Anti-Pollution Matrix EN – Pollutants – Pollutant list – Gases / Exhaust gases

Anti-Pollution Matrix

Gases / Exhaust gases

Anti-Pollution Matrix > Pollutants > Pollutant list > Gases / Exhaust gases


The skin, as the primary barrier between the environment and the body, is exposed to pollution on a daily basis. Chemical and volatile pollutants make up a large part of air pollution. These include gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone or sulfur dioxide, as well as methane or benzene. Ozone, for example, is formed by photoactivation of nitrogen oxide with UV light. Carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, PAHs or nitrogen dioxide are produced as vehicle emissions from fossil fuel combustion, wood burning, and they are components of industrial exhaust gases of all kinds [1]. Gases and exhaust gases reach the skin mainly from the outside.


Impact on the skin

Of the known gases and exhaust gases, the effect of ozone on the skin in particular is well studied. One major effect is the induction of oxidative stress. For example, exposure of normal human keratinocytes to ozone resulted in activation of the arylene hydrocarbon receptor, which induced the expression of several cytochrome P450 genes [1]. Ozone-induced oxidative stress includes lipid peroxidation, for example. Ozone can also affect skin microflora. Another gas studied is nitrogen dioxide, which has been associated with an increase in skin blemishes. In addition, a correlation between nitrogen dioxide exposure and pigment spots was found [2]. The mentioned effects generally lead to faster skin aging, which can be seen, for example, in the formation of wrinkles and loss of elasticity.



Protection from gases and exhaust fumes is provided by applications that prevent contact of these substances with the skin, but also by antioxidants such as vitamins or carotenoids. Since UV light can enhance the effects of chemical compounds, exposure of the skin to sunlight (especially over midday) should be avoided if possible, or appropriate sunscreen should be used.


Detection methods of the effects

Generally, methods that can be used to document skin aging, such as imaging techniques (e.g., VISIA CR), or methods that can measure skin topography to show wrinkles or loss of elasticity, as well as colorimetry devices, are suitable. Frequently used devices for this purpose are e.g. Primos, AEVA-HE and Cutometer. Furthermore, the sebum content on the skin surface can be measured using Sebutape® or Sebumeter®. Pigment changes are measured, for example, by means of chromameter or the color homogeneity of the skin is determined on high-resolution images.



[1] E. Araviiskaia et al. The impact of airborne pollution on skin, JEADV (2019) 10.1111/jdv.15583,
[2] Schikowski, T. & Krutmann, J. Air pollution (particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide) and skin aging, Dermatologist (2019) 70:158-162,