Strict selection process leads anti-pollution skin care development

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Anti-pollution skin care in Asia

Related tags Skin

As consumers become increasingly aware and concerned about the effect pollution has on the skin, we speak to Alain Khaiat, President at Seers Consulting who gives us the latest on this growing sector and its future potential.

Research studies on the effects of pollution have helped to maximise the popularity of anti-pollution skincare, as now “all players are introducing anti-pollution products”,​ said Alain Khaiat, President, Seers Consulting.

“Pollution is recognised as a major health problem by the WHO and studies have led to maximum acceptable levels for some of the pollutants,”​ said Khaiat.

“Recognising the problem, studies have shown that there is an effect on the skin. This is mainly due to the oxidative stress carried by the particles as well as nitric oxide, ozone and other pollutants. Now that we know and understand the problem, we can design products to address it.”

Stringent selection

When it comes to producing anti-pollution skin care product ranges, natural high-quality ingredients have to undergo a strict and comprehensive selection process to ensure transparent marketing tactics are employed to build brand loyalty with the consumer market.

Describing the process that must be followed when selecting natural ingredients, Khaiat emphasised: “For a scientist, the primary objectives are safety and efficacy: is the ingredient safe? Does the supplier have a strong technical dossier?”.

After answering these questions, “the ingredients that potentially comply are tested in formulations. The aesthetic must be acceptable (colour, odour, disruption of the stability, etc.) and the cost impact to the formula must be within the limits set by the brand”.

On the possibility and likelihood of success when pairing innovation with sustainability, Khaiat noted: “It is possible if this is a consideration from the beginning. Natural products have to be sustainable and that also means that if the product is successful and the quantities increase, that it remains sustainable.”

“One cannot dissociate sustainability from innovation”​, Khaiat went on to say.

Khaiat predicts that we are just beginning to learn the effects of pollution on the skin; we will then “learn more and will find new scientific approaches”​. This will lead to future trends within the anti-pollutions market.

However, on the future possibilities for anti-pollution skin care product ranges, Khaiat highlighted the importance of overcoming the social problem: “If we can control pollution and bring it back to acceptable levels we wouldn't need [skin care products]​”.

In terms of consumer demands from anti-pollution skincare ranges, “their first unexpressed demand is safety and that covers all products. The second is efficacy: consumers want products to be aesthetically pleasing and performing. More and more they want this to be achieved with natural or organic sustainable ingredients,”​ he went on to say.

Distribution awareness

When the market opportunity in the anti-pollution sector in Asia-Pacific (APAC) is compared with that in other global regions such as US and Europe, Khaiat emphasises that “the main difference is in the awareness of distribution”.

"The distribution of natural and organic cosmetics is weak,"​ said Khaiat. Many products are "greenwashing -  the controls are ineffective because there are no references to compare their standards with".

Khaiat emphasised: “The introduction of the ISO standard on Natural and Organic Cosmetics will help place a minimum requirement”.

“Big brands are introducing natural ingredients in their products. You can see the big movements were small, niche brands, have been gobbled up by big players. This is true not only in the anti-pollution area but consumers who are interested in anti-pollution wouldn't want ingredients that might contribute to the pollution! Natural is the way to go!”

Alain Khaiat, President, Seers Consulting will speak at this year's sustainable Cosmetics Summit on Natural Ingredients for Anti-Pollution Skincare on 14th November 2016. For more information on the event, visit

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