Global intelligence provider, Mintel, reported that China is the APAC leader of new anti-pollution skin care product launches in 2016 and has remained in the top position for Q1 2017.
“Consumers, particularly in China, are well aware and very worried about the damaging health effects associated with pollution,” said David Tyrrell, Global Skincare Analyst at Mintel, emphasising the primary driver behind the niche skin care area.
Recent clinical data from the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, for example, showed that vehicle exhaust pollutants caused an increase in brown patches on the facial skin of Chinese women.
Over a third of Chinese women believe they have dark spots; these clinical findings indicate that exposure to vehicle exhaust could make the condition worse, Mintel stated.
As a result, brands can promote the use of anti-pollution ingredients in facial care products to target the worries of Chinese consumers over developing dark spots.
“It would be advantageous for brands to show that anti-pollution products are clinically effective at preventing dark spots,” reiterated David Tyrrell, Global Skincare Analyst, Mintel.
Anti-pollution products also contribute significantly towards the growing hybridisation trend, “as they can be combined with whitening and brightening ingredients in multifunctional formulas to help keep an even skin tone”, Tyrrell supported.
KanS Black Pomegranate Anti-Pollution Serum, Sisley Phyto-Blanc Brightening Daily Defense Fluid and L'Oréal UV Perfect Matte & Fresh Advance Oil-Control UV Protector are examples of anti-pollutant products that serve multiple skin care segments including antioxidant; 100% mineral sun protection, anti-dark spot and brightening function; and sun protection, respectively.
“The use of the anti-pollution claims will grow in importance as a key element of a multifunctional skincare narrative to keep skin healthy looking.”
Anti-pollution benefits can also be combined with sun protection factors to also guard against skin ageing and pigmentation changes.
Who are anti-pollution items targeting?
Mintel holds that an ideal customer base to target in China is the 25-39 year old demographic, regardless of gender.
The importance and focus on anti-pollutant products is a prime area of concern for both China and the US, which have witnessed similar trends from the same age and gender demographics.
Tyrrell announced that in China, around 30% had bought skin care products with an anti-pollution claim and approximately 40% would be interested in sampling these items.
Likewise, in the US, males aged 18-34 years old are the audience group that look to add an anti-pollution claim to body and hand care products; women of the same age group are less interested.
“The anti-pollution trend continues to gain momentum”, Tyrrell continued, “but it will be important to show that anti-pollution products make the consumer's skin healthier looking” and that they “specifically combat pollutant aggressors”.
Specific claims can, therefore, support brands’ marketing messages and their adoption in consumers’ beauty routines.
For instance, the antioxidant claim has increased in anti-pollution global products launched over the last few years. These antioxidants act to neutralise damaging reactive oxygen species triggered by an array of noxious agents that can include pollutants.
“Bench top data can help support the brand's anti-pollution story", Tyrrell stressed. However, to meet consumers' expectations and differentiate the brand from a growing number of competing anti-pollution products, it will be “important to provide clinical evidence of the product's anti-pollution benefits”.
“In the near future, expect to see brands weaving positive clinical data into their anti-pollution narrative,” concluded Tyrrell.