Being in direct contact with air and water pollutants, the skin is our first line of defense against the harmful elements in the environment. Premature skin aging –including wrinkles and hyperpigmentation- and inflammation are associated, among other things, with the exposure to pollutants, which trigger the generation of oxidative stress and thus protein and DNA damage as well as lipid peroxidation. Skin irritation or allergies as well as a dry, wrinkled and dull skin are among the most undesired macroscopic effects.

Lipotec has developed a new anti-pollution cosmetic product, POLLUSHIELD™ functional ingredient [1], that helps counteract these negative consequences as it provides a barrier between the skin and pollutants as well as boosts the antioxidative defense of the skin. It offers two complementary effects: binding of toxic metals by a polymer with metal chelating properties to prevent their interaction with the skin as well as a strong antioxidative action by a potent free radical scavenger to avoid oxidative damage within the skin. Its efficacy has been demonstrated by means of several studies.

An in vivo test was performed on female volunteers that applied a placebo cream and a cream containing 5% POLLUSHIELD™ functional ingredient to half the face twice a day for 30 days and were regularly exposed to air pollution in Beijing (China). After 6 hours of exposure, the skin treated once with the active showed significantly reduced levels of metals when compared to placebo, demonstrating the ingredient’s ability to prevent metal build up in the epidermis. At the end of the study, the skin´s antioxidative capacity against damage was improved with higher antioxidative power and decreased lipid peroxides.

Another in vivo study also demonstrated how POLLUSHIELD™ functional ingredient eases the removal of microparticles from skin surface. A panel of 21 female volunteers between 21 and 45 years old applied to forearm skin a cream containing 5% ingredient and left another area without application. After 20 minutes, microparticles modelling atmospheric pollution were applied and at the end rinsed with water. Microparticles deposited on the skin surface before and after rinsing were measured, observing 20.2% less particles remaining on the treated skin with visually cleaner skin surface.

Adherence of microparticles to the skin surface

Adherence of microparticles to the skin surface

Images of the skin surface with dark pollution particles.

In the fight against the effects of environmental pollution on the skin, the active POLLUSHIELD™ functional ingredient can help prevent accumulation of pollution particles in the epidermis as well as ease their removal, and replenish the skin with antioxidants, increasing its capacity to resist the harm caused by heavy metals, particulate matter (PM) and other harmful elements found in big cities and other polluted areas.