THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON OUR SKIN
It is undeniable that climate change has its effects both on the environment and on us as individuals. It has a direct effect on the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.
Origin and causes of climate change
Many world renowned experts agree that the industrial revolution was one of the main factors that drove an increase in the emissions of greenhouse gases. To understand the consequences of climate change, first we should understand the causes:
Burning fossil fuels to generate electricity, heating, transport, and to power industries is the main cause of an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Farming also produces large amounts of methane and nitrous oxide gases, which are potentially more harmful than carbon dioxide.
An increase in the world’s population:
The planet is home to more than 7,500 million people who require more and more resources to survive. This leads to a higher production of goods and services and a rise in greenhouse gases.
Deforestation and the destruction of ecosystems:
Forests and their ecosystems are in charge of converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. When we destroy and cut down vast amounts of trees, we are losing an important ally against climate change. The same occurs to marine ecosystems.
The effects of climate change on our skin
The most common effects are:
An increase in types of skin cancer:
The deterioration of the ozone layer, the planet’s natural filter against ultraviolet radiation, means that there are more sunny days. This means we are more exposed to the sun and to radiation.
The most common effects on our skin are melanomas, basal cell carcinoma, sunburn, chronic dermatitis, and light eruptions on the skin.
Due to contamination, the spread of greenhouse gases and a reduction in humidity, our skin can suffer and even become sensitive and intolerant to certain cosmetic products.
Premature ageing and acne:
An increase in temperature leads to the destruction of skin components that are directly related to ageing. These components are elastin and collagen, and provide firmness, resistance and elasticity.
These higher temperatures also lead to sweating and sebaceous secretion, resulting in atopic dermatitis and acne breakouts.
Advice for combatting the effects of climate change on our skin
To protect our skin from these unwanted changes that impact negatively on our health and especially on our skin, we can follow these recommendations:
- Do not leave skin exposed during hours of intense sunlight (at midday)
- Use protection to keep the sun off our skin (caps, clothing, hats)
- Use high factor sun cream even on cloudy days
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Protect our eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses
Take action against climate change ⟶
“Many small people, in small places, doing small things can change the world” – Eduardo Galeano.