UNDERSTANDING THE EXPOSOME AND HOW IT ACCELERATES SKIN AGING
Published January 30, 2023
Our skin is actually our largest organ and the human body's first line of defense against external stresses. It therefore reflects the various environmental, dietary, and social factors that affect us on a daily basis. Pollution, UV radiation, chemicals, pesticides, smoking, and stress can all affect the structure of our skin in different ways.
For our purposes, the exposome refers to all the factors associated with skin aging, and it is important to understand them in order to develop a personalized skincare routine.
In this article, we're going to look at how the concept of the exposome was developed and why it's important to properly understand its constituent parts. You'll also find out what to pay special attention to in “your” exposome, and which of our treatments are best suited to your needs.
THE EXPOSOME IS A RECENT CONCEPT
We've known for a long time that the environment we live in plays a key role in our health. Many diseases are attributable to environmental factors, as are respiratory ailments and, of course, skin problems.
As scientists gradually learned more about these factors, they realized that if they were to understand their impact on human health, they needed to study them as a whole rather than looking at each one in isolation.
And so in 2005, Dr Christopher Wild, who is now Director of the World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer, mapped out the foundations of what we now call the exposome. In an article published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, Dr Wild gave an innovative definition of the exposome as “the sum total of all exposures to which an individual is subjected from conception to death”. Dr Wild demonstrated that the exposome encompasses all the different environmental factors to which a person is exposed throughout their life, such as chemical, microbiological, physical, recreational, medicinal, nutritional, and infectious factors, as well as those related to their lifestyle.
MORE THAN ONE EXPOSOME?
Describing an exposome in its entirety is not a simple task. This would imply gathering an incalculable amount of data on a wide range of exposures (chemical, physical, biological, psychological, etc.) and, simultaneously, taking into account a number of different timeframes (early or late exposure, short-term or repeated exposure, chronic exposure, etc.). Exposome research, which necessitates a multidisciplinary stance, still requires a great deal of work in terms of methodological standardization, a task that has not yet been accomplished.
This is why researchers are now focusing on more narrowly defined areas of the exposome. These vary according to different scientific disciplines and areas of study, and they can also overlap. For example, food can simultaneously be part of:
Here at FILORGA, our focus is on the exposome that affects our skin. Let's look at what it consists of and the key points to bear in mind.
KNOW YOUR EXPOSOME TO BETTER PROTECT YOUR SKIN
To effectively combat skin aging, it is important to properly understand how much we are exposed on a daily basis to the various negative factors of the exposome.
This is precisely why our beauty consultants offer a consultation to our customers. This involves asking them questions about their lifestyle: sun exposure, pollution, smoking, stress, diet, screen time, regular travel, lack of sleep, sport, etc. Armed with this information, they can then suggest a skincare routine suited to individual needs.
Here are some of the most common tips.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM OXIDATIVE STRESS
Oxidative stress is one of the main causes of skin aging. It also reflects the cumulative impact of various components of the exposome. All of the advice we give our customers on how to reduce the negative effects of their exposome is geared towards reducing oxidative stress as much as possible.
PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM THE SUN
UV radiation accelerates the degradation of proteins that are essential for the skin, such as elastin and collagen, which in turn hastens skin aging. While moderate unprotected exposure to the sun helps the body to synthesize vitamin D (which is especially important for bone health), FILORGA's experts recommend that customers exercise caution when it comes to exposure to UV radiation. They recommend using sunscreen every day and avoiding exposure to the sun during peak sunshine hours.
A variety of other situations are also high-risk, although we might not necessarily realize it. People often associate sun exposure with leisure activities, but our everyday and working lives are constantly severely testing our skin, and it must be protected. For example:
Smoking reduces endogenous antioxidant numbers (those produced by our bodies) as well as the effect of antioxidants present in our food (such as vitamin C). This obviously makes combatting oxidative stress even more difficult.
AVOID POLLUTED AREAS
Damage to the epidermis can be exacerbated by atmospheric pollution. Pollutants interact with UV radiation to form ozone. And although ozone can't penetrate the epidermis, it does cause oxidative stress by altering the lipids in the upper layers of the skin.
To combat the harmful effects of exhaust gasses and industrial fumes on the skin, Laboratoires FILORGA's experts specifically developed AGE-PURIFY, which contains an anti-stick polysaccharide for anti-pollution action. You should also properly cleanse your skin in the evenings to remove the pollution particles that can accumulate over the course of the day.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Getting a good night's sleep is the most healing “activity” there is. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles mean that lack of sleep is all too common, and frequent sleepless nights damage the skin's radiance and tone. Our NCEF-NIGHT MASK combines our star ingredient, NCEF [New Cellular Encapsulated Factors], and Persian silk tree extract and is the ideal solution for combatting those sleepless nights. As long as they don't happen too often!
For a full consultation and a skincare routine designed just for you, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.