How to Protect Your Skin from Everyday Environmental Stressors

6 min read

jan 5, 2024 - by ONESKIN TEAM
LIFE STYLE

How to Protect Your Skin from Everyday Environmental Stressors

6 min read

jan 5, 2024 - by ONESKIN TEAM
LIFE STYLE
As we navigate the hustle and bustle of modern life, our skin becomes the silent battleground for a variety of environmental stressors. In a world where our skin is constantly exposed to these elements, understanding the science behind the damage that environmental stress causes is crucial to understanding how to fight it.
As we navigate the hustle and bustle of modern life, our skin becomes the silent battleground for a variety of environmental stressors. In a world where our skin is constantly exposed to these elements, understanding the science behind the damage that environmental stress causes is crucial to understanding how to fight it.

This blog aims to delve into the intricate relationship between these stressors and our skin, shedding light on how UV radiation, blue light, infrared radiation, and air pollution affect skin and can hasten aging. We will not only explore the effects of environmental stressors on the skin but will also provide actionable insights on fortifying your skin against these environmental factors for a healthier, more radiant complexion. Most importantly, you will learn potential methods for healing already environmentally stressed skin – for example, incorporating antioxidants into skin care is pivotal in counteracting pre-existing stressor damage. Here at OneSkin, we recognize the significance of environmental stress and have formulated products, particularly SPFs like OS-01 SHIELD and OS-01 BODY SPF (coming soon!), that use antioxidants to repair your skin and provide a robust defense against the free radicals induced by UV rays, air quality, blue light, and infrared radiation. Let's delve deeper into the science behind these stressors and explore comprehensive strategies for fortifying the skin against environmental challenges.

This blog aims to delve into the intricate relationship between these stressors and our skin, shedding light on how UV radiation, blue light, infrared radiation, and air pollution affect skin and can hasten aging. We will not only explore the effects of environmental stressors on the skin but will also provide actionable insights on fortifying your skin against these environmental factors for a healthier, more radiant complexion. Most importantly, you will learn potential methods for healing already environmentally stressed skin – for example, incorporating antioxidants into skin care is pivotal in counteracting pre-existing stressor damage. Here at OneSkin, we recognize the significance of environmental stress and have formulated products, particularly SPFs like OS-01 SHIELD and OS-01 BODY SPF (coming soon!), that use antioxidants to repair your skin and provide a robust defense against the free radicals induced by UV rays, air quality, blue light, and infrared radiation. Let's delve deeper into the science behind these stressors and explore comprehensive strategies for fortifying the skin against environmental challenges.

What Are Environmental Stressors?

We interact with multiple stressors almost constantly throughout our lives – invisible adversaries capable of damaging our health. Day to day, we navigate through many of these elements that heavily influence the well-being of our skin. These stressors range from subtle yet persistent pollutants lingering in the air to the relentless ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun – all casting an invisible veil of potential harm. For example, research shows that “air pollution, especially PM, PHA, and ozone, causes premature skin aging, as evidenced by the appearance of wrinkles, senile lentigo, and dry, itchy skin after exposure to air pollutants”. 1
Furthermore, the constant presence of modern technology exposes our skin to a never-ending stream of blue light emitted by screens, adding another layer to the environmental challenges our skin faces. Similarly, infrared radiation, while sometimes employed beneficially in therapeutic settings, can become a foe when prolonged exposure contributes to the generation of free radicals, including reactive oxygen species (ROS), during natural cellular processes. Free radicals
are unstable molecules that environmental stressors can generate. They cause harm throughout the body that can cascade into extreme damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids.2 While the body produces ROS, an imbalance leading to
oxidative stress
can be detrimental. High levels of ROS can contribute to various skin diseases, aging, and inflammation.2

What Are Environmental Stressors?

