Pollution or PM2.5 are tiny particles that reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated. Although the micro-particles won’t penetrate
the skin, they can influence surface barrier functions, causing dryness or even acne.
Until recently, face masks have been the most popular form of protection against pollution, however with pollen allergies also thrown into the mix in Japan, there is an opportunity for beauty brands to develop a collection of sprays and creams.
Shiseido is among the personal care giants quick off the mark with a cosmetic product that promises to protect against pollen and pollution for up to four hours.
The recently launched 'Ihada Aller Screen Spray' mist can be applied over make-up, blocking these pollutants by up to "90 per cent".
Serious pollution levels prompting formulators to shift focus
The shift in focus from UV protection to pollution has been triggered by widespread news coverage on PM2.5 matter in Asia in recent years, particularly China.
Products recently developed to protect against these air pollutants include properties like UV protector, detoxifying, BB elements, deep cleansing and isolating, by forming an invisible film on skin surface that prevents pollutants from staying on & entering in skin.
Although demonstrating smaller growth in comparison to other categories, market researcher Mintel says skin care products are still the most likely category to carry an anti-pollution claim, with global launches rising to 3.7% in 2014, up from 3.2% in 2011.
Moreover, the global analyst reports that eye care products launched in 2014 carried an anti-pollution claim as opposed to the 3.9% in 2012.
Take for example, Unilever's 'Pond's Pure White Cleansing Line', a cleansing line that claims to eliminate PM2.5 from the skin.
The global personal care player claims secondary carbonization technology combined with Kaolin formula deeply cleans accumulated dirt and PM2.5 in pores five times stronger than most cleansers.