Environmental Factors: the influence on the well-being of the skin

Environmental factors that influence the appearance of the skin

Skin health and appearance is influenced by a multitude of environmental factors that go beyond simple sun exposure:
– visible light
– infrared radiation
– blue light
– location
– pollution

These elements, often underestimated, contribute in complex ways to skin aging, highlighting the need for a deeper understanding and targeted protection strategies.

Visible light: the impact on the skin

Visible light, comprising 50% of total solar radiation, penetrates deeply into the skin, with approximately 20% reaching the subcutaneous tissue. It can cause DNA oxidation and generate degradation of collagen and elastin fibers and a reduction in collagen production, ultimately affecting the structure and elasticity of the skin.

Blue light from computers and cell phones: the consequences on the skin

It is a high energy light that is part of the solar spectrum, the one emanating from the displays of electronic devices is, obviously, less powerful than natural blue-violet light and above all represents only 18% of HEV (High Energy Visible light) to which we are subjected on a daily basis, but themassive and continuous exposure to displays can still cause damage to the skin. One of the damages caused to the skin is oxidation which is one of the main causes of skin aging.

Infrared radiation: the effect on the skin

Infra Red (IR) constitutes 45% of total solar radiation, it also penetrates deeply into the skin, 65% of the radiation reaches the dermis and 10% reaches the hypodermis. Chronic exposure to IR can gradually damage the skin. This type of radiation leads to a reduction in collagen production and degradation of collagen and elastin fibers.

Pollution: the influence on the skin

Primary pollutants, such as fine particles and gases such as ozone, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, along with volatile organic compounds, pose direct threats. Secondary pollutants, resulting from photochemical reactions that contribute to smog formation, also aggravate the impact on the skin. Many studies have revealed associations between increased exposure to pollutants and the development of skin pigmentation, with results indicating an increase of up to 24-25% in pigmented spots on the cheeks among affected populations. Additionally, fine particles have been shown to penetrate human skin, resulting in a 52% increase in freckles on the cheeks following increased exposure.

Geographic location: the link with skin aging

Location factors play a significant role in pigmentation and aging, latitude being a crucial determinant. For example, even cities less than 10° apart can show distinct differences in skin aging and pigmentation. Research indicates an 8-year disparity in the appearance of wrinkles and a startling 16-year gap in facial hyperpigmentation between cities so close together. Hence, residing in northern locations has a protective effect on the skin.
Altitude also emerges as a relevant factor, with UV levels increasing by 10% to 12% for every 1000 meter increase in altitude. This highlights the increased risk of sun-induced skin damage at higher altitudes.
Furthermore, the reflective properties of various surfaces, such as snow, sand and sea, further increase the impact of exposure to UV radiation, with snow reflecting up to 80% of UV radiation, sand around 15% and sea ​​surface approximately 25%. These findings highlight the multifaceted nature of environmental influences on skin health and highlight the importance of protective measures against sun damage in different geographic contexts.

A proactive approach is essential for the well-being of your skin

Understanding the impact of environmental factors on the skin has never been more crucial than in the current global context, where exposure to various harmful elements is almost inevitable. This awareness highlights the vital importance of taking protective measures, which include the use of broad-spectrum sunscreens, protective clothing and suitable skin care strategies to combat the harmful effects of the environment. Protecting the skin does not only mean preserving its aesthetic appearance, but also maintaining its function as a vital barrier against toxic external agents. In a world where exposure to harmful elements is a constant, taking a proactive approach to skin care is essential to ensuring its long-term health and beauty.

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