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Effects of Environmental Aging on Skin Health


Aging is normal and inevitable. Above all, signs of aging that may start appearing on your face or silver hair are just evidence of rich experience, wisdom, and sagacity that may only come with a whole and eventful life.

However, hardly can you find anyone boasting those marks of aging. Especially, if they start to come out a bit earlier than you might have expected.

There is a difference between aging as a concept and natural process and signs of maturing skin that sometimes outpace time. However, it does not mean that once you notice the very first signs of pigmentation or tiny  “crow feet”  around your eyes, it is time to put your hands down and accept the inevitable.

In today’s society, the earliest indications of aging might occur at any age. There are various reasons why your skin begins to lose its radiance and youthfulness. Environmental aging is currently one of the most contentious topics in the skincare industry.

Please continue reading to understand how the environment may be the primary cause of your skin’s premature aging, as well as what you can do to protect it and potentially turn back the clock.

What Is Aging?

Before digging deeper into environmental aging, let’s try to understand what happens to our skin once we get older and why skin aging hardly has anything to do with your date of birth today.

Scientists recognize five types of skin aging:

  • Intrinsic aging: natural and inevitable aging due to time and genetics
  • Extrinsic aging: aging that happens due to the impact of external factors such as UV lights and air quality
  • Behavioral aging: depends on your diet and lifestyle habits, including sleep, alcohol consumption, or smoking
  • Hormonal aging: is linked to the function of hormones in your body
  • Catabolic aging: caused by chronic diseases

As you may have noticed, skin aging has little to do with your chronological age. But does this imply that we do not influence it? It could be a little more complicated.

Yes, you definitely minimize your chances for premature wrinkles once you lay off cigarettes and alcohol and get your regular “beauty sleeps.” But some factors are primarily out of our power.

Environment determines in many ways our lifestyle, health, and even genetics. In other words, it somehow participates in each aging type. That is why environmental aging is becoming a popular topic and severe concern of the skincare industry.

Environmental Aging Changes the Way We Look At Skincare

Looking at pictures of your great-grandmother, you might have always been sure that the first signs of aging will not show until you become a grandma yourself.

The genetic approach to maturing skincare might have worked several decades ago, but unfortunately, it becomes irrelevant today due to “environmental stresses.” Yes, genetics will determine how vulnerable your skin will be to those aggressive factors. Still, with environmental pollution, climate change, and other issues, skin aging has become the primary concern for skincare professionals.

The “Horseman” Of Skin Apocalypse

  • Air and water pollution
  • UV Sun radiation
  • Pesticides
  • Chemical products and synthetic components
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Blue light from device screens

As you may have seen, the majority of those dangers were unknown to our great grandmothers but have since become an inextricable part of our daily lives.

Although we have all heard of environmental pollution, few people know its link to skin aging. It appears to be all about free radicals, which are tiny molecules. You’ve undoubtedly heard of them and are aware of their link to premature aging. Understanding how the process works, on the other hand, will aid you in devising effective protection strategies.

What Is Oxidative Stress and How Does It Destroy Your Skin

As many of us think, free radicals are not random contaminating molecules that fly in the polluted air. This type of molecule exists in our bodies. However, once they are perfectly balanced, our organism can control them and even use them as secret weapons against pathogens.

But the environmental stressors we have mentioned above break that balance, provoking excessive free radicals that start disrupting the natural course of events in our bodies.

Scientists call this process “Oxidative Stress.” You do not have to spend a day in a burning forest or next to a toxic landfill to get exposed to oxidative stress. Free radicals surround you in traffic, in front of your laptop, and even in your bathroom. Being unstable and aggressive, they instantly interact with the cells of your skin, transferring their instability.

Consider it similar to a pediatrician’s waiting room. Several children can sit quietly there for some time. However, if a “screamer” arises, the entire balance will shift, and poor parents will be forced to deal with a catastrophic meltdown. When your skin is exposed to free radicals, this is the same phenomenon.

Due to this “meltdown,” your skin’s defensive mechanism weakens, and regeneration processes slow down. It is the ultimate recipe for premature aging. Now think of how often you get exposed to those environmental stressors, and you will be able to comprehend what environmental aging is and why it becomes such an urgent issue in modern skincare.

But does it mean that to avoid premature aging, you will have to leave behind your life, habits, dreams, and ambitions and move to a hut in a forest? Technically, yes. But fortunately, it is not the only way to protect yourself.

To learn more read part 2….

Don’t forget to take a moment for self today!


from The Endulge Me Team

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