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Anti-Pollution-Kosmetik: How effective is environmental pollution protection?

Sunburn cream protects skin from burns. But do we also need special cosmetics against particulate contamination? We explain what the drug is doing – and is the purchase worthwhile.

From the anti-pollution mask with healing clay and sea buckthorn to "Hydro Effect Day Creams with Anti-Pollution Complex" to anti-pollution toner with aloe vera extract and peach blossoms – Drugstores in cosmetics are filled with cosmetics to protect our skin from harmful environmental impacts (pollution = pollution ).

Is the cosmetic industry now trying to make a new donut of gold from surplus products – or should we actually protect the skin from pollutants? Jean Krutmann, head of the Leibniz Institute for Environmental Medical Research (IUF) in Düsseldorf, gives a clear answer to Utopia's interview: "It makes perfect sense to protect the skin from these environmental impacts – and that's not just a cosmetic question."

So the particles damage the human skin

For many years, the Institute has been researching the effects of particle substances associated with human skin transplants. In 2010, a study of 400 elderly women from a previously heavily polluted Ruhr area showed that respondents had 20 percent more pigment spots than women in rural areas. The effect of exhaust gas on pigmentation of the skin is ensured by further research. In addition, according to Krutmann, there are indications that small dust can cause more wrinkles.

The scientist points out that the studies were conducted primarily in Germany. The issue of skin damage by particle is also very important to us: "The top values ​​are indeed in Asia, for example in New Delhi and some big Chinese cities, but this is a global problem."

Anti Smelling Smog Fine Dust
Anti-pollution cosmetics should protect us from harmful environmental impacts, such as small dust. (Photo: CC0 public domain / Pixabay – ohurtsov)

Fever aging is a cosmetic side of the problem. "Then there is still a medical side," says Krutmann. "There are clear indications that particles are aggravated by atopic dermatitis – so eczema. It also discusses relationships with many other skin diseases.

Protecting against harmful environmental impacts is more than just the essence. According to researchers, children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable: "They show that eczema is worse and more pronounced".

Anti-Pollution-Cosmetics: What you need to consider when using

Jean Krutmann therefore very clearly says, "It makes sense to have scientific anti-pollution products – for two reasons." So far it was important to pay attention to the UV filter in daily care – it is also recommended today that it contains contamination protection. According to the researchers, this would be a specific protection measure against the particles.

"A non-specific method would be regular skin cleansing and conditioning – but do not overdo it." Regardless of or without pollution: Always focus on gentle cleansing and do not use mechanical methods (such as being offered by cosmetics). For day-to-day care, the physician recommends the use of anti-pollution agents in the morning. In the evening, the skin should be regenerated faster.

In this way, cosmetics against pollution protect the environment

But how exactly can anti-pollution cosmetics protect the skin? Manufacturers use three different principles of work.

1. Protective layer on the skin

Many anti-pollution products try to put on skin as a shield to improve their natural, physical barrier to environmental pollutants. "Everything that makes a skin barrier is a good idea," says Krutmann.

Ectoin, for example, is very suitable for stabilizing the cell membrane. This ingredient is made of bacteria that must be protected from extreme environmental conditions such as high temperatures and strong UV radiation. Eco-Test ** refers to further protective ingredients of fats and oils such as rice, coconut, argan and Abyssinianol, polysaccharides and hyaluronic acid.

2. Molecular method

The second approach goes deeper under the skin: here, cosmetic substances targeted at the so-called aryl hydrocarbon receptors (Ah receptors) fit into the skin cells. Background: When environmental contaminants are accepted, this results in the creation of free radicals – aggressive oxygen molecules that damage cell structures.

Effective antidotes include proven antioxidants that work directly on the skin. "Vitamin C and vitamin E, for example, have proven to be successful," says Krutmann. The important thing is the right technology with which the vitamin is formulated so that it is still active. Eco-Test also includes Vitamin A, Coenzyme Q, Green Tea, Brown Algae, Matches and Moringa as antioxidant ingredients – and there are still a number of exclusive ingredients that contain antioxidants. Basically, the concentration of such antioxidants in anti-contaminants is quite high.