We interact with multiple stressors almost constantly throughout our lives – invisible adversaries capable of damaging our health. Day to day, we navigate through many of these elements that heavily influence the well-being of our skin. These stressors range from subtle yet persistent pollutants lingering in the air to the relentless ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun – all casting an invisible veil of potential harm. For example, research shows that “air pollution, especially PM, PHA, and ozone, causes premature skin aging, as evidenced by the appearance of wrinkles, senile lentigo, and dry, itchy skin after exposure to air pollutants”. 1
Furthermore, the constant presence of modern technology exposes our skin to a never-ending stream of blue light emitted by screens, adding another layer to the environmental challenges our skin faces. Similarly, infrared radiation, while sometimes employed beneficially in therapeutic settings, can become a foe when prolonged exposure contributes to the generation of free radicals, including reactive oxygen species (ROS), during natural cellular processes. Free radicals
are unstable molecules that environmental stressors can generate. They cause harm throughout the body that can cascade into extreme damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids.2 While the body produces ROS, an imbalance leading to
oxidative stress
can be detrimental. High levels of ROS can contribute to various skin diseases, aging, and inflammation.2

How Do Environmental Stressors Affect the Skin?

  • UV Radiation from the sun is a major environmental factor contributing to premature skin aging. It consists of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays, with UVA and UVB being the most relevant to skin health.
  • High-energy visible (HEV) light from the sun may cause up to half of the free radicals produced in the skin.3Blue light, a component of HEV light, is emitted by electronic devices like smartphones and computers. While low doses of blue light may be beneficial for treating proliferative skin diseases and acne, prolonged exposure can generate free radicals, contributing to skin damage.3
  • Infrared (IR) radiation, while beneficial in therapeutic settings, can be detrimental in excessive amounts. Prolonged exposure generates free radicals, which can damage skin via photoaging. Additionally, Infrared light penetrates deep into this skin to the dermis, where it is converted to heat. The damaging effects of heat include degrading proteins, such as
  • collagen and elastin
    fibers, which contribute to solar elastosis, premature skin aging, and skin sagging.3
  • Airborne pollutants, such as particulate matter can increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammation in the skin. This exacerbates UV damage and contributes to the appearance of photoaged skin.3
  • While UV is the biggest environmental factor for premature skin aging, IR, Blue Light, and Pollution generate free radicals that damage DNA and proteins, leading to the appearance of photoaged skin. Understanding the specific impact of each environmental stressor enables us to develop targeted strategies to counteract its effects on the skin and shield it from future damage.

    How Do Environmental Stressors Affect the Skin?

    • UV Radiation from the sun is a major environmental factor contributing to premature skin aging. It consists of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays, with UVA and UVB being the most relevant to skin health.
    • High-energy visible (HEV) light from the sun may cause up to half of the free radicals produced in the skin.3Blue light, a component of HEV light, is emitted by electronic devices like smartphones and computers. While low doses of blue light may be beneficial for treating proliferative skin diseases and acne, prolonged exposure can generate free radicals, contributing to skin damage.3
    • Infrared (IR) radiation, while beneficial in therapeutic settings, can be detrimental in excessive amounts. Prolonged exposure generates free radicals, which can damage skin via photoaging. Additionally, Infrared light penetrates deep into this skin to the dermis, where it is converted to heat. The damaging effects of heat include degrading proteins, such as
    • collagen and elastin
      fibers, which contribute to solar elastosis, premature skin aging, and skin sagging.3
    • Airborne pollutants, such as particulate matter can increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammation in the skin. This exacerbates UV damage and contributes to the appearance of photoaged skin.3
    • While UV is the biggest environmental factor for premature skin aging, IR, Blue Light, and Pollution generate free radicals that damage DNA and proteins, leading to the appearance of photoaged skin. Understanding the specific impact of each environmental stressor enables us to develop targeted strategies to counteract its effects on the skin and shield it from future damage.

      How to Guard Your Skin Against Environmental Stressors

      Given the inevitability of environmental stressors, adopting an approach to protect your skin before it is damaged is incredibly important. Here are practical steps you can take to guard your skin against these challenges:

      How to Guard Your Skin Against Environmental Stressors

      Given the inevitability of environmental stressors, adopting an approach to protect your skin before it is damaged is incredibly important. Here are practical steps you can take to guard your skin against these challenges:

      Antioxidant-rich Skincare

      Incorporate antioxidant-rich skincare products into your routine. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals generated by environmental stressors. Although all OneSkin products contain antioxidants that aid in our skin’s constant battle against environmental factors, OS-01 SHIELD and OS-01 BODY SPF, in particular, both contain potent antioxidants to help neutralize free radicals from environmental exposures, such as UV, pollution, blue light, and IR.

