Patrick Bousquel, EMEA Marketing Director Business Unit Skincare and Color Cosmetics at Aptar
With urban pollution worsening and aggravated by climate change, consumers have become more aware that they need to protect their skin from the harmful combined effects of UV rays and fine particles. Brands have started addressing this need with “shield” formulas.
Greater awareness in anti-pollution needs
The environmental urgency is felt by a growing number of consumers, and especially urbanites. More than 95% of consumers in France, Germany and Italy feel that pollution is a problem and nearly 4 out of 10 French people believe that pollution levels will worsen in the coming years.
Not only do fine particles cause an increase in chronic respiratory illnesses when inhaled, but they also have an impact on the skin. When fine particles land on the skin, they overstimulate AhR receptors, upsetting the skin’s natural defenses and setting off reactions that lead to the appearance of irritation and even inflammation and discomfort such as itching, redness or excessive sebum production. Moreover, the body produces free radicals to fight oxidative stress, leading to accelerating aging, similar to aging caused by smoking and UV rays.
A lasting trend in cosmetics
Anti-pollution cosmetics, which first emerged on the Asian market around ten years ago, already made up more than a third (38%) of the cosmetics market in 2016. In Europe, many brands have developed the segment with “barrier” formulas and the number of product launches grew 207% between 2016 and 2017. In 2018, at least 165 new products had “anti-pollution” properties. Clarins was a pioneer in the field with the 2007 launch of its Expertise 3P range that protects against both atmospheric and electromagnetic pollution. Garancia also released its Ma VAP Bien Aimée fixing and mattifying spray, while Uriage has just launched its Age Protect range, which offers protection from both pollution and blue light.
Protecting the protection
This trend is part of a larger industry movement towards formulas with fewer preservatives and begs the question of the protective ability of packaging. Acting in synergy with the formula, it must offer a sufficient level of performance and sealing to ensure the product is both effective and safe over time and in use. It must protect the protective formula.
Source: Mintel 2017
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