Anti-Pollution Matrix EN – Damage – Clinical – Loss of elastin

Anti-Pollution Matrix

Loss of elastin

Anti-Pollution Matrix > Damage > Clinical > Loss of elastin


Elastin is an endogenous structural protein localized in connective tissue and responsible for its shaping and support. Its composition is similar to that of collagen, but it does not contain hydroxyl-lysine. Besides collagen fibers, elastin is the most important component of connective tissue. In the skin, elastin is localized in the dermis and is responsible for the mechanical properties of the skin: after mechanical change of shape, elastin enables restoration to the original state [1].


Effects on the skin

As the skin ages, the balance between elastin fiber formation and degradation shifts, reducing the skin's biomechanical capacity. Pollution can promote elastin loss and elastin damage, resulting in premature skin aging and increased instability of skin structure. Elastin damage is most commonly known in the context of sunlight and is referred to as solar elastosis. In this case, elastin degradation products accumulate in the dermis, causing the skin to lose its elasticity and firmness.

Elastin and collagen fibers are damaged by permanent attacks by e.g. free radicals. This happens, for example, by upregulation of matrix metalloproteases and elastases, which degrade these fibers, or by downregulation of collagen and elastin synthesis. In addition to sunlight, this can also be caused by air pollution. In addition, organic substances and heavy metals can adhere to fine dust, smoke and exhaust particles, which can irritate and inflame the skin and penetrate into deep skin layers [2, 3]. Oxidation, and thus degradation, of elastic fibers can be promoted by free radicals, for example, by altering the spatial structure of proteins (intra- and intermolecular changes in protein cross-links), which can impair their functionality and thus promote production, but also proteolytic degradation [4].



To counteract the formation of e.g. free radicals (oxidative stress), it is essential to supply the skin with antioxidants, which can minimize the formation of free radicals. Likewise, adequate sun protection is recommended throughout all seasons.


Impact detection methods

Multiphoton tomography is an optical non-invasive method for determining the ratio between collagen I and elastin (skin aging) in the skin.

Cutometry can be used to measure the elasticity of the skin.

The "DynaSKIN" is an instrument that can be used to measure the firmness of the skin [5]. It works by gently blowing air perpendicular to the skin surface. This is captured by a camera and allows the depth of skin deformation produced by the air to be assessed. It is used in conjunction with the DermaTOP instrument, with the computer then translating the information into a high-resolution 3D map of the skin surface.



[1] M. Tronnier, Cutaneous disorders characterized by elastolysis or loss of elastic tissue, J Dtsch Dermatol Ges, 16 (2018) 183-191, DOI: 10.1111/ddg.13430
[2] E. Araviiskaia, E. Berardesca, T. Bieber et al. The impact of airborne pollution on skin. JEADV (2019) 33(8):1496-1505. DOI: 10.1111/jdv.15583
[3] S.-Y. Park, E. J. Byun, J. D. Lee, S. Kim, H. S. Kim. Air Pollution, Autophagy, and Skin Aging: Impact of Particulate Matter (PM10) on Human Dermal Fibroblasts. Int J Mol Sci. (2018) 19:2727;
[4] M. Rinnerthaler, J. Bischof, M.K. Streubel, A. Trost, K. Richter, Oxidative stress in aging human skin, Biomolecules, 5 (2015) 545-589, doi: 10.3390/biom5020545
[5] Kearney EM, Messaraa C, Grennan G, Koeller G, Mavon A, Merinville E, Evaluation of skin firmness by the DynaSKIN, a novel non-contact compression device, and its use in revealing the efficacy of a skincare regimen featuring a novel anti-ageing ingredient, acetyl aspartic acid. Skin Res Technol 23 (2017) 155–168, DOI: 10.1111/srt.12314