When talking about the way we age, we can discuss two avenues of cause: intrinsic aging or extrinsic aging. Intrinsic aging occurs due to internal physical and chronological factors, while extrinsic aging occurs due to external factors. Extrinsic aging has often been called photoaging–something we can now label a misnomer. The aging of the skin that was often thought of as being caused exclusively by the effects of ultraviolet radiation (or UVR), is now being proven to have several other key environmental factors to blame such as particulate matter (or PM) and noxious gases which occur in air pollution.

Leading these studies is Jean Krutmann, MD, the Scientific Director of the IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine and Professor of Dermatology and Environmental Medicine at Düsseldorf University in Germany. Dr. Krutmann, along with his colleagues, have begun mapping and characterizing this new discovery of our skin biology.

It’s no secret that air pollution is an increasingly global issue and, as such, the IUF has committed their resources toward discovering the various ways air pollution ages our bodies both internally and externally. For further information on these studies and discoveries, head to Dermatology Focus™ (A Dermatology Foundation Publication) to read more.