Anti-Pollution Trend Creates Opportunities for Green Cosmetic Brands

Anti-pollution skincare is a major trend in the beauty industry, with a raft of new ingredients and finished products introduced in the last 18 months. Ecovia Intelligence (formerly Organic Monitor) sees good opportunities for natural & organic cosmetic brands in this emerging category.

A recent report by the World Health Organization says that 92% of the global population is affected by excessive air pollution. One in ten deaths worldwide – about 7 million – are linked to indoor and outdoor pollution. Asia is the most affected, with almost all of the world’s top 30 most polluted cities in this continent.

Apart from the impact on the respiratory system, air pollution is linked to various skin conditions, such as premature ageing, pigmentation spots, and increased sensitivity.

Initially launched in Asia, anti-pollution skincare products are now being rolled out internationally. Following the lead of Asian cosmetic companies, large multinationals such as L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble have developed dedicated ranges to protect and heal the skin from pollutants. Procter & Gamble has teamed up with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew to develop natural actives for this very purpose.

The palette of natural ingredients used for anti-pollution applications is widening. Green tea, artichokes, acai berry and moringa are some of the food ingredients making their way into cosmetic products because of their high levels of antioxidants and / or ability to protect skin cells. The Clarins brand is growing dedicated ‘anti-pollution’ plants to produce natural actives for its skincare line. New ingredients, such as IRB’s Pristinizer, are also being developed especially for anti-pollution qualities.

In spite of the growing number of natural actives, few natural & organic cosmetic brands have developed anti-pollution ranges. As discussed at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, a major reason is technical issues associated with green formulations. Developing green functional skincare products brings issues related to stability, preservation, and performance. Derma E, REN and Tata Harper are some of the natural brands that have been successful in meeting the formulation challenges.

Organic Monitor believes green brands have a golden opportunity in the emerging area of anti-pollution skincare. Growing awareness of air pollution and its environmental and health impacts are stimulating consumer demand for such products. However, almost all such formulations are conventional; although such products are treating skin conditions caused by pollution, they can have a detrimental impact on the environment themselves. Natural & organic brands can create products that do not just protect the skin from pollution, but also have a lower impact on the environment and human health. Furthermore, such products could be marketed as truly sustainable.

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit
Anti-pollution skincare is regularly featured at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit. This executive summit is now hosted in North & Latin America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. More details are on the website.

Posted: October 7th 2016

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