Safeguarding the skin against particulate matter

Nowadays, there is a growing interest in the adverse effects of pollutants and particulate matter on respiratory diseases. Increasingly, research is also revealing the effects on skin and the underlying mechanisms in skin and scalp disorders. 
Air pollution has been linked to the development of age spots and extrinsic premature aging.

There is no “one size fits all” test for anti-pollution claims

Effects of pollution are manifold - "Anti-pollution" is more an umbrella term Just some examples; claims for:

  • Protection from UV-light requires a different test method than checking for effects on adhesion of particles
  • Measuring effects on the activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor cannot be studied by assessing anti-adhesion properties
  • Evaluating the effects on wrinkle depth cannot be assessed by measuring the activation of the signaling cascade induced by the AhR within cells
  • Skin compatibility cannot be tested by studying wrinkle depth


  • Pollution is multifactorial and includes particulate matter, gases and UV-radiation – there is no "one size fits all" test
  • Decreasing adhesion and improving removability is a first line of defense against pollution
  • Systematic studies can be conducted to assess effects of formulation components
  • Polymers generally show good antiadhesion properties
  • Emollients increase adhesion and it is preferable to use volatile emollients such as Cetiol® Ultimate in low quantities
  • The sugar-based emulsifiers increase efficacy
  • Actives and sunscreens can be identified which are suitable for formulations claiming "anti-adhesion"
  • Ingredients exhibiting the best performance were identified and used to develop formulations with demonstrated antipollution efficacy (e.g.particulate matter)
  • No single ingredient leads to antiadhesion efficacy – depends on tailor-made composition of all components of the final formulation.
  • The formulations developed additionally exhibited good skin compatibility, moisturization and/or UV protection

Protecting Anti-Pollution Matrix


  • Anti-Pollution: anti-adhesion, improved removability
  • Helps to maintain the balance of the healthy skin microbiome
  • 8-hour moisturization
  • Good skin compatibility
  • Elegant sensory properties


  • In vivo study on the anti-adhesion and removability of particulate matter
  • Skin microbiota viability in vitro after exposure to particulate matter
  • Corneometry
  • Patch test
  • Sensory Assessment