Pollution-battling skincare and beauty products are on the rise in markets. Regular reports on increasing pollution levels, deteriorating air quality, depleting ozone layer and wider climate concerns, have all caused a huge shift in consumers’ attitude over the past few years. And this is reflected in the new range of anti-pollution lines being churned out by almost every high-end skincare brand across the world today. Environmental concerns are also dethroning ‘fairness’ as one of the main prerequisites in beauty products. A study by Neilson, a global data and research company, states, “While fairness has historically comprised half the `7,000 crore skincare category, anti-pollution creams and formulations are rising in the double-digit compared with overall skincare which is growing at 7%.”
What pollution-free beauty is all about
Almost every skincare brand today has an anti-pollution line to its name. While Ren offers the Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist, Innisfree has a City Pollution Defender bubble foam, and Clinique a City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask & Scrub. Other anti-pollution products include Keihl’s Pollutant Defending Masque, and Clarins’ UV Plus Antipollution Day Screen Multi-Protection cream. Ingredients in anti-pollution products range from Vit C and E extracts, to hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, to charcoal, green tea and matcha.
VLCC has a range of anti-pollution skin and hair products “that are enriched with green tea, a powerful antioxidant which protects the skin from the damaging effects of pollution, environmental stress and orange peel oil which moisturises naturally.
How pollution affects your skin
Sunlight: While UVA is responsible for skin ageing (photoaging), radiations along with UVB result in damage to the immune system in some people, and cause malignant melanoma, and other such serious conditions.
Air pollution: Pollutants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), oxides, particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), etc, cause skin ageing and inflammatory or allergic skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis or acne, while skin cancer is among the most serious effects of pollution.
Do these products work?
“It is important that you have a certain beauty regime in place to maintain your skin’s health, however, more than topical creams, facewashes and treatments, a healthy lifestyle can help negate the impact of pollution on your skin. Eating foods that are loaded with antioxidants, proteins and Vitamin C and E help improve your skin’s immunity and resilience and help save it from toxic air and sunlight. An active lifestyle and sleep are great way to help your skin battle pollution. Ensure that you drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF every day,” says Dr Shweta Iyengar, skin expert from India. —TOI