7 enemies of healthy skin (and how to beat them)

7 enemies of healthy skin (and how to beat them)

The skin receives the impact of the sun, pollution, water, soap, clothing components … It is a great gateway for chemicals and pollutants that damage its natural protection and affect your health.

7 enemies of healthy skin (and how to beat them)

For some years now, the cutaneous exposome has been the focus of high cosmetic laboratories, dermatologists and experts in aesthetic medicine. These have determined that there are at least seven factors that converge in the constitution of the skin exposome, that is, in everything related to the environment that affects its health and aging.

And is that the skin is a reflection of your health and your relationship with the environment.


Each of the factors is combined and interacts with the internal factors of each person and with other external factors, triggering a certain response of the body that conditions the appearance of the skin, its elasticity, texture and shine, and also our health in general. Thus, the cutaneous exposome determines 80% of skin aging.

Taking them into account and taking the appropriate measures will improve the appearance of your skin, which is actually a clear reflection of your health.


Your skin does not respond the same to the impact of solar radiation and pollution if you eat fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants than if you follow a diet rich in fat, meat and sugar. A study conducted with Japanese women found that nutrition is responsible for up to 30% of the wrinkles we have.

breakfast rich in antioxidants (vitamin C and E) protects from the damaging effects of the sun, because the skin’s natural defense mechanisms are in a position to better protect it.

” Vegetables, olive oil and legumes also protect skin cells from accumulated damage by solar radiation, contrary to what a diet rich in meat, dairy and butter does”, says Dr. Neus Tomás, physician aesthetic of the Exposome Unit of the Tufet Clinic in Barcelona.


Pollution is one of the factors that most negatively affects the skin. An increase of only 10 mcg of nitrogen dioxide per cubic meter in pollution levels – something very common in large cities – increases the formation of spots on the face of fifty-year-old women by 25%.

The appearance of wrinkles and pigmentation is also greater when the skin coexists with high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, because it reduces the production of vitamins E and C and glutathione, natural skin protectors.

Habits such as cleaning the skin of the face in the morning and at night to eliminate contamination particles help to modulate the skin exposome, and also use anti-pollution creams that prevent these particles from adhering to our skin.


Solar radiation is another determining factor in the skin exposome that can be modulated: studies show that people who do not use sun protection age up to 24% more than those who protect themselves. And it is that the sun and light, in general, modify the lipid composition of the skin and favor its pigmentation.

It is recommended to use broad spectrum sunscreens, since light and the different wavelengths that compose it penetrate the skin and affect it at different levels.


Cigarette smoke also increases the action of ultraviolet rays and alters the biological processes of the skin by promoting the destruction of fibroblasts. These cells are responsible for the production of collagen, the most important structural protein in the skin that maintains its strength and resistance.


Very high or very low temperatures affect the skin. Thus, people who live in a hot climate have a greater risk of the appearance of blood vessels in the skin and oxidative damage, while those who endure persistent cold have drier skin as the secretion of the sebaceous glands is reduced.

The reduction of the ozone layer due to climate change weakens the skin’s protective barrier, depletes vitamins C and E and glutathione, which accelerates aging, pigmentation and increases the risk of atopic dermatitis and eczema.


Stress and lack of sleep alter the skin’s natural defense mechanisms and decrease its barrier function.

Sleeping less than five hours is associated with more signs of aging, as well as frequent air travel or frequent exposure to light from tablet and computer screens.


In California, the Hermosa study evaluated the exposure to endocrine disruptors of a group of Latin American adolescents, that is, substances that alter the hormonal system.

The researchers measured these substances in the urine of the participants for a few months and then they were given new cosmetics. There was a decrease in disruptors of up to half the previous amount. And it is that some endocrine disruptors are very present in cosmetics:

  • Phthalates: they are used to maintain the aroma of the product and to smooth nail polish. This substance is related to childhood allergies and behavior problems.
  • Parabens: They are in makeup, mascara and eye shadow, and in some studies, they have been linked to the risk of breast cancer.
  • Triclosan – Found in soaps and toothpastes. It is an endocrine disruptor that affects estrogens and thyroid hormone.
  • Oxybenzone: blocks ultraviolet radiation in sunscreens and make-up, and in studies with rats, they cause reduced sperm production and weight changes in the offspring. Better opt for protectants with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as well as, in general, for cosmetics with substances that are as natural as possible.

If you want cosmetics to be true allies of your skin and your health, opt for those that contain substances that are as natural as possible.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here