Euromonitor: The evolution of anti-pollution in Europe and North America. Part I

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Use of anti-pollutant ingredients in North America vs Europe. Source:  Euromonitor
Use of anti-pollutant ingredients in North America vs Europe. Source: Euromonitor

Related tags North america

The anti-pollution trend started in Asia but is now gaining rapid momentum in Europe and North America. We spoke to an expert from Euromonitor to find out about how the trend is evolving differently in those markets.

In this, the first of a two-part article, we focus on the differences in pollution levels in North America and Europe and how this is presenting both brands and formulators with a different set of opportunities.

The anti-pollution trend originated in Asia because of genuine consumer concerns over the impact air pollution and other environmental hazards were having on hair and skin, particularly in some of the more polluted urban and industrialised areas in China.

 Air pollution is not such a big problem in North America

Although air pollution is generally not as bad in Europe and North America, consumers in those regions are growing increasingly aware of environmental hazards in general, which is creating a demand for cosmetic and personal care products that tap into these concerns.

Maria Coronado Robles, ingredient analyst at Euromonitor International, believes that, as in Asia, demand in the two regions centres on products such as facial cleansers, moisturisers, masks, sunscreens, colour cosmetics and products that protect the hair.

On the formulation side, it seems that trend for natural products is determining the type of ingredients that are used.

“Plant extracts, vitamins and antioxidant complexes containing ascorbic acid and niacinamide are considered the most popular among the full spectrum of ingredients to fight skin pollution in the market, favoured by the growing demand for natural ingredients in cosmetics,”​ said Corando Robles.

Opportunities differ between North America and Europe

However, drilling down further, it seems that many of the similarities across the different regions may end there.

“As expected, European consumers are driving the growth for antipollution ingredients within the Western Market in the forecast period (2015-2020) due to the higher levels of pollution in European cities compared to those found in North America,”​ Coronado Robles said.

“This translates into significant market opportunities for vitamins, plant extracts and ascorbic acid in products such as sunscreens, shampoos and facial cleaners in Western Europe.”

 All about plant extracts in North America

Meanwhile, while interest in anti-pollution products is on the rise in North America, the different landscape surrounding the anti-pollution category leads to contrasting opportunities.

“Demand for antipollution ingredients in North America, although smaller than in Europe, is also expected to grow. Keeping this in mind, North American companies have also made the jump into the antipollution arena and plant extracts are forecast to show the highest demand among the antipollution ingredients followed by vitamins and niacinamide,”​ Coronado Robles said.


In the second part of this article we look at the selection of different products on the market, what consumers are looking for and how the trend is likely to evolve in the future.

For further information from Euromonitor International relating to the formulation trends highlighted in this article, please click here​.

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