Part 1 of Dow invests in anti-pollution skin care looked at the realities of air pollution and how personal care products can address its effects. The category that is niche for now could turn out to be very big business in the future.
Pollution is a global reality; but like all beauty habits, anti-pollution skin care has regional nuances. “Dow has noticed that the anti-pollution skin care trend is evolving differently depending on location,” Bizeray tells this publication. “This trend is progressing steadily in Asia and North America whereas the trend had shown slower progression in Europe despite the fact that European consumers’ awareness about the risks and negative effects of pollution has increased.”
She anticipates that “the need for more scientific evidence to back this information may one day lead to the development of a Pollution Protection Factor as it was the case for the Sun Protection Factor.”
In the meantime, Bizeray points out that “pollution’s negative effects on skin have been scientifically established through diverse, controlled clinical studies conducted in urban areas, such as Shanghai and Mexico. Through comparing consumers’ exposure in urban versus rural areas, these studies have shown that pollution impacts the skin’s status and how it modifies superficial biochemical parameters such as sebum secretion, lipids peroxidation, levels of antioxidants present in the skin, skin barrier function and skin aging mechanisms.”
Still, there’s room for improvement and advancement. “Testing methods for anti-pollution skin care products must be better validated,” says Eeman.
“Several studies have demonstrated the positive effects of specific cosmetic actives using in vitro models, often based on 2-D cell cultures. There is a need to improve our understanding of the efficacy of such compounds and their interaction with other ingredients through long-term in vivo studies,” he believes.
The future of anti-pollution skin care will be the result of a concerted industry effort. “Delivering a barrier film from a complex formulation that will prevent, or at least reduce, the contact of environmental pollutants with skin is no simple task,” admits Eeman. “Similarly,” he notes that “even the best anti-pollution skin care active could lose its effectiveness if it cannot be stabilized in a formulation or delivered to the right place.”
“Dow believes that collaborating closely with our customers is the best way to create effective formulations and ensure that consumers are satisfied,” concludes Eeman.