As consumers are becoming interested in products that protect against pollution, beauty products are responding.
As concerns about the environment mount worldwide, consumers are becoming interested in products that protect against the harmful effects of pollution. Beauty companies are ramping up their efforts to respond.
In a November 2014 study, market research firm Mintel found a 40% increase between 2011 and 2013 in the number of beauty and personal care launches that included an anti-pollution statement, and projected that the number would continue to rise.
Orico London’s Streetwise Gentle Antioxidant Face Wash, for example, “gently cleanses skin of city impurities and built-up toxins to clear congested pores and stimulate circulation.” Shu Uemura’s Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil “instantly captures and clears pollutants that accelerate aging stress.”
The products hold differing levels of appeal in different markets. In large Asian cities such as Beijing, pollution is a palpable presence, so many companies have focused their anti-pollution messaging in Asian markets in particular.
Consumer perceptions in the region reflect the often-dire state of air quality. When Olay conducted research into perceptions of pollution and skincare, the company found that 97% of respondents in China said pollution was a problem, versus 30% of respondents in the United Kingdom, Dr. Frauke Neuser, principal scientist for Olay Skincare, told CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com.
The same product is often marketed differently depending on local context. The anti-aging line Olay Effects, for example, contains the same vitamins and anti-oxidants worldwide, but marketing will adapt to the region. “In Europe it will not be marketed with an anti-pollution claim, but in Asia, for example, the anti-pollution claim will definitely make a selling point,” Neuser said.
Neuser also speculated that in the future, products might have an Environmental Protection Factor to indicate anti-pollution properties, similar to how current products warn against the dangers of UV exposure. Other industry experts agree. “We believe that pollution is the next UV,” Marc Toulemonde, global general manager of SkinCeuticals, told the Wall Street Journal.
Image credit: Los Angeles Times