Tropospheric ozone and skin aging

planet earth and ozone layer


During the last two decades, it has been well established that a short-term exposure to ozone (O3) elicits an oxidative stress response in human and mouse skin, which leads to aberrant transcriptional expression of genes consistent with increased skin aging. Whether a long-term exposure to ambient O3 is associated with any skin aging traits, has remained unclear.

We addressed this question in two elderly German cohorts: the SALIA study (806 women aged 66-79 years), and the BASE-II study (1207 men and women aged 60-84 years). Five-year mean residential exposure to O3 was modeled as the number of days with maximum daily 8-h mean O3 concentrations ≥120 μg/m3 per year in the wider neighborhood (5-digit postcode) of a participant’s residence. Extrinsic (environmentally induced) skin aging traits – coarse wrinkles and pigment spots (lentigines) on the face – were assessed by means of SCINEXA™, a validated visual score previously shown to be well suited to measure extrinsic facial skin aging in cohort studies.

We observed positive associations of O3 exceedances with coarse wrinkles in the face, but not with pigment spots. These associations were present in each cohort as well as in the combined sample of both cohorts. They were independent of chronic ultraviolet radiation exposure as the most obvious confounder, and also of co-pollutants such as particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. Thus, long-term exposure to elevated concentrations of tropospheric ozone appears to contribute to skin aging.

SOURCE: Environment International

Environmental Stressors on Skin Aging


The skin is the main barrier that protects us against environmental stressors (physical, chemical, and biological). These stressors, combined with internal factors, are responsible for cutaneous aging. Furthermore, they negatively affect the skin and increase the risk of cutaneous diseases, particularly skin cancer.

This review addresses the impact of environmental stressors on skin aging, especially those related to general and specific external factors (lifestyle, occupation, pollutants, and light exposure). More specifically, we evaluate ambient air pollution, household air pollutants from non-combustion sources, and exposure to light (ultraviolet radiation and blue and red light). We approach the molecular pathways involved in skin aging and pathology as a result of exposure to these external environmental stressors.

Finally, we reflect on how components of environmental stress can interact with ultraviolet radiation to cause cell damage and the critical importance of knowing the mechanisms to develop new therapies to maintain the skin without damage in old age and to repair its diseases.

SOURCE: Frontiers in Pharmacology



Photoaging, also known as extrinsic aging, consists of premature skin changes secondary to damage caused by chronic sun exposure. This review highlights epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical, and pathological features of photoaging.

UV radiation is the central driver of photoaging. However, there is growing evidence that other environmental factors—including ambient air pollution and visible/infrared light—also play a key role. Furthermore, newer research suggests that skin phototype, ethnicity, and sex can all differentially mediate the process of photoaging.

UV radiation is the primary cause of photoaging, an extrinsic aging of the skin. This process can be exacerbated by other factors including air pollution, visible/infrared light, and endocrine factors. Clinically, decreased skin elasticity (solar elastosis) with wrinkle formation is a characteristic feature. However, differences in the features and timing of presentation may vary by skin phototype, ethnicity, and sex. Prevention through minimizing solar irradiation is key.

SOURCE: Current Dermatology Reports