As part of an exclusive interview, we spoke to Dr. Frauke Neuser, principal scientist for Olay Skin Care, who highlighted the work she is doing in the area of advancing skin care formulations as part of the fight against damage caused by pollution.
With pollution levels reaching record levels in many parts of Asia, particularly China and India, many consumers are on the search for skin care solutions that address the specific damage this causes.
Growing awareness of pollution
And although the issue is not so pressing in Western urban areas, there is still a growing awareness of the effects of pollution on the skin amongst consumers living in these areas, too.
In line with this, P&G personal care executives see pollution as a significant issue in the skin care category of the future, and has been investing in research and development in an attempt at getting a clearer picture of the problem.
As part of that aim, the company has teamed up with the Royal Botanic Gardens to pinpoint natural ingredients solutions, in a mission that resulted with the incorporation of extracts from the humble artichoke and snow fungus, which is commonly used in Chinese medicine.
Snow fungus and artichoke ingredients
“We already use snow fungus in anti-pollution skin care products we market in China, and we are aiming to bring the ingredients to products in the US market sometime this year,” said Dr. Neuser.
“It has the joint effect of being both hydrating and has anti-pollution properties, while also resonating with the growing consumer base that is looking for natural-based skin care products.”
Dr. Neuser also pointed to an artichoke ingredient derived from the Cynara scolymus L variety that is known to inhibitNF-κB, a master ofinflammation and aging that can be caused by pollution.
Expertise of botanist at Kew
“The expertise of the botanists at the Royal Botanic Gardens was crucial for the development of both of these extracts,” she pointed out.
“Not only were they able to point us to the plants with the right properties we were looking for, they were also able provide us with specific data and evaluations to qualify those properties.”
P&G is also already using the artichoke extract in its SKII range in Asia, and is expecting to incorporate it into new Olay global product launches in the future.