What the anti-pollution trend can do for your product line
Should we really care about the impact of pollution on our skin? Here’s what we know. Nearly 10% of all skin care products that launched last year mentioned pollution and UV protection claims, up drastically from roughly 3% in 2013, according to data from Mintel. Meanwhile, well over a dozen new cosmetics ingredients have been introduced into the market with the specific goal of solving the pollution problem. A growing number of researchers are pointing to pollution-induced oxidative stress as a cause of wrinkles and sagging, and in a March 2016 survey, baby boomers and millennials reported growing concern about the impact of pollution on their skin’s appearance. Not to mention, anti-pollution is decorating the walls of trend tents at beauty conferences across the globe. So, whether we like it or not, it looks like anti-pollution will be the beauty buzzword of 2017.
So far, it looks like there’s a lot to like in the trend. Air pollution elicits a negative visceral reaction from most of us. We see or smell car exhaust, smog, and cigarette smoke and we roll up car windows, cross the street, or plug our noses. Couple that with a recent flurry of research on the impact of air pollutants on the skin — and the fact that PM2.5 is above the World Health Organization’s standards for more than 60% of the US population — and you begin to see where consumers are coming from with all of this pollution-related beauty angst.
According to an article in Cosmetics Design Europe earlier this month, awareness is growing about environmentally-induced oxidative stress. After all, at the heart of anti-pollution is consumers’ desire to keep their skin healthy and young-looking. This level of engagement presents a unique opportunity for beauty brands: Why not leverage the awareness of pollution-induced oxidative stress by educating your customers on the larger contributing factor to oxidative stress—and the environmental insult that dermatologists have long been worried about—UV radiation?
With the anti-pollution trend also comes an increasingly compelling story for preventative care, and brands would do well to run with it. Sunshine can feel pleasant on the skin; pollution never does. And since the average consumer knows more about pollution than UVR, brands can win by addressing the anti-pollution craze with the comprehensive environmental protection consumers really need to improve skin health and keep oxidative stress at bay. It’s a two-for-one active health story that will leave your customers feeling more confident and beautiful, with you to thank.