), absorbs ultraviolet from the sun to create vitamin D, and is water-resistant.

One key way our skin helps to protect us from, quite literally, anything life throws at us is by maintaining a strong moisture barrier in its outermost layer, the stratum corneum. When your moisture barrier is strong, it carries out the functions above with ease, while also trapping water and key nutrients inside the skin, to ensure moisturised skin. 

But when the moisture barrier is compromised, it can cause an increase in transepidermal water loss (i.e. the amount of water that evaporates from the skin throughout the day) and changes in the proteins and lipids found in the stratum corneum. For you, that might mean drier and angrier skin, breakouts, or stinging when you apply products. All is not lost, though. 

There are ways to repair a skin barrier — and prevent it from ever becoming compromised in the first place. The key is knowing your skin’s triggers and the ingredients that help maintain your moisture barrier. There are a few common external factors that may be secretly sabotaging your skin barrier, but the good news is, there are skincare products designed to tackle these exact problems and counteract the external forces that are determined to dull your glow. 

1. Pollution

In 2022, it’s unlikely that any of us are dodging pollution altogether and sadly, it can take its toll on our skin. “Pollution can impact the skin by leading to free radical damage,” explains dermatologist, Dr. Marisa Garshick. “This can contribute to signs of ageing, including fine lines and discolouration, as well as collagen breakdown and skin laxity.” 

Garshick says it can be helpful to use products that contain antioxidants like vitamin C, which help to protect against free radical damage that can result from UV exposure and pollution. “It can be helpful to use throughout the year to improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation in addition to skin signs of ageing,” Garshick tells POPSUGAR Australia. She also confirms that one gentle source of vitamin C is pineapple fruit extract, found in the Garnier Green Labs Pinea-C Brightening Serum Cream SPF 15, which is a 3-in-1 serum cream that moisturises the skin as it delivers a hit of potent vitamin C, and some bonus SPF. The fact that this serum cream replaces three steps in your routine with just one is also a huge bonus.

2. Dehydration

Since the dawn of time, models have been telling us the key to hydrated skin is drinking lots and lots of water, every single day. We’re here to tell you that it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. Garshick explains that when it comes to skin, dehydration refers to a loss of moisture or water in the skin and the answer isn’t necessarily to just drink more water. 

“Dehydrated skin can appear dull and may be more likely to show signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles,” Garshick says. “When the skin is hydrated, it tends to appear healthier, plumper, and more refreshed. For this reason, it can help to moisturise the skin or use ingredients that help to draw moisture into the skin, such as humectants.” 

A common humectant that you’ll see on skincare labels is hyaluronic acid, which works by drawing moisture into the skin to hydrate and plump it up. Another ingredient to look out for is watermelon fruit extract, which has grown in popularity in the last few years. “Watermelon fruit extract can help to boost skin’s moisture levels and help to rehydrate the skin, as such, helping with dehydration of the skin,” confirms Garshick. “It is also rich in antioxidants, making it a good option for pollution as well.” The Garnier Green Labs Hyalu-Melon Replumping Serum Cream SPF 15 combines both of these ingredients.

3. Change in Seasons

Changing climates — either when the seasons change or when travelling overseas — can wreak havoc on your skin, and with Australia slowly heading towards winter, now is a good time to consider how this might impact your skin and pivot your skincare routine accordingly. “When the weather changes, and as the levels of humidity and temperatures drop in the colder months, the skin may become drier,” says Garshick. “For this reason, in the cold, winter months it can be especially important to use thicker moisturising creams and ointments that help to lock moisture in.”

In addition to hyaluronic acid, which can be especially helpful in boosting moisture levels in the skin during the colder, winter months, a couple of ingredients to look out for in your skincare to help combat this are cannabis sativa oil and vitamin B3 (more commonly referred to as niacinamide). “Cannabis sativa oil is rich in fatty acids, so it helps to boost and strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier, which can be especially helpful during the colder months — and to help lock moisture in,” explains Garshick. 

As for niacinamide, it can help to combat changes in the skin that are associated with weather changes. “Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory benefits, which soothes the skin and can help with discolouration, in addition to boosting the skin barrier,” says Garshick. “Its antioxidant benefits can also work to address skin signs associated with pollution,” so it’s a double whammy. 

One product that combines both cannabis sativa seed oil and niacinamide is the Garnier Green Labs Canna-B Pore Perfecting Serum Cream SPF 15, and as the name suggests, it also contains SPF, which is crucial for any skin regimen, as well as salicylic acid, which some might find helpful for breakouts.

To check out the entire Garnier Green Labs range and find the right serum cream for your skin needs, head to their website

Editor’s note: Dr. Marisa Garshick is an independent dermatologist and is not contracted to Garnier Green Labs in any capacity.
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