      Antioxidant-rich Skincare

      Incorporate antioxidant-rich skincare products into your routine. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals generated by environmental stressors. Although all OneSkin products contain antioxidants that aid in our skin’s constant battle against environmental factors, OS-01 SHIELD and OS-01 BODY SPF, in particular, both contain potent antioxidants to help neutralize free radicals from environmental exposures, such as UV, pollution, blue light, and IR.

      Sunscreen with Broad-Spectrum Protection

      Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with high SPF to protect your skin from UV radiation. OS-01 SHIELD and OS-01 BODY SPF, containing non-nano Zinc Oxide (our preferred 100% mineral UV filter), offer sustainable and safe UV protection for everyday use.

      Sunscreen with Broad-Spectrum Protection

      Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with high SPF to protect your skin from UV radiation. OS-01 SHIELD and OS-01 BODY SPF, containing non-nano Zinc Oxide (our preferred 100% mineral UV filter), offer sustainable and safe UV protection for everyday use.

      Limit Screen Time

      Reduce exposure to blue light by limiting screen time, especially before bedtime. Consider using blue light filters on electronic devices and taking breaks to reduce continuous exposure.

      Limit Screen Time

      Reduce exposure to blue light by limiting screen time, especially before bedtime. Consider using blue light filters on electronic devices and taking breaks to reduce continuous exposure.

      Harmful Ingredients in Sunscreens: What You Need to Know

      Wear protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses, to shield your skin from direct sunlight. This is especially important during peak UV hours.

      Harmful Ingredients in Sunscreens: What You Need to Know

      Wear protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses, to shield your skin from direct sunlight. This is especially important during peak UV hours.

      Environmental Detox

      Incorporate practices that help detoxify your skin from environmental pollutants. Regular cleansing and exfoliation can aid in removing pollutants that accumulate on the skin.

      Environmental Detox

      Incorporate practices that help detoxify your skin from environmental pollutants. Regular cleansing and exfoliation can aid in removing pollutants that accumulate on the skin.

      Treating Environmentally Stressed Skin

      If your skin has already been subjected to the effects of environmental stressors, there are effective ways, in addition to the preventative steps discussed above, to address and mitigate the damage brought on by your environmental conditions:
      1. Antioxidant Infusions infuse antioxidants directly into the skin. These treatments can help combat oxidative stress and rejuvenate the skin. Antioxidant-rich formulations can be applied topically or incorporated into more advanced treatments.
      2. Consult with skin care professionals for personalized advice and treatments tailored to your skin's needs. Seeking expert guidance is invaluable, especially when dealing with specific skin concerns. Professional interventions, such as chemical peels or laser therapies administered by trained personnel, can effectively target and rectify various signs of environmental damage.
      3. Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure that stimulates collagen production and enhances the absorption of skincare products by using fine needles to create micro-injuries in the skin. It can be an effective treatment for addressing the effects of environmental stressors on the skin, promoting collagen renewal, and improving overall skin texture.
      4. Adopting a targeted skin care routine is crucial for revitalizing environmentally stressed skin. Products containing potent antioxidants, hydrating agents, and collagen-boosting ingredients can contribute to the restoration of skin health. This may include using
      5. peptide face creams, body moisturizers, gel cleansers, serums, and specialized treatments recommended by skin care professionals. Consider the OneSkin topical skin care
        line, formulated with a revolutionary peptide that is scientifically proven to enhance your skin's natural collagen production*(4), contributing to a firmer and improved appearance.**
      6. Making lifestyle adjustments can also play a role in mitigating the impact of environmental stressors on the skin. Adequate hydration, a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, and minimizing direct sun exposure can complement professional treatments and at-home skin care routines.
      7. Remember, the key to effectively treating environmentally stressed skin lies in a holistic approach that combines targeted treatments, consistent at-home care, deliberate lifestyle choices, and occasionally professional guidance.

