Air pollution: how does the environment affect skin aging?

Do you think that the structural changes the skin undergoes are caused only by the passage of time? In reality, these changes arise from two forms of skin aging: from “intrinsic aging,” which is related by genetic factors, and “extrinsic aging,” which is caused by the interaction of external, i.e., environmental factors such as smog and other harmful emissions. But then Is there a correlation between pollution and skin aging? Let’s find out together!

What is skin aging?

Skin aging is a natural phenomenon that affects all individuals, although it represents a gradual and different process for each of us: the timing and manner of skin aging depends closely on Genetic factors and from bad lifestyle habits. We all know the main cause: the older we get, the more inevitably this natural biological process continues, mainly related to the loss of tissue elasticity and reduced levels of hyaluronic acid produced by the body.

But are we sure that there is no correlation between pollution and skin aging? This is a little-discussed topic, yet many advanced studies in the field have shown howskin pollution plays a key role in the process of skin degeneration. We therefore see how air pollution can negatively affect the beauty of the skin, affecting the tissues and giving it that characteristic tired, weighed-down look. Read on if you want to find out more details on this topic.

A genetic or environmental factor? The correlation between pollution and skin aging
In the past, it was thought that the cellular slowing down was mainly determined by genetic inheritance, only in recent years has the opposite been widely demonstrated: 60% ofpremature skin aging is determined by the external environment, and only 20% or 40% by genetic and hereditary factors.
The main causes of the early appearance of wrinkles, thickened skin and hyperpigmented spots is largely due to external factors, although some elements from bad lifestyle habits accelerate the process. In particular, stress, poor diet, smoking, alcohol abuse, and infrared rays are factors that lead to anacceleration of natural aging processes.

Environmental pollution can promote the development of a process of chronic subclinical inflammation (or inflamm-aging), which further aggravates the typical signs of skin aging. It has been scientifically proven by several studies in the field that the oxidative stress of the skin, caused primarily by the production of oxygen free radicals, is triggered especially by the interaction of the atmospheric agents of pollution with the skin, due to the inability of endogenous systems to prevent their damaging effects.

What are the effects of pollution on our skin?

Nowadays, the world is constantly changing, and our body, but especially our skin, is continuously exposed to numerous Chemical and physical aggressions caused by air pollution.
Scientific research over the past few years has had the opportunity to evaluate the effects resulting from exposure to negative environmental factors and has highlighted how they are capable of depleting the skin causing certain skin imperfections, such as:

  • irritation or abrasion of the dermis
  • premature skin aging
  • skin discolorations
  • skin hypersensitivity
  • skin discoloration and dryness
  • feeling of “tired” skin, pulling
  • Loss of radiance, tone and elasticity and appearance of laxity.

Environmental pollution is thus one of the Main factors of premature skin aging. The harmful effects of these chemicals not only affect our health, but also the beauty of our skin. Electrosmog, CO2, UV, infrared, blue light, ozone hole and greenhouse effect are constantly present in our daily lives, knowing this is important to counteract the effects as much as possible.

Of primary importance is the use of Protective treatments of the skin against the harmful effects of pollution and environmental damage. Let’s try to understand more.

The skin: the first defense against external factors

The main protection against environmental damage caused by pollution comes primarily from the skin, which through its stratum corneum is able to produce a real defense screen that can immediately block harmful effects.

This particular beneficial action that the skin is capable of exerting against external factors is not unlimited or sufficient, however; rather, it can be compromised by continued exposure to the same pollutants. The integrity of the stratum corneum can be compromised over time, weakening the skin’s natural barrier and exposing it to increased risk.

To counteract the negative effects of weathering, it is necessary to Integrate products into one’s daily beauty routine that can strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, counteract the dermis’ interaction with pollution and restore tone and glow to the skin. Important help therefore comes from the use of skin supplements, eye oils and face creams with an adequate sunscreen filter.

Remedies against skin aging resulting from air pollution

The first rule to be observed is a daily cleansing, which should be done both in the morning and in the evening, with the right products: the skin is not enough to remove impurities and it is advisable to choose targeted products, considering that ordinary soap could irritate the skin. In addition, it is important to protect the skin daily with sunscreens, which are able to screen out UVA AND UVB rays, as well as infrared.

The second important rule is to strengthen the skin barrier every day by using cosmetics with a composition based on ceramide lipids, which can facilitate skin barrier repair and enhance the skin’s natural defenses.

Last but not least, you should incorporate into your diet the intake of nutricosmetic supplements for skin wellness which, acting from within, promote skin trophism and function and help maintain normal tone.

Air pollution and skin aging: conclusion

From the above, it can be seen that the correlation between pollution and premature skin aging is well established, to think of counteracting this phenomenon without the use of targeted products is wrong, on the contrary, it is necessary to take care of one’s skin on a daily basis to prevent the typical effects caused by environmental pollution.


Share this article: