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Ingredients & formulation

Skincare: What strategies against pollution?

In many metropolises, urban atmospheric pollution has reached such a high level that it directly affects human health. As for the skin, to protect it from pollution consequences, the cosmetics industry has been developing new ingredients, and adapted formulation concepts.

Fine particles, heavy metals, ozone, carbon monoxide, or volatile organic compounds (VOC) concentrate in the air and regularly reach higher levels than the thresholds recommended by the WHO. And by 2050, two thirds of the Earth’s inhabitants will live in cities, compared to 50% today.

Alteration of the skin’s balance

Knowing that certain particles are twenty times smaller than the skin pores, the various pollution sources have an impact on the epidermis and even contribute to altering its balance. Several scientific publications have confirmed this.

According to Symrise and Professor Jean Krutmann’s team [1], for instance, exposure to air pollution and fine particles increases the external signs typical of reactive skins (redness, dehydration, eczema), deeper wrinkles, and the appearance of pigment spots.

Mechanisms of action involved have been gradually unveiled by scientific research work. “Environmental factors seem to act according to a common mechanism involving the AhR aryl hydrocarbon receptor that can be found on several types of skin cells: keratinocytes, fibroblasts, melanocytes, and Langerhans cells,” explain the authors of an article published in the Addiactive journal of the Gattefossé Group.

It’s no surprise if consumers are expecting specific products to be developed. According to Mintel, between 2011 and 2013, there was a 40% increase in the number of cosmetics marketed with an anti-pollution claim.

Specific cosmetic ingredients

Cosmetic ingredient suppliers have adopted different types of strategies.

Some companies have chosen to isolate the skin from the external environment with a non-occlusive film. Solabia’s Pollustop is a ramified, deacetylated polysaccharide with a high molecular weight that forms a shielding matrix. TRI-K relies on a plant-derived copolymer, PhytoVie Defense, to act as a screen against pollution. With Pollushield, Lipotec has played with their synergy with Lubrizol to market a functional active ingredient which, other than its metal-chelating properties, is antioxidant and anti-lipoperoxidant. And Silab has collaborated with Filmexel to develop a biopolymer composed of two polysaccharides for a protective second-skin effect.

Other companies have banked on powerful antioxidants, anti-lipoperoxidants, anti-glycation agents, or anti-free radical ingredients. With Smooth Lightening Rose Blanche, Naolys reduces the creation of free radicals resulting from UVBs and pollution to enhance the skin’s radiance. Phenbiox has proven that in a polluted environment, their active, Hydropom, which is very rich in tomato lycopenes, can sustain its strong antioxidant activity. With Plantasens Olive Active HP, Clariant acts on the lipid peroxidation induced by UV rays and prevents glycation. ID BIO has chosen to fight against inflammation with Cell’intact, which reduces the pro-inflammatory response, rebuilds, and reinforces the architectural network of the epidermis. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) has become Algues et Mer and Silab’s main target, with Invincity and Mitokinyl, respectively. Invincity, a brown algae extract with a high molecular weight and very concentrated in fucoidans, reduces the expression of AhR by 73% and repairs pollution damages. Mitokinyl, which is rich in glucomannans, inactivates the AhR, but also normalizes the synthesis of a mitokine, prohibitin, for an anti-pollution effect.

As for Givaudan, they target urban stress with Neurophroline, which blocks the production of cortisol and enhances the release of endorphins. Ultimately, with EPS White, Codif acts specifically on the pigment spots induced by pollution by targeting pigment synapses.

Turnkey concepts

Certain companies go even farther by developing turnkey concepts. BASF, for instance, has selected four complementary ingredients: Purisoft, which acts as a protective film; Arganyl and its strong antioxidant effect; Eperuline, which reduces chronic inflammation, and PatcH2O, which rehydrates the skin.

Seppic has introduced the MLPF (Modern Lifestyle Protection Factor) as a new SPF to fight against urban stress. Six levels of protection are available, for example with the MLPF1 for a protection against pollution with Native Essence, which stimulates the cell renewal of asphyxiated skins with the release of CO2 in the skin, and with Sepitonic M3, which provides of breath of fresh air and boosts the cell metabolism.

As for Solabia, they have dealt with pollution in five steps: prevention, defence, fortification, stimulation, and repair, with adapted actives for each step.

Régine Frick

Footnotes

[1Symrise and Leibniz-Institute for Environmental Medical Research GmbH, IFSCC Poster Award, International Society of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) Conference, Zürich, 21-23 September 2015

© 2016 - Brazil Beauty News - www.brazilbeautynews.com

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