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Science of the exposome

As a result of its holistic approach, the exposome is a genuine engine for innovations for the world of beauty. The recognition and better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the skin’s daily experience when confronted with factors such as pollution, lack of sleep or a poor diet, provide new perspectives concerning cosmetic benefits that are consistent with expectations of consumers in terms of protection.


Genetics and age are not the only factors with a negative impact on the skin. The skin is the interface with the external world and is also the target of a large number of stresses from the surroundings with which it interacts.

The concept of the exposome developed in 2005 by Dr. Christopher Wild is intended to address only non-genetic factors related to our environment and lifestyle. It is therefore defined as “the totality of exposures to which an individual is subjected from conception to death”.

In the skin, several exposome factors are responsible for the extensive interference with its homeostasis and thereby contribute to accelerating its aging.


Several factors may change the temperature of the skin. Usually around 33°C, chronic exposure to heat or to seasonal temperature variations may raise its temperature to more than 40°C.

This exposure to heat in particular leads to a modification of the activity of fibroblasts in the dermis, as well as an alteration of extracellular matrix components, thereby participating in the premature aging of the skin.

UVA accounts for 95% of UV radiation and even though it is partially absorbed by the epidermis, 20 to 30% reaches the dermis. This radiation causes an oxidative stress that deteriorates cell components, interferes with cell functioning and contributes to the progressive degradation of the dermis.

These deregulations considerably accelerate the visible signs of age, that are seen as the appearance of wrinkles, the loss of firmness and elasticity of the skin, and also by pigmentation disequilibria.

With the increase in outbreaks of pollution by particulate matter in urban environments, exterior pollution becomes a serious threat to public health. This type of environmental aggression significantly affects skin cell functioning, in particular with an impact on the energy metabolism of keratinocytes.

Modern lifestyles are such that a vast majority of people spend more than 90% of their time indoors. Nevertheless, homes, offices and other indoor spaces are closed environments where the air is 2 to 5 more polluted than outside air. There are many origins of this type of pollution, in particular biological and chemical pollutants (allergens, molds, volatile organic compounds, etc.) that are not without effects on the skin.

The skin is the target of choice for pollutants that accumulate on its surface and penetrate the epidermis. A dull complexion, pigment disorders and premature aging are the visible symptoms of the harmful effects of pollution on the skin. In addition, dermatologists are noting increases in cases of irritation and sensitivity of healthy skin in polluted environments.


With our modern lifestyles, days with longer periods of activity and overexposure to screens, the number of hours of sleep decreases and psychological stress increases. From a biological standpoint, these two phenomena result in the increased synthesis of cortisol.

An excess of this hormone in the dermis reduces the proliferation of fibroblasts and decreases the secretion of collagen, thereby contributing to the premature formation of wrinkles.

In addition to a strong association with a number of systemic diseases, smoking is also associated with many dermatological disorders. After UV radiation, it is considered to be the number two factor causing premature aging of the skin.

Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) is one of the toxic substances in cigarette smoke. In particular, it is involved in causing oxidative stress to the skin. Among the side effects caused by smoking, are wrinkles around the lips and crow’s feet wrinkles, as well as a dull complexion.

Clinical and epidemiological research has shown that eating habits, especially foods rich in free sugars, have a significant impact on the health of the skin and its aging.

The exposure of epidermal keratinocytes to high concentrations of glucose is correlated with a reduction in their proliferation capacity and their viability.


ADAPTONYL® is an adaptogenic active ingredient obtained from the roots of ashwagandha, inspired by 2,000 years of Ayurvedic medicine. SILAB has demonstrated in vitro and in vivo its capacity to combat the harmful effects of the seven factors composing the cutaneous exposome.

After 14 days of application by volunteers selected for their moderate to very high exposure to several exposome parameters, ADAPTONYL® formulated at 2% provides cosmetic benefits as of 14 days by smoothing skin microrelief, improving skin grain and reviving complexion radiance.

FILMEXEL® is a biomimetic film-forming active ingredient eco-designed using an original and patented technology (IBPN technology®). This interpenetrating network of biopolymers forms a resistant, flexible and non-occlusive film on the skin, mimicking its qualities and functions. At low doses, it protects against exogenous physical or mechanical stresses: pollutants, allergens, irritants, bacteria. It also has the capacity to smooth the skin, from microrelief to wrinkles, or pores, to provide an immediate firming effect.

NEUROFENSE® is an active ingredient obtained from the roots of red sage, that improves the tolerance of sensitive skin exposed to cold and to pollution. Its multiethnic efficacy is shown in Caucasian and Asian volunteers whose skin is once again comfortable and protected.

Camille Desperiez

Marketing project leader
As a biologist engineer, I am fascinated by the benefits of Nature on well-being and on the skin. At SILAB, within the marketing and communication department, my creative spirit is expressed in the production of thematic and trend presentations. In an international environment, my job requires to be continuously attentive to the current and future needs of consumers.

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