        Treating Environmentally Stressed Skin

        If your skin has already been subjected to the effects of environmental stressors, there are effective ways, in addition to the preventative steps discussed above, to address and mitigate the damage brought on by your environmental conditions:
        1. Antioxidant Infusions infuse antioxidants directly into the skin. These treatments can help combat oxidative stress and rejuvenate the skin. Antioxidant-rich formulations can be applied topically or incorporated into more advanced treatments.
        2. Consult with skin care professionals for personalized advice and treatments tailored to your skin's needs. Seeking expert guidance is invaluable, especially when dealing with specific skin concerns. Professional interventions, such as chemical peels or laser therapies administered by trained personnel, can effectively target and rectify various signs of environmental damage.
        3. Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure that stimulates collagen production and enhances the absorption of skincare products by using fine needles to create micro-injuries in the skin. It can be an effective treatment for addressing the effects of environmental stressors on the skin, promoting collagen renewal, and improving overall skin texture.
        4. Adopting a targeted skin care routine is crucial for revitalizing environmentally stressed skin. Products containing potent antioxidants, hydrating agents, and collagen-boosting ingredients can contribute to the restoration of skin health. This may include using
        5. peptide face creams, body moisturizers, gel cleansers, serums, and specialized treatments recommended by skin care professionals. Consider the OneSkin topical skin care
          line, formulated with a revolutionary peptide that is scientifically proven to enhance your skin's natural collagen production*(4), contributing to a firmer and improved appearance.**
        6. Making lifestyle adjustments can also play a role in mitigating the impact of environmental stressors on the skin. Adequate hydration, a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, and minimizing direct sun exposure can complement professional treatments and at-home skin care routines.
        7. Remember, the key to effectively treating environmentally stressed skin lies in a holistic approach that combines targeted treatments, consistent at-home care, deliberate lifestyle choices, and occasionally professional guidance.
          Disclaimers
          *Shown in lab studies by analyzing the effect of the OS-01 peptide on a key biomarker associated with collagen production (COL1A1) in ex vivo human skin samples (Zonari, et al., npj Aging, 2023). The increase in collagen levels was confirmed by analyzing collagen levels in the dermis of ex vivo human skin samples treated with OS-01 FACE and OS-01 EYE. **Shown in 12-week clinical studies performed by third-party research organizations evaluating the effects of OS-01 FACE and OS-01 EYE
          Disclaimers
          *Shown in lab studies by analyzing the effect of the OS-01 peptide on a key biomarker associated with collagen production (COL1A1) in ex vivo human skin samples (Zonari, et al., npj Aging, 2023). The increase in collagen levels was confirmed by analyzing collagen levels in the dermis of ex vivo human skin samples treated with OS-01 FACE and OS-01 EYE. **Shown in 12-week clinical studies performed by third-party research organizations evaluating the effects of OS-01 FACE and OS-01 EYE
          Key Takeaways:
          • Modern life exposes skin to pollutants, UV radiation, blue light, and infrared radiation, accelerating aging.
          • These environmental stressors generate free radicals, causing oxidative stress, DNA damage, protein damage, and aged skin.
          • Protective measures include using antioxidant-rich skincare and broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreen, implementing a screen time limit, wearing protective clothing, and detoxifying the skin.
          • Options for treating severely damaged skin include but are not limited to, antioxidant infusions, professional treatments like peels and lasers, microneedling, and targeted skincare with collagen-boosting ingredients.
          • Combine lifestyle adjustments with professional treatments and at-home care to treat environmentally stressed skin effectively.
          Key Takeaways:
          • Modern life exposes skin to pollutants, UV radiation, blue light, and infrared radiation, accelerating aging.
          • These environmental stressors generate free radicals, causing oxidative stress, DNA damage, protein damage, and aged skin.
          • Protective measures include using antioxidant-rich skincare and broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreen, implementing a screen time limit, wearing protective clothing, and detoxifying the skin.
          • Options for treating severely damaged skin include but are not limited to, antioxidant infusions, professional treatments like peels and lasers, microneedling, and targeted skincare with collagen-boosting ingredients.
          • Combine lifestyle adjustments with professional treatments and at-home care to treat environmentally stressed skin effectively.

          Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

          Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

          Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

          Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

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