Recently, most skin care products bear “anti-pollution” benefits in their fine prints. Anti-pollution skincare products are trending both on the store and online beauty shops.
Cosmetic owners claiming their beauty products are anti-pollution might have raised a question in everyone’s mind. You might have wondered if the polluted environment is correlated with increasing skin issues. Moreover, if skincare products are effective or not?
The research was conducted, as well as many dermatologists’ comments were taken regarding this trending claim on beauty products.
What Makes The Trend Popular
Beauty is personal, irrespective of the cosmetic brand you are crazy about or how frequently you wash your hair. Regardless of the tried-and-true skincare regimen, beauty tips vary from expert to expert.
Therefore, beauty tips are taken from a diverse group of writers, skincare experts, and professionals.
The wave of trending beauty labels “anti-pollution skincare” hits all over the world, so in Asia. The beauty trend begins in Asia due to the concerning air pollution in most of the big Asian cities, for instance, Beijing.
According to Dr. Bruce Robinson, FAAD, the countries that are challenged exclusively as much by pollutants must be focused on the low-risk areas. Dr. Bruce Robinson is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and serves as a clinical professor of dermatology at Lenox Hill Hospital.
Due to the problematic variations in climate, regardless of the geographical location, everyone is aware of the harm of pollution.
However, the review of the scientists about the pros and cons of the trending beauty “anti-pollution skincare” must be considered before falling to any conclusions.
Pollutants Depleting The Skin
Various studies make evident that pollution and skin diseases come hand in hand. Hives, acne, contact dermatitis, inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and premature skin-aging account for the alarming pollutants in the environment.
Dr. Adam Mamelak elaborates on how pollutants bring various skin problems. The pollutants are permeable to the cell membrane, thus bringing about skin-related concerns by diffusing into the body.
Furthermore, he explains that the pollutants uptake by the skin follows the same pathway as the uptake after inhalation. Thus, an equal amount of pollutants enter the body through the largest organ of the body, the skin, and by the respiratory tract on exposure to these noxious chemicals.
A body contaminated with pollutants lowers the antioxidants naturally present in the body, ultimately inducing oxidative stress.
The formation of free radicals occurs in the body on account of the normal metabolic processes and inflammations. Mamelak states that our body naturally forms antioxidants, responsible for the neutralization of these free radicals hence eradicating its harmful effects.
Dr. Kellie Reed says the body is capable of balancing antioxidants against free radicals unless fluctuated by external factors. For instance, various pollutants and ultraviolet radiation.
Recent research enlightens the eradication of the antioxidants vitamin C and E upon chronic exposure to noxious pollutants. Furthermore, these noxious chemicals’ prolonged exposure leads to inflammation apart from impairing the physical barriers of the skin.
Reed says various skin damage occurs on account of environmental pollutants. It includes sunspots, dehydration, and wrinkles.
Tiresome Efforts by Researchers To Improve Skin Health
Research by the Chinese in 2011, enlightens the alarming levels of ozone pollution, enhancing emergency visits to hospitals for various skin diseases.
According to Reed, the symptoms of chronic skin conditions get worse upon exposure to high pollution areas. However, there is a need to dig into more research to collect evidence.
The environment contains a diversity of pollutants, some remain to be discovered. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enlists some of the major pollutants out there in the environment. This includes Nitrogen dioxide, Sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and heavy metals.
Mamelak elaborates on the underlying mechanism of nitrogen dioxide polluting the environment. Upon exposure to UV radiation, nitrogen oxide gets activated by reacting with volatile organic compounds. Ultimately, the active nitrogen oxide forms ground-level ozone.
Furthermore, numerous particulate matter is responsible for skin aging, as they induce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Moreover, Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are the chief pollutant found in cigarette smoke primarily. PAHs play a key role in premature skin aging.
To no surprise, highly populated areas encounter the problems induced by these harmful pollutants. Added to it, the combustion of fuel in vehicles ejects large amounts of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and Sulfur dioxide.
Justifying The Fine Print “Anti-Pollution”
One of the several benefits touted, “Anti-pollution” is trending around the globe. Many beauty products are anti-pollution regardless of bearing an anti-pollution label. Therefore, the trending beauty label is nothing but marketing.
Many cosmetic companies come up with their research regarding the anti-pollution impact of their skincare products. These findings are biased for sure, yet they show the significant outcomes achieved by using these skincare products.
Many dermatologists assure that beauty products contain various ingredients that protect the skin by acting in one of the following ways.
1. The Bliss Of Antioxidants
Antioxidants retard the lethal impact of free radicals, thus protecting skin depletion. Research findings state these antioxidants work as anti-pollution to protect the skin.
Antioxidant serums with ferulic acid, vitamin C, and E aid in reducing pollution related dark spots formation. Furthermore, it improves the skin barrier functions as well as prevents pollution-induced damage.
Reed says the most effective antioxidants serving as anti-pollution are vitamin C, A, E, niacinamide, resveratrol, and coenzyme Q10. Moreover, various polyphenols, flavonoids, astaxanthin, and glutathione significantly reduce pollution-induced issues.
2. Moisturize Your Skin
Moisturizing the skin is as essential as drinking water for the body. It aids in strengthening skin barriers, thus preventing pollutants from penetrating the skin cells and inducing oxidative stress.
Robinson and Reed recommend using Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid. These ointments significantly improve skin barriers by maintaining moisture. Hyaluronic acid consists of hyaluronate, an essential building block of skin.
UV blockers devoid the explosion of collagen and elastic fibers by preventing the UV radiations to penetrate the skin. Thus, lowers the risk of wrinkles, skin cancer, and saggy skin formation.
Moreover, UV blockers restrict the activation of some of the pollutants, notes Mamelak.
UV rays and pollutants are blocked by mineral sunscreen, for instance, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
4. Probiotics and prebiotics
Mamelak states that pollutants negatively impact the microbiome of the skin, thus altering the skin health. Anti-pollution skincare products aid in restoring microbiomes’ balance in the skin.
5. Other less-proven ingredients
Apart from the well-studied ingredients, some of the less-proven ingredients serving as anti-pollution are Malachite, algae, Chinese herbs, ginkgo biloba, and sea salt.
Malachite retards the detrimental effects of pollutants. It significantly binds with heavy metals and lowers oxidative stress.
However, there is a lack of research regarding the effectiveness of these ingredients.
According to Mamelak, most of these proprietary ingredients are studied before using them in beauty products.