Anti-Pollution Matrix EN – Damage – Clinical – Inflammation

Anti-Pollution Matrix


Anti-Pollution Matrix > Damage > Clinical > Inflammation


In principle, inflammation represents a reaction of the body's own defense system to an external stimulus. Skin inflammation can be caused, among other things, by foreign bodies/particles (pollution), solar radiation, pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi), allergens such as food, pollen or even injuries [1].


Effects on the skin

Skin inflammation is accompanied by typical symptoms, such as redness, burning, itching, swelling, warming.

In general, inflammation is an inflammatory process controlled by the body's systemic immune response. In the skin, it is mediated by Langerhans cells, which are antigen-presenting cells that initiate the immune response. Once the immune response is underway, it is actively stopped by certain regulatory T cells to minimize tissue damage. If this system is disturbed, the consequences can be, for example, a damaged skin barrier or a shift in the pH value of the skin.

Different types of inflammation can be distinguished:

  • Acute inflammation: Suddenly occurring inflammation such as sunburn.
  • Chronic inflammation: Permanent inflammation

Chronic inflammation includes atopic dermatitis (neurodermatitis), psoriasis vulgaris (psoriasis), or lichen planus (nodular lichen). In connection with mild, chronic inflammation of the skin, one also speaks of inflammation aging (inflamm-aging). This expresses that skin aging is strongly related to inflammatory mechanisms that manifest themselves over years and are not resolved [2].

In cosmetics, one also speaks of subclinical inflammation of the skin, which results in redness, dry skin and barrier damage.



In the case of inflammation, skin-soothing or cooling formulations are applied in cosmetics. Such formulations may also contain active ingredients that inhibit inflammatory cascades in the skin. Formulations that strengthen the skin barrier or positively influence the skin microbiome can also be used to restore the inflammation-induced imbalance in skin homeostasis. In addition, the use of antioxidants can help reduce inflammation-associated oxidative stress.

With protective measures, exposure of the skin to pro-inflammatory noxae can be minimized. An example of this is the consistent use of sunscreens to prevent sunburn.


Impact detection methods

Inflammatory reactions promote an increased immune defense of the body, which can be seen, for example, by an increased concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Inflammation in the skin is visible, for example, as erythema or reddened skin, which is why imaging techniques are suitable for documenting inflammation. A hyperspectral camera can also be used to measure chromophores, such as hemoglobin, and thus draw a conclusion about increased inflammation. Since inflammation induces skin redness, skin color can also be measured with a chromameter, in which case the a* value in the L*a*b* color space is increased.

The increased blood flow in the skin during inflammation can be determined via laser Doppler fluxmetry.

Furthermore, inflammation markers such as specific enzymes or pro-inflammatory cytokines can be detected in the skin. This can be done, for example, by tape-strip analysis or invasive methods such as taking biopsies (suction blister technique or punch biopsies), which are then analyzed by molecular biology.



[1] L. Chen, H. Deng, H. Cui, J. Fang, Z. Zuo, J. Deng, Y. Li, X. Wang, L. Zhao, Inflammatory responses and inflammation-associated diseases in organs, Oncotarget, 9 (2018) 7204-7218, DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.23208
[2] S. M. Pilkington, S. Bufone-Paus, C. E. M. Griffiths, R. E. B. Watson, Inflammaging and the skin, J Invest Dermatol, 141(4Sup) (2021) 1087-1095, DOI: 10.1016/j.jid.2020.11.006