Weekend Plus Desk : ollution-battling skincare and beauty products are on the rise in markets. Regular reports on increasing pollution levels, deteriorating air quality, depleting ozone layer, the Dhaka apocalypse and wider climate concerns, have all caused a huge shift in consumers’ attitude over the past few years. And this is reflected in the new range of anti-pollution lines being churned out by almost every high-end skincare brand across the world today. Environmental concerns are also dethroning ‘fairness’ as one of the main prerequisites in beauty products. A study by Neilson, a global data and research company, states, “While fairness has historically comprised half the 7,000 crore skincare category, anti-pollution creams and formulations are rising in the double-digit compared with overall skincare which is growing at 7 per cent.” Anshu Budhraja, who is a direct seller of Amway India, says that their anti-pollution skincare products are outperforming the other skincare regimes by at least 25 per cent, while Nitin Passi, Chairman of Lotus Herbals, tells us, “Anti-pollution products are now growing three times faster than our fairness range.” What pollution-free beauty is all about Almost every skincare brand today has an anti-pollution line to its name. While Ren offers the Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist, Innisfree has a City Pollution Defender bubble foam, and Clinique a City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask & Scrub. Other anti-pollution products include Keihl’s Pollutant Defending Masque, and Clarins’ UV Plus Antipollution Day Screen Multi-Protection cream. Ingredients in anti-pollution products range from Vit C and E extracts, to hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, to charcoal, green tea and matcha. “Avon’s R&D and global science team have created a face cream to combat the harmful effects of major pollution issues. The formulation comes with an SPF 50/PA+++, forming a protective layer over the skin and keeps pollution such as PM2.5* and harmful UV-A and UV-B rays at bay,” says Swati Jain, marketing director. VLCC has a range of anti-pollution skin and hair products “that are enriched with green tea, a powerful antioxidant which protects the skin from the damaging effects of pollution, environmental stress and orange peel oil which moisturises naturally,” says a spokesperson from the brand. How pollution affects your skin… Sunlight: While UVA is responsible for skin ageing (photoaging), radiations along with UVB result in damage to the immune system in some people, and cause malignant melanoma, and other such serious conditions. Air Pollution Pollutants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), oxides, particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), etc, cause skin ageing and inflammatory or allergic skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis or acne, while skin cancer is among the most serious effects of pollution. Do these products work? “It is important that you have a certain beauty regime in place to maintain your skin’s health, however, more than topical creams, face-washes and treatments, a healthy lifestyle can help negate the impact of pollution on your skin. Eating foods that are loaded with antioxidants, proteins and Vitamin C and E help improve your skin’s immunity and resilience and help save it from toxic air and sunlight. An active lifestyle and sleep are great way to help your skin battle pollution. Ensure that you drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF every day,” says Dr Shweta Iyengar, a skin expert. Why Bangladesh is a big market?
Rising pollution levels in countries such as China, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan is driving demand for anti pollution skincare products in the region more than others, according to a 2020 report on Anti-pollution Skincare Products Market. Bangladesh is densely populated country in the world and its population lives in places where air pollution is above WHO guidelines. Bangladesh has almost half of the top 50 most polluted cities in the world. n