Skin exposome: how your lifestyle can slow premature ageing.

Everybody ages, but not everyone ages the same way. In this journal post, we look at the things you can do to age naturally, and how lifestyle choices can accelerate the process.

Exposome, what is it and why do I care?

Okay, unless you LOVE your science you've probably never heard of the world "exposome". That's fair! So why are we writing about it? Well, firstly everyday is a school day, and secondly, because "your future" you will look and feel healthier, if you've got this covered.

So what do we mean by exposome? Simply, it’s the combination of all the external and internal things that you're exposed to, every day throughout your life. Think of it as a diary of everything you've ever come into contact with, and it's impact on you.

Managing your exposome well is key to happy, healthy living. Meanwhile, the when it comes to skincare, our lifestyle choices are can directly contribute to skin barrier damage and an acceleration of skin ageing; deeper wrinkles, more sunspots. So let's take a look at some of the biggest causes of faster skin ageing. 

Skin exposome; why it's important and how can you stop premature ageing?

Key exposures impacting skin health

Solar radiation:

Sun can sometimes be good for the skin in limited doses, but be careful. When it comes to sun, you can definitely have too much of a good thing. Extended or repetitive exposure to UV radiation can lead to the degradation of skin proteins that are crucial for the elasticity, moisture and firmness.

Which proteins? Unfortunately it's a long list, but the most important ones are; collagen, elastin, proteoglycans and fibronectin. The degradation of these proteins will generate an impaired skin structure that will lead to rough skin to touch and the formation of deeper wrinkles. UV radiation is not only responsible for the formation of wrinkles but also for the appearance of sunspots. How's that? Well, UV radiation over activates melanin in your skin. When this happens, the production of melanin increases and the sunspots appear.  

Pollution

As the global population grows, contamination and pollution grow too. The increase in air pollutants such as ozone or carbon monoxide have increased exponentially in recent years and they’re the main causes of climate change. You’re probably asking yourself, what has this got to do with my skin? Well, not only does pollution suck for our planet and our lungs, but air pollution can also cause cell damage, dryness or inflammation; weakening our skin as an effective barrier to the outside world.

Tobacco:

We all know that tobacco smoke is deadly for your lungs. In truth, it’s pretty terrible for our skin too.  Why? The toxic chemicals inhaled in tobacco smoke enter our bloodstream and work their way to our skin. Once they’re there, they act in a similar way to UV radiation. Nicotine, together with free radicals and other harmful substances found in cigarettes degrade and impair the skin’s production of essential proteins like;  collagen, elastin or proteoglycans. These proteins are responsible for giving your skin elasticity and firmness. In addition, heat and smoke can directly dry the skin’s surface.

Tobacco smoke, tobacco, tobacco docks, british american tobacco, skin ageing, wrinkles, premature ageing

Lack of sleep

Love your sleep? Then sleep more, guilt free! Beauty sleep isn’t a thing of fiction. Good sleep is a blessing for your skin. How? Not only does sleep reduce stress and improve your mood but it also helps in the recovery of many external stressors affecting your skin. Sleep can help your skin repair damage caused by UV radiation and pollution. Having a good sleep routine will help you increase the production of collagen and elastin. By equal measure, a lack of sleep can reduce the skin’s ability to recover from day to day stresses and lead to the formation of fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles around your eyes. 

Stress

There’s no doubt, stress is one of the biggest issues of our time. It won’t come as a surprise to know that stress and skin ageing are related, right? When you’re stressed out your body releases a hormone called cortisol. This hormone is also responsible for breaking down skin’s collagen and elastin. And we already know that's not good news for the skin, right? Stress can impact in the proteins responsible for elasticity and firmness; increasing the number and depth of wrinkles. 

Beyond wrinkles, stress can also impact issues like acne, dryness, eczema and cause rashes. It can also knock your immune system, making your skin more susceptible to infections like impetigo. For more about stress and its impacts on your skin check out this article on health-line.  

Mindfulness, yoga, stress, skin ageing, wrinkles, healthy lifestyle

Nutrition

Although it may come as a surprise, the excessive intake of some types of foods are known to increase the amount and depth of wrinkles and fine lines in your skin. In general, high-fat foods cause oxidative stress, a process which is responsible to cause inflammatory damage. Like other causes of ageing, high-fat foods can  cause the degradation of collagen and elastin with the consequent formation of wrinkles.

Some studies have also shown a close association between skin ageing and some food processing methods such as grilling, frying, baking, etc

Foods which are more likely to cause oxidative stress on your skin are; refined grains, sugary cereals, chips, cookies, alcohol, sugary beverages. In summary; foods with added sugars.

...Thankfully, to combat oxidative stress and boost your skin there are plenty of things you can eat. Lots of them are tasty too!  To know which foods are good for your skin and why check our our journal post; “HOW CAN A GOOD DIET BOOST YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE

So in short, your diet might be causing skin ageing or improving skin ageing, it all depends on what you eat. 

Temperature

It has also been seen that temperature may affect your skin appearance but… how? Well, as you will probably know, cold temperature dries out your skin making it feel rough and itchy. And the warm temperature?... High temperatures can increase skin dehydration and sebum production resulting in breakouts. This is especially noticeable in people with combination or oily skin. 

6 tips to manage skin ageing: 

Natural , vegan and certified skincare, sustainable, healthy skin, exposome

The good news, is that your skincare routine can be a helpful ally in managing your exposure to the outside world, especially external factors. Through your skincare choices, you can add and remove exposures that impact the skin exposome. Here are some of the easiest things you can do.

  1. Sunscreen is an everyday essential if you're going to be in the sun. Working outside, going out for a walk, … or sitting in a beer garden (lucky you), SPF filters will help reduce the negative impact of UV radiation on your skin. 

  2. Getting 8 hours of sleep a day, keeps the wrinkles away. Both the quality and the hours of sleep are essential to reduce skin ageing. The amount of sleep you need might vary of course, from person to person but whatever your number is... get it!

  3. Healthy diet, healthy skin. More info about nutrition and skin health, in our blog post “How a good diet can compliment your skincare routine.” 

  4. Quit smoking, if you smoke. Your skin and lungs will be grateful. 

  5. Say bye-bye to pollution and dirt. How? Cleanse your face day and night with the Skin Sapiens gentle facial cleansing gel

  6. Feel good, look good. Keep calm and enjoy life. Relax, meditate and try (not too hard) to control stress.

Finally, if you want a complete say over what you're putting on your skin, then you're in the right place. Checkout the back of every pack for the natural origin of every ingredient used in our skincare. Here's to making good choices easy, and to graceful ageing. 

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