Food for thought

proactive protection

While beauty products have been, and still are, a way for men and women to enhance their appearance and wellbeing, treat skin concerns and feel more confident, the last few years have brought a new dimension to their use.

The pandemic and climate crisis have made consumers more aware than ever of the relation between their surroundings and the environment they live in and the overall health of their skin. Knowing that several environmental factors can be harmful, they have taken a more proactive approach and are looking for skincare products that will target these modern concerns.   

This proactive protection trend started a few years ago with sunscreens. Nowadays, skincare items that include SPF shields have become the norm. It is also something consumers look at when picking products. The following ‘new’ factors below have not, yet, gained the popularity of SPF, but they might also become the new norm for future beauty products.


A major environmental stressing factor for the skin is air pollution. It has long been associated with skin aging, inflammatory or allergic skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis or acne, or skin cancer for its most serious effects. Major air pollutants that can impact the skin are solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and cigarette smoke.

To counteract these damaging factors, the beauty industry is formulating products to strengthen our skin barrier and shield it from excessive exposure. Ingredients play a crucial role in helping protect and boost our skin integrity. Some are rich in antioxidant, like vitamins (Vitamin C and E or Niacinamide for instance) and act as a way to stop or reverse oxidative stress. Others are used to help strengthen the skin’s barrier and keep it intact and hydrated (like Rosehip oil or Hyaluronic Acid). 

Product formulations are not revolutionary and some could argue that labeling a product ‘anti-pollution’ is just a marketing ploy. However this trend speaks to a wider consumer concern. Immunity, a word that spiked in Google search in April 2020, has become a common topic that is talked about for health but also wellness and beauty matters.

A few months back, we looked at 5 anti-pollution skincare products on the market. Click here to read about it.


High-energy visible (HEV) light, also referred to as blue light, comes primarily from the sun, but is also emitted by our smartphones, tablets and computer screens. A growing amount of research is proving how damaging HEV light can be for the skin.

While invisible UVA and UVB radiation are not an issue after dark. However, the threat from blue light doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Consumers have been in front of a screen for even longer period of time since the pandemic. Whether it is for remote work or for entertaining themselves, their skin is exposed to blue light very often during the day and night. 

As a result, beauty brands – just like they have products protecting you from the sun – now offer products protecting from HEV light. Here are 5 examples of skincare products dedicated to blue light protection. 

Consumers are now looking for ways to care for their overall wellbeing and are sensitive to companies and products that help them do that. The pandemic, an acute awareness of climate change and its consequences, a rise in skin sensitivities and allergies have led to a stronger movement for self-protection. This wave of consumers are very hands on and seek pro-active measures, with specific products to answer their needs. 

   Monia MERABET

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