3. Detox for deep pore cleaning

Another approach to combating pollutants: so-called. Detox products. In this case, ingredients such as activated charcoal, swamp, black mud or healing clay absorb pollutants and clean skin pores to drain dirt in the environment. Antioxidants are generally used.

Krutmann has never explored the effect of such detoxifying products. However, he basically warns that this is not exaggerated with cleaning: too aggressive and too much cleaning will damage the skin and make the skin more perturbing to harmful substances.

Cleanse the face against pollution
Facial cleansing is important, but do not overdo it! (Photo: CC0 public domain / Pixabay – chezbeate)

Researchers work on the standard as a sun protection factor

Probably the biggest problem of cosmetics against pollution is currently facing the fact that it is difficult for consumers to compare product efficiencies – lacking transparency and, ultimately, credibility. It should have a reliable label such as Sun Protection Agent (SPF), which has been recognized throughout the industry – and its founding lasted many years.

According to a report by Der Spiegel, the Independent Research Laboratory in Mauritius (CIPD) is now developing a similar standard for the effects of pollution. According to Krutmann, the German Society for Dermatology is also working on this. Krutmann estimates: "For 1-2 years, the first draft could come, but it will take until it finds a general acceptance."

Current state of research and open issues

Also, many other issues are open. Among other things, the Leibniz Medical Research Institute is currently trying to determine whether there are certain features that determine why some people are more susceptible to air pollution than others. Women in the Ruhra area are regularly monitored.

First of all, there is still no extensive study of the comparative effect of various antifouling preparations. Krutmann points out that it does not depend on one substance, but that the product's effectiveness must be fully demonstrated – and this should be tested on humans. Such good products already exist on the market. It advises consumers who are not sure to directly ask the manufacturers what ingredients they are using and how product efficiencies are proven.

If polluted, then natural cosmetics – recommended products

Utopia also recommends the use of certified natural cosmetic products. Conventional facial care may be a problematic ingredient – such as critical preservatives, scent fragrances, mineral oil compounds, or microplasty. Especially when it comes to the detoxifying effect of deep cleansing, these substances open their doors – which would, of course, be counterproductive in terms of skin protection.

Although some manufacturers in the packaging do not explicitly say "anti-pollution", many products contain the corresponding active ingredients. In any case, look at the description and the ingredients more closely.

Below is a selection of currently available products for the protection against pollution from certified natural cosmetics manufacturers:

Lavera Hydro Effect Anti Pollution
There is a special line for pollution control from Lavera. (Photo: © Lavera)
  • Lavera has a series of anti-pollution products consisting of a daily "Hydro Effect Day Cream", a highly concentrated "Hydro Effect Serum", a "Hydro Effect Cleansing Balm" for gentle cleansing and a Detox Effect Mask with fine peeling bodies.
    • Buy **: Products from the Lavera pollution can be found among others. on Here is Green or Amazon.
  • and + m natural cosmetics For its "Age Protect" face care series with cleaning oil, toners, stain correction, nutrition cream and eye cream builds a complex against pollution.
    • Buy **: Age-Protect products from i + m can be found among others. on Here is Green or Amazon.
  • Dr. Scheller offers "anti-pollution gels" and "anti-pollution toner" – and recommends wrinkle cream as a care supplement.
    • Buy **: Pollutants Dr. honey. Scheller can be found in u.a. on Here is Green or Amazon.
  • Bio: Vegan offers as a multi-protection against the pollution effect "Bio Baobab Smog Block Spray" and as a cream "Bio Baobab Day Care with SPF 10".
    • Buy **: Pollution products from Bio: Végane can be found among others. on Here is Green or Amazon.
  • Cosnature is a protection for the defense and regeneration of the environment, "cosnature detox" -Pflegeserie, which consists of "Detox Day Cream" and "Detox Night Cream".
    • Buy **: Pollution products from Bio: Végane can be found among others. in Amazon or on MyTime.
Bio: Vegan
From Bio: Végane has a protective spray against pollution. (Bio Bio: Végane)


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