There has been an unusual development in the global beauty market in the last 18 months or so—the emergence of anti-pollution beauty products. In 2016, the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) placed India at a dismally low ranking of 141 out of the 180 countries surveyed. India, it declared, has the third largest emission of greenhouse gases, and the severity of air pollution is so high that life expectancy among Indians, on an average, has been reduced by three to four years.
The effects of this poisonous air can even be seen and felt on our skin and hair. Pollutants like dust, smog, exhaust fumes, sun rays, cigarette smoke, blue light (from smartphones) merge with grime on the skin and cause oxidative stress that clogs the pores and inflames the skin, leading to premature ageing. Declaring war against this insidious monster, the beauty industry has come up with a range of anti-pollution products designed to defend our delicate skin.
Many brands have introduced new products with the words ‘anti-pollution’ or ‘pollution defence’ in their descriptors. Ragini Mehra, founder of the Beauty Source, an e-commerce website, says, “The Asia-Pacific region has the highest levels of pollution, so it’s no surprise that the demand for anti-pollution beauty products is on the rise. Consumers are looking for more and more products that will prevent or repair the negative effects of pollution. According to Mintel, between 2011 and 20