Anti-Pollution Skincare - Is it Worth the Hype?

The demand for pollution defence or “shields” for “city skin” reflects a growing awareness and concern about the impact that pollution from our daily lives has on our skin.

Asia, one of the world’s biggest skincare markets and home to some of its most polluted cities, is leading the way. According to Mintel, the market intelligence company, anti-pollution product launches in the Asia-Pacific region increased by 40% from 2011 to 2013 and the market continues to grow (albeit at a slower rate).

Anti-Pollution Skincare - Is it Worth the Hype

The emerging market in the UK for anti-pollution products from ‘prestige’ skincare brands was valued at £3.1m by market researchers at NPD Group last year. With moves also being made towards anti-pollution haircare.

A “pollution protection factor” standard or measure does not yet exist, though the French cosmetics research company Syntivia, at least, is working to develop one.

What are the Main Pollutants?

We’re exposed to a range of pollutants from toxic particles, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and emissions from cars through to secondary pollutants such as ozone, created when stationary and mobile sources are exposed to heat and/or solar rays. We’re also bombarded by macro and micro environmental pollutants such as atmospheric stressors, blue light, heating and cooling (think air con), heavy metals and free radicals.

Pollution can also be changeable day-to-day as it varies on the season and depending on your geographic location.

What Effects Does Pollution Have on Our Skin?

In 2016, the WHO found that 91% of the world population lived in places where air quality guideline levels were not met - Toxic air has been linked to premature ageing and worsening skin conditions, such as eczema and hives.

Fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 is many times smaller than the pores through which skin breathes, causing inflammation that accelerates the development of age spots and wrinkles.

Put simply toxins block pores and builds up on the skin compromising its quality. This can lead to hyperpigmentation, premature ageing, dull complexions, skin dehydration and dryness, dilated pores and more.

So, can a face cream or an active-mist really combat pollution? Or is this simply an example of a well-executed marketing gimmick that’s seeing the beauty industry cashing in on a new set of insecurities?

Yes, they can! Skin is our largest organ and our first barrier of defence, often showing the first signs of damage.

Turning to Nature for Pollution Solutions

We believe pollution defence is about protection and building internal resilience. 

The approach to pollution defence is not only a shield, but also needs to be fortified from within.

Topical and ingestible support is a hot topic for formulators and consumers alike looking to reduce and combat the effects of pollution on our skin. Bio-available natural molecules from plant sources will be a big part of the solution.

There’s a need to build and optimise healthy skin allowing it to manage the daily assault of atmospheric stressors, bombardment of free radicals, UV, blue light, etc.

We believe we can draw on the mechanisms in nature and apply them to human problems – this is the basis of CELLULAR Biomimicry. Understanding how a plant deals with atmospheric stressors could be part of the solution. Plants create and store the Phyto-nutrients they need to sustain their survival such as Vitamin C, antioxidants, amino acids, tryptophan, chlorogenic. CELLULAR EXTRACTION can deliver hundreds of natural available molecules.

The global spotlight is on Australian natives – with an untapped reservoir of unique species that have evolved efficient mechanisms over millions of years to survive some of the harshest ecosystems on the globe.

CELLULAR EXTRACTION delivers the first full plant profile of water soluble Phyto-compounds, including their derivatives and enzymes, as they exist in nature. These natural molecules harnessed in their entourage can offer some relief to inflammation with their free radical scavenging and hydration.

Excited to know how our CELLULAR EXTRACTS can benefit your pollution defence product line? Email us your product brief and objectives!


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