For decades, dermatologists have understood the impact of solar radiation on the skin’s pigment and elasticity—but more recent studies have sought a deeper understanding of airborne pollution and its pernicious effects on skin health and chronic skin disease. As the body’s largest organ and a vital roadblock against the outside world, the skin helps regulate body temperature, prevent dehydration and safeguard against pathogens. Unfortunately, our daily exposure to pollutants—indoors and out—can weaken the skin’s ability to perform these functions while accelerating visible skin aging.
Industry research shows a strong correlation between airborne particulates and pigmentation changes, acne problems and premature wrinkles. “When skin cells are exposed to pollution factors, changes in a number of skin properties can be observed, such as lipid composition, lipid and protein oxidation, pH, sebum secretion rate, oxidative stress, inflammation markers, and collagen and elastin levels,” reported a Cosmetics (2018)1 literature review.
While pollution exposure is typically thought to occur outdoors in urban and industrial areas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says Americans spend around 90 percent of time indoors. According to the EPA, pollutant concentrations may be two to five times higher indoors than they are outside, on average. In recent years, this daily contaminant assault has produced increasing consumer demand for anti-pollution skincare and cosmetic solutions to battle inflammation, oxidative stress, skin dullness, and premature wrinkles.
Anti-Pollution Formulations Fight Toxin Damage
Every day, our epidermis is called to be a biological shield for a stew of pollutants, particulates, and pathogens. On top of carbon emissions, smog, and industrial gases, we are confronted with indoor contaminants like fungi and bacteria, formaldehyde, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from deodorizers, adhesives, and plastics. Add emissions from building materials, furnishings and mattresses—and it’s no wonder our respiratory systems and skin can develop serious problems.
The cosmetic and personal care industries, already on a mission to clean up skin and hair care products, are heeding the call to develop anti-pollution ingredients. Botanical actives like Gingko, lemon, pomegranate, olive leaf and green tea are at the forefront of this effort. Kline & Company forecasts that U.S. purchases of personal care products containing these clean ingredients will reach $168.5 million by 2021—an increase of nearly 20 percent since 2016.
Use of Rosemary Extract for Skin Care
One of the top plant-based ingredients known for its anti-pollution properties is rosemary extract. Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract is a distinctively aromatic herb from the peppermint family that is native to the hills surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Rosemary’s list of benefits emanates from key plant constituents like camphor, caffeic acid, Rosmarinus acid, α-Pinene and borneol—which are responsible for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial qualities.
Sensient’s rosemary containing NatPure® Xtra Vitality, a botanical active, is powered by our company’s proprietary PhytoClean™ process and proven to enhance the epidermis’ barrier function. In addition, it fights the daily pollution assault with its inclusion of rosemary’s high phytochemical levels.
Benefits of Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract
An essential feature of Rosmarinus extract is its unique ability to strengthen the skin’s resilience and cell cohesion, creating a more effective barrier against pollution. Related benefits include:
- Support of healthy collagen formation for hair & skin
- Ability to neutralize damaging free radicals
- Inclusion of ingredients like iron, calcium & vitamin B6
- Circulation improvement & skin calming for acne, eczema & psoriasis
- Antibacterial properties for pathogen mitigation
Sustainable Sourcing of Rosemary Extract
Sensient proudly sources rosemary extract from fair-for-life farms in central Uganda, where our farming partners practice sustainable agriculture and biodynamic farming techniques. We understand that consumers want products that are as powerful and ethical as they are clean, and NatPure™ Xtra Vitality has a high biological performance optimized by our use of sub-critical water to yield optimal extraction of rosemary’s richest, most active molecules.
Reinvigorate, shield and detoxify hair and skin with rosemary’s pollution-fighting properties. Find our NatPure™ Xtra Vitality actives in ethically sourced products like these: Botanical Avocado Surface Treatment, Sensistyle® Curl Relaxer and Natpure Col® Hair Dyes, or contact our cosmetic technologies specialists online.
(1) Rembiesa, Jadwiga, et al. “The Impact of Pollution on Skin and Proper Efficacy Testing for Anti-Pollution Claims.” Cosmetics, vol. 5, no. 1, 2018, p. 4., doi:10.3390/cosmetics5010004.