Anti-Pollution Matrix EN – Categories of Active Ingredients and Product Classes – Protect – Products for strengthening the skin barrier

Anti-Pollution Matrix

Products for strengthening the skin barrier

Anti-Pollution Matrix > Categories of Active Ingredients and Product Classes > Protect
> Products for strengthening the skin barrier


Pollutants damage or weaken the skin barrier, which can lead to increased and deeper penetration of harmful substances. This affects the morphology and integrity of the skin structure. The damaged barrier also results in higher transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which also leads to a decrease in skin hydration. The elasticity of the skin is impaired.


Possible approaches

One of the approaches to counteract the effects of environmental pollutants is to strengthen the skin's natural barrier and improve hydration.


Product categories

Face & skin care products (e.g. creams, serums, ointments)


Examples of ingredients

Ingredients known to keep the skin barrier intact and/or improve skin hydration.

  • skin-identical long and short chain ceramides
  • Omega fatty acids
  • plant and algae extracts
  • Emollients
  • NMF components (NMF = Natural Moisturizing Factor)
  • Panthenol
  • Glycerin
  • Urea
  • special products from fermentation/biotechnology


Examples of claims
  • repairs the skin's own protective barrier,
  • activates and supports the skin's natural water-moisture system
  • improves the integrity of the skin barrier
  • improves the cohesion of the stratum corneum
  • stimulates several key genes and proteins responsible for epidermal protection
  • acts as an immediate film former and protects the skin from dryness and irritation caused by environmental pollution


Examples of evidence of efficacy / Methods
  • TEWL
  • Corneometry
  • Histology
  • Tissue model
  • Omics (e.g. genomics, proteomics etc.)
  • Raman


  • MISTRI, 2017, Review Guidelines for Formulating Anti-Pollution Products, Cosmetics, 4, 57,
  • YC Chiang et al. Urban particulate matter down-regulates filaggrin via COX2 expression/PGE2 production leading to skin barrier dysfunction, Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 17;6:27995 - DOI: 10.1038/srep27995
  • C Juliano, GA Magrini. Cosmetic Functional Ingredients from Botanical Sources for Anti-Pollution Skincare Products, Cosmetics, 2018, 5(1), 19,
  • Berardesca, E., Loden, M., Serup, J., Masson, P., & Rodrigues, L. M.(2018). The revised EEMCO guidance for the in vivo measurement of water in the skin. Skin Res Technol. 2018 Aug;24(3):351-358, DOI: 10.1111/srt.12599