Anti-Pollution Matrix EN – Categories of Active Ingredients and Product Classes – Protect – Anti-adhesion of particulate matter

Anti-Pollution Matrix

Anti-adhesion of particulate matter

Anti-Pollution Matrix > Categories of Active Ingredients and Product Classes > Protect
> Anti-adhesion of particulate matter


Particulate matter can originate from a wide variety of sources, both natural (e.g., dust, ash, sand, pollen) and human (e.g., vehicle exhaust, smoking, waste incineration, industrial emissions). Unlike the respiratory tract, the skin is exposed to all sizes of particulate matter. Although the particles themselves do not penetrate intact skin, the substances that adhere to them do. These include toxins such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals. In the skin, they can lead to effects ranging from disruption of the skin barrier, inflammation and oxidative stress, to increased depigmentation (e.g. age spots/lentigines), skin sensitivities and premature aging, to aggravation of skin diseases such as acne, or neurodermatitis. In addition, sun exposure may exacerbate the observed toxic effects. Source and location can influence the composition and size of PMs, as well as the substances adhering to them.


Possible approaches

The first line of defense against the effects caused by PMs and substances adhering to them is to avoid their adhesion to the skin. This can be achieved to some extent through the use of targeted formulations. Polymers, other film-forming agents and certain lipids/emollients can contribute by forming a protective layer on the skin, as well as targeted formulated products, e.g. with reduced amounts of substances known to promote adhesion (e.g. some emollients or glycerin, depending on the formulation type). Different formulation technologies (e.g., O/W, W/O, gels, foundations, sprays, encapsulated ingredients) can be developed and used depending on the targeted effect, PM type, and exposure. It is important to note and verify that the technology and ingredients used have a barrier-protective, maximum PM-binding property to avoid permeability.


Product categories

Skin care products (e.g. face creams, serums, sprays) and body care (e.g. body lotion) as well as make-up products (e.g. foundations/make-up bases)


Examples of ingredients
  • Polymers
  • Emulsifiers
  • Emollients
  • Waxes
  • Bioactive substances with barrier function


Examples of claims
  • Protective shield/invisible protection
  • protection against weather influences
  • shielding effect
  • protection against pollution and aggression of urban life
  • anti-pollution
  • Anti-dust adhesion


Examples of evidence of efficacy / Methods

Reducing particle adhesion to the skin, hair or scalp, and preventing the permeation of particulate-bound substances into the skin.