At the start of the pandemic, we all experienced a need for protection and prevention. Continued pandemic-related health concerns and quarantine periods have augmented our stress, lack of sleep, depressive fatigue, and exposure to blue light from long hours of working in front our computers—all of which affects the skin.
And this has moved consumers’ focus from the skin’s appearance to recognizing the deeper impact below the surface. What started with hand sanitizers, soaps and immune-supporting vitamins to protect and support the immune system against COVID19 was not enough to completely support skin too.
The silent toll of pandemic stress on the skin: Inflammaging
The connection between stress and the immune system is a burgeoning area with scientific studies showing that chronic ever-increasing stress can lead to impairment of the immune system, making skin more susceptible to chronic micro-inflammation-induced aging called inflammaging, constant tissue and cell damage as well as onset or aggravation of multiple skin diseases.
As the largest organ of the body, skin plays important barrier and immune functions maintaining the balance between the external environment and our internal organs. However, skin is also impacted by daily aggressors and inflammatory agents.
Inflammaging is a vicious cycle aggravated by the production of free radicals, inflammatory cytokines, and oxidative stress damaging skin’s collagen and elastin contributing to more inflammation. This cycle is silently putting skin’s immune defense in overdrive; and the skin and skin’s immune defenses are weakened in time. Problems underneath start to be mirrored on the surface, with a disturbed skin barrier and microbiome leading to itchiness, dryness, redness, rough texture, irritation, heightened sensitivity, and even a burning sensation.
The novel area of prevention: Immunocosmetics
As an antidote to these signs of inflammatory skin issues, skincare and beauty products are evolving into immunity-supporting preventative wellness products—also known as immunocosmetics—that factor skin, mind, immune system, and body as one holistic entity.
Scientific evidence indicates that a healthy functional immune system needs multiple micronutrients such as vitamins A, D, C, E, B6, and B3(niacinamide), pro and prebiotics, adaptogens, ceramides, and fatty acids from nourishing oils that all play vital, often synergistic roles at every stage of the immune response against inflammatory aggressors.
Although some of these ingredients have been showing up individually in a number of beauty products for years, the beauty industry is just now beginning to leverage ingredients with certain anti-inflammatory and skin immune-supporting properties.
Preventing the signs of inflammaging will require a mindful and scientific combination of key micronutrients and immune-friendly ingredients linked to supporting or boosting immunity that are also supplemental to overall wellness. As consumers connect immune health to overall well-being, wellness-orientated beauty products that promote skin health with immunity support benefits will become essential for a holistically invigorated skin-body-mind balance.
Dr. Ebru Karpuzoglu, Molecular Immunologist & Skincare Expert
As an Immunologist trained in Molecular Medicine and as an expert in skin care and cosmetic chemistry, Dr. Ebru Karpuzoglu has spent 20+ years researching skin and the impact of hormones on the immune system, sharing her findings in international publications, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by scientists, doctors, editors, bloggers, celebrities, and skincare lovers around the world, her deep real-world knowledge and research are invested in every drop of AveSeena.