Looking ahead for the trend, it looks like multifunction is set to take centre stage. Products that can offer broad protection claims against a whole range of environmental stressors are likely to dominate.
One key trend is likely to be the continued merging of UV protection productions with anti-pollution, as research suggests harmful UV rays may exacerbate the effects of airborne particles on skin.
Indeed, launches like Kao Bioré’s UV anti-pollution Body Care Serum indicate brands are already moving into this area.
Naturals and organics
Naturals and organics may be another area that plays a major part in the upcoming evolution of the anti-pollution trend. According to Mintel, botanicals are the most common source of anti-pollution claims.
Specialist research and consulting company, Organic Monitor, recently released a report that considers this overlap between green concerns and the anti-pollution trend. The firm says that it’s being seen initially in the influence of natural ingredients coming from food.
“The palette of natural ingredients used for anti-pollution applications is widening. Green tea, artichokes, acai berry and moringa are some of the food ingredients making their way into cosmetic products because of their high levels of antioxidants and / or ability to protect skin cells,” the company confirms.
Clarins in particular is tapping into this overlap, and is growing dedicated ‘anti-pollution plants’ to produce naturals actives for its skin care ranges.
Technical troubles: hurdles for naturals
According to Organic Monitor, however, the potential of the naturals and organics brands to dominate in the anti-pollution trend is currently being held up by technical hurdles.
“Developing green functional skincare products brings issues related to stability, preservation, and performance,” the firm explained.
Derma E, REN and Tata Harper are some of the natural brands that have been successful in meeting the formulation challenge, according to Organic Monitor, with room for more brands to innovate in this way up ahead.
Anti-Pollution: Keep it clean
Until brands are able to innovate and produce anti-pollution products in a truly sustainable and green way, there will be an irony at the heart of the anti-pollution trend.
“Growing awareness of air pollution and its environmental and health impacts are stimulating consumer demand for such products. However, [...] although such products are treating skin conditions caused by pollution, they can have a detrimental impact on the environment themselves,” notes Organic Monitor.
It falls to brands to create products that protect the skin and also reduce the impact of the category on the environment and on human health.