Pollution remains a global issue and as such, a continuing concern—most importantly for health and wellness, but also in skin and hair care.
Environmental stress and anti-pollution protection topics therefore warranted their own session during the SCC Annual Meeting and Technology Showcase. Discussions ranged from pre-shampoo treatments for hair protection and blue light effects on skin, to the mechanisms of air pollution in skin, strategies to shield against it, and relevant claims substantiation.
PM2.5 in Action
For example, Liyuan Ji of the University of Cincinnati studied the effects of PM2.5 in skin. Her work confirmed that exposure to particulate matter disrupts skin integrity, reduces skin viability after just three days of exposure, decreases normal cell proliferation, causes abnormal distribution of the tight junction protein Claudin-1, and augments oxidative stress that causes DNA damage.
“In the future, this work could be used to formulate body lotion to prevent [particulate matter-induced] damage in skin,” said Ji.
In relation, Marc Eeman, Ph.D., of Dow Silicones Belgium, described curative and preventive approaches to shield the skin from particulate matter; for example, reducing particle adhesion via the lotus effect.
According to Eeman, “The leaves of the lotus plant remain free from particulate matter thanks to unique surface properties [including low surface energy and a micro-roughened structure] that combine to create a state of superhydrophobicity.”
Using this tactic, silicone-based film-forming polymers were developed to limit the adhesion of particles to skin, and thereby reduce the cutaneous damage caused by pollutants.
According to Research and Markets, the global anti-pollution market for masks alone is projected to expand at an impressive CAGR of 30.48% between 2017-2018. No doubt the research presented here and beyond will unlock new levels of efficacy and product forms to defend skin against this persistent problem.