Environmental Factors Influencing the Skin

Early on in my career as a young skin care therapist, I realized very quickly, that no product, pill or magic potion will ever stop the aging process all by itself. Nor will it get rid of your acne breakouts or be the complete answer to alleviate your skin sensitivity. Over the years, I learnt that one of the major culprits affecting the skin is the exposure to environmental factors. Today, as a skin care trainer and a brand educator, I am fascinated by the undeniable impact of the environment on all skin conditions. It is what will determine how fast you age; how well you age; the overall quality of your skin and, the effectiveness of the products you use.

Professional skin care brands such as QMS Medicosmetics has placed an important emphasis on protection against harsh environmental factors. In the field of skin care technology and scientific research, the latest findings lie in the science of epigenetics. In short, epigenetics is the science of how environmental factors influence our genes without changing the DNA sequencing. Genes can be switched “on” or “off”, leading to changes in the skin on the deepest cellular level.

Highly effective quality brands have their focus on protection against these factors as well as looking at innovative, advanced science to reverse existing damage.

Even though the science in this field is advancing, it is also important for each individual to be mindful of the factors that would influence their skin conditions. The goal is to minimize exposure to risk factors; use products to maximize protection and, if needed, include products that can effectively repair existing damage on the deepest cellular level.

Here are the main environmental factors that each person must be mindful of:

UV rays and the light spectrum:

Did you know that the sun is the number one cause of skin aging? Did you know that UVA rays can penetrate through clothing? The ultraviolet rays from the sun produce masses amounts of free radicals causing damage to cell membranes, cell functioning and DNA. The sun accelerates the appearance of multiple signs of aging. It causes dehydration, damage collagen fibres, accelerate wrinkle formation, leads to discolouration, and the list can go on.

Blue light from computer screens, tablets and smartphones is yet another culprit damaging the skin’s DNA. Even if you work indoors, daily protection against the full light spectrum is super important. Especially in South Africa where we are blessed with sunshine throughout the year, sun damage remains a major focus for consumers.

Today, we are lucky to have intelligent formulations that can protect against the full light spectrum and at the same time, act as a skin treatment – activating DNA protection and repair mechanisms in skin cells.


City living, urbanization, transport and industrialization in our modern times has increased the levels of air pollution. These microscopic pollutants not only sit on the surface of the skin damaging the protective barrier, but also enters our cells where they do harm to our cellular DNA.

QMS Epigen products are especially designed to help the skin’s detoxification process from these microscopic particles. At the same time, these super advanced intelligent formulations have the power to strengthen the skin against pollution and prevent environmental damage. The cell’s repair mechanisms are activated, and skin protection enhanced on a whole new level!


Climates can be humid or dry, icy or extremely hot. These conditions will influence the skin’s protective barrier. Climatic conditions vary drastically between different regions and this will affect how you protect your skin.

With the change of seasons, you might also experience a change in your skin. I recommend changing your moisturizer to suit the climatic conditions. For instance, during the summer when the weather is warmer and more humid, you might opt for a light textured moisturizer and changing to a richer, more nourishing option during winter when the skin tends to get dry, tight and dull.

Changing moisturizer might also be of importance if you have moved to a new city or province.

An affordable and convenient add-on to your home care would be to include a skin-specific mask three times per week. This is especially necessary if you don’t have access to have your regular professional facial treatment.

Airconditioning & heaters:

Dehydration is characterized by tightness, fine lines, dullness and in extreme cases the skin will be sensitive and flaky. Indoor cooling and heating systems lead to increased risk of dehydration.

Look for ingredients such a hyaluronic acid, ceramides and sericin for a high-quality sealing effect that prevents trans-epidermal moisture loss.

Surface bacteria & airborne microbes:

Bacteria is everywhere but not all bacteria is bad or harmful. It is all about the balance of the good bacteria whose function it is to keep infections and inflammation in check. Highly effective formulations including probiotics enhance the good bacteria and in turn, reduce harmful bacteria that lead to acne breakouts.

It is advised to regularly exfoliate with AHA-based exfoliators that have an acidic pH to strengthen the acid mantle – the skin’s own defence mechanism to fight infection. Cleansers and toners must be pH balanced to also enhance the skin’s natural protective qualities.

Harsh topical chemicals:

There is a myriad of chemicals and certainly too many to mention in an article. The main culprits I look out for are soap, alcohol, mineral oils and petroleum by-products, sodium laurel sulphate, high levels of preservatives, synthetic perfumes and artificial colourants. These are known to strip the skin, cause irritations, allergies and overall have a negative impact the skin’s immune system.

If you are looking for clean, plant-based cosmetics, Team Dr Joseph combines 100% natural plant formulations with latest scientific findings. You will be amazed at the results!

Each and every skin is different, and every person has a unique set of circumstances. This is why we at Futurethis Consultancy believe in one on one consultation to advise a bespoke skincare routine. We are available for personal consultation at info@futurethis.co.za.