Skin care

The Exposome and how it affects your skin health

The Exposome, and how it affects your skin health

The term “exposome” relates to all the exposures, either environmental or lifestyle, an individual is subjected to from birth to death. In other words, it’s the analysis of non-genetic risk factors (synthetic chemicals, dietary constituents, psychosocial stressors, and physical factors) and our corresponding biological responses. Therefore, unfortunately, even if you live on a paradise island in the middle of a (clean) ocean, this means that your environment could still be affecting you! So, are you ready to discover more about the exposome and how it affects your skin health? Let’s take a peek…

This relatively new concept and approach in epidemiological and biomedical research has some scientists very excited, with many calling for more effort to be made to map the human exposome in order to safeguard future generations from the increasing number of chemical pollutants in our environment. If you have been following me for a while, you’ll already be aware of how the concept of the skin as a ‘barrier’ is one of the core principles of the TWELVE BEAUTY range.With exposome studies establishing links with skin diseases, skin conditions and allergies (to name but a few) to the world we live in, it’s no wonder I’m a passionate advocate of how a healthy skin barrier is the key to happy, healthier skin for longer!

You could be forgiven for thinking that the big players in the exposome factor and how it affects your skin health are the more well-known chemicals, pesticides or heavy metals, but it goes far beyond that. There are some sneaky elements of our everyday modern lives that can have a negative impact in our skin’s health (and we’re often none the wiser!). But don’t worry, we’re on hand to help counteract their effects…


Various scientific studies show an undeniable link between air pollution (including cigarette smoke) and pigmentation, loss of elasticity and wrinkles.

How to fight back: Daily use of antioxidants, emollients and film-forming ingredients such as squalane, hyaluronic acid, rice starch will help to protect your skin from this often-invisible foe.


Both UV and blue light exposure pose a threat to our skin’s health because of they generate free radicals. (Hello, premature ageing!)

How to fight back: Skin care products containing Buddleja (Butterfly Bush extract) to repair skin cell damage, Yarrow and Primula to counteract hyperpigmentation and Spent Grain Wax to ease irritation, are your new best friends!


Using products that are not suited to your specific skin type or condition is a big no-no and can often lead to further skin problems developing or existing ones getting worse.

How to avoid this: Try before you buy if you can, in order to identify ingredients that work for your skin and steer clear from the ones that do not suit you. If this is not possible, get in touch directly with the brand and ask for recommendations. At TWELVE we offer a comprehensive online skin consultation service if you’re unable to get to one of our stockists. (We also send out free samples with each and every purchase!)


A compromised cutaneous microbiome means a weakened skin barrier that can allow nasties to enter and play havoc with our skin health. (Read: inflammation, redness, peeling and even infections.)

How to keep it strong: Look for key ingredients such as Saccharide Isomerate, a plant derived carbohydrate which stimulates the growth of good bacteria, or Epilobium extract, which dramatically reduces the levels of bad bacteria on the surface of our skin.


Stress, in all its forms not only plays a massive part in our overall health but it can also affect our skin too.

How to de-stress your skin: Check out soothing ingredients such as Mallow and Cupuaçu Butter for ultra-calm skin. Also, a gentle clay-based mask will help to reset your skin and work wonders. But, perhaps one of the most important things is to remember to de-stress both internally and externally. Self-care is more important now than ever.

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