Editor's note: This Letter to the Editor was prompted by the "Endpoint" column featured in the Cosmetics & Toiletries September issue, which criticized anti-pollution claims. Since then, we've been swayed to believe anti-pollution skin care, in fact, works but this reader isn't so easily convinced. Read on to see what you think. Also register for our free, two-part anti-pollution webinar to learn more on this topic.
"I just read your article in the September issue. I see the anti-pollution 'trend' as marketing hype. Here are a few points to consider. . .
"Skin is certainly affected by pollution through its effect on overall health; e.g., smoking is not good for skin health. But in the same sense we say every good cosmetic should maintain skin health—and in the best cases, improve it—we could say it should impart 'anti-pollution' benefits. And with the exception of purely decorative cosmetics, these products would be no different than they currently are.
"Every 'pollutant' is more effectively taken up by lungs than by skin. Therefore, products that act as protective, anti-pollution skin shields are nonsense; it's like closing a small gap between windows when the gate is wide open.
"When it comes to particulates, research thus far has found that nanoparticles cannot cross the skin barrier. Yet now there are 'shields' to protect against the skin's uptake of these harmful and polluting nano- and microparticles?
"It is even stated that anti-pollution ingredients are used to complex heavy metals. However, heavy metals in dust are in particulate form and not in ionic. So their particles cannot be complexed.
"I've grown 'allergic' to anti-pollution cosmetic claims."
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