What Is the Exposome and Why It Is Important to Protect Yourself from the Sun

What is the exposome and why do we have to care about it?
Reading: 3 minutes

The word “exposome” has been used a lot recently in discussions on the causes of skin aging, but do you know exactly what it refers to?

ISDIN visited Dr. Paloma Borregón, head of the Dermatology Unit at the Beteré Clinic in Madrid, Spain, where she talked to us about what the exposome is and the effects it has on our skin. She gave us her expert advice on the importance of protecting ourselves against the sun every day, and how to combine ISDIN products to create an effective anti-aging routine.

What is the exposome?

The exposome is the sum of all the factors which we are exposed to, and which act on the genome (our genetic material) from the day we are born to the day we die. While for a long time it was considered that aging was largely affected by genetics, over time, it has been observed that 80% of the aging process is influenced by seven external factors and that only 20% is determined by our genes.

The skin’s exposome of the skin is defined by seven external factors that affect the aging process:

  1. Solar radiation
  2. Tobacco
  3. Temperature
  4. Nutrition
  5. Stress
  6. Lack of sleep
  7. Pollution

The sun is principally responsible for our skin’s aging

Solar radiation is the factor that most accelerates the skin aging processes. Accumulated chronic solar damage makes us age more rapidly, and also increases the risk of suffering from skin cancer. This is why it is very important to protect ourselves from the sun from a young age, in order to avoid childhood sunburn, which may eventually contribute to the appearance of skin cancer.

The sun is responsible for the aging of our skin and may cause the exposome

“Childhood sunburn doubles the likelihood of suffering from melanoma as an adult.”

DR. PALOMA BORREGÓN

We usually only worry about solar radiation when we think of summer, but every day we are exposed to UV rays, even through clouds, car windows, or to a lesser extent through artificial lighting. Using a photo-protective cream every day minimizes the risks of this exposure. Christina Mitre, specialist beauty blogger and journalist of The Beauty Mail, states that:

“We think that sunscreen is only necessary in summer and we are not aware that we are exposed to solar radiation 365 days a year.”

CRISTINA MITRE

How does pollution affect our skin?

The sun is not the only factor that affects our skin’s aging process, as environmental contamination is also harmful.

The pollution caused by tobacco, heavy metals in the environment, and CO2 emissions, to name just some of the main culprits, adheres to our skin during the day and eventually causes cell damage via oxidative stress on our skin. This pollution also stimulates the production of melanin, which increases the appearance of dark spots.

Read more: how pollution affects your skin

How can we reduce the effects of the exposome on our skin?

The effects of solar radiation and pollution, added to the effects of smoking, extreme temperatures, a bad diet, stress and a lack of sleep affect our skin greatly. This is why it is very important to lead a healthy lifestyle which encourages us to eat better, exercise, discover new horizons and look after our skin.

To prevent the signs of aging on our skin it is important to use cosmetics that help to combat solar radiation and the effects of pollution.

A beauty routine to combat the effects of the exposome

Combine good cleansing with an antioxidant serum

It is important to remove makeup and cleanse skin both in the morning and evening. Even if you don’t wear make-up, pollution residue and dirt accumulate on the skin so it is important to cleanse it. Micellar water like the ISDIN Micellar Solution helps to remove any dirt residue in one go while also removing makeup, cleansing, toning and moisturizing the skin, preparing it for the rest of your routine.

Antioxidants such as vitamin C, found in the daytime ISDINCEUTICS Flavo-C Ultraglican ampules and the ISDINCEUTICS Melatonik 3-in-1 night serum, help to reduce the oxidative damage caused by free radicals, activate collagen production and restore the skin’s luminosity.

Use sunscreen every day

You should use facial sunscreen on a daily basis, and remember to top up your sunscreen every two hours wherever possible. The sun is responsible for 80% of our skin’s aging and to prevent this it is vital to get into the routine of using sun protection 365 days a year, even when the sun is not shining.

“The cream that I use every day is sunscreen. There is no better cream, no better anti-wrinkle or anti-aging treatment than a sunscreen.”

DR. PALOMA BORREGÓN

The sunscreen of the future? It won’t be the most technologically advanced with the fanciest packaging, but the one you’ll look forward to applying every single day.

Eryfotona actinica to prevent the exposome

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