It is believed that pollution is the 4th cause of death in China, and populations consider it the 2nd reason for early aging. It affects 92% of the world population. The nature of pollutants varies according to the geographic situation, but everyone feels concerned. Cosmetics manufacturers have well understood the issues associated and, since 2011, the number of products launched with an antipollution claim has increased twofold.
If the impact of pollution on public health is increasingly more studied, its impact on the skin remains to be more accurately defined. “There are still few in vivo studies on this issue, in particular on the synergy between pollutants and exposure to UV rays. And yet, long UVAs play quite a significant role on the photoxicity of pollutants,” explains Jérémie Sœur, of L’Oréal R&I. It is hard to measure the actual skin exposure to pollutants, while many in vitro and ex vivo tests were performed and showed an effect of pollution on the cell functions.
The transcutaneous penetration of very small fine particles, 6 to 20 times smaller than the size of a hair, has not been demonstrated yet. According to Jérémie Sœur, “The pollutants carried by fine particles might adsorb or desorb on the skin.” He adds that “in addition to the topical administration, there is another important route to be taken into account: the systemic route.”
Cosmetic actives suppliers and finished product brands have presented various approaches to tackle pollution. Some are inspired from bioremediation, like IDbio, others ensure the protection of certain cell functions like mitochondria and proteasome. Physical screens to pollution are also recommended, showing there can be multiple angles of approach to deal with this complex issue.
The congress was also an opportunity for the SFC to award the “SFC Prize” attributed to Jean-Claude Le Joliff for his many contributions to cosmetics, including the recent Cosmétothèque, the library of cosmetics knowledge.
The SFC also supports young researchers: PhD Florine Eudier, of the University of Le Havre, France, was rewarded for her original approach to the evaluation of the effects of pollution on the properties of the surface of the skin. The SFC offers her the possibility to travel to Korea and attend the next IFSCC congress there.