Consumer awareness of social and environmental issues is increasing. COVID-19 also brought a new consciousness that has highlighted “purpose over profit” – a more holistic approach to corporate responsibility that aims to encompass social, environmental, and economic value. This consciousness is influencing every sector, not least the beauty and personal care space. Now, brands are taking steps to be more sustainable. This should resonate throughout their messaging, for instance, by developing anti-pollution skincare.
Before introducing this trend in more detail, we’ll look closer at the conditions. While the pandemic may, for a time, have caused an uptick in single-use packaging, the focus on health and hygiene brought environmental issues into focus. Lockdowns triggered a reduction in air pollution, with cities reporting bluer skies, better air quality, and cleaner water. Consumers are emerging from lockdowns realizing that they want to maintain this cleaner, purer environment.
Clean and clear ingredients
Together, this emphasis on hygiene, health, clarity, and a cleaner environment means that consumers are specifically looking for messaging that resonates with these ideas. Right now, 42% of consumers in the UK are worried about air pollution and they’re looking for messaging that contrasts with their anxieties. That is, they want ingredients that are natural, pure, and safe.
This is why brands should look for ingredients that evoke these emotions. For instance, edelweiss, the alpine flower, traditionally has connections to clarity and simplicity. Originating in the Austrian and Swiss Alps, this delicate white flower flourishes in the crisp, clean alpine landscape, and in traditional medicine, is prized for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
The clarifying properties of edelweiss
Edelweiss has multiple benefits for the skin. This small white flower can delay the aging process, with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, relaxing, and purifying properties. It also helps protect skin from solar radiation and stimulates cells, providing moisturization, elasticity, and freshness – making it an ideal hero ingredient for anti-pollution skincare products, not least due to its associations with purity.
These associations, however, have a scientific basis. The antibacterial and purifying activity of edelweiss and its components was analyzed by scientists at the Institut für Pharmazie, Innsbruck, Austria. In the study, researchers used varying concentrations of edelweiss extract to determine their activity against certain microorganisms. The results showed that edelweiss inhibited varieties of various bacteria, verifying its anti-bacterial capacity.
Equally, the antioxidant activity of edelweiss and its components has been confirmed in several studies. Leontopodic acid contained in the aerial parts of edelweiss has demonstrated effects against induced oxidative reactions as part of in vitro studies. As a powerful free radical scavenger, edelweiss can protect against the effect of pollution particles on the skin.
Anti-pollution skincare pure as an alpine breeze
Inspired by this compelling evidence, Provital created Edelweiss Eco. This gentle, pure, and sustainably sourced extract purifies the skin via anti-bacterial and antioxidant action. As part of in-house studies, researchers found That the extract’s leontopodic acid content directly reduced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), increased cell viability, and intensifies the action of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that helps reduce the concentration of ROS.
Therefore, it is confirmed that this acid has global action that slows cellular oxidation and damage caused by oxidation in the cells. With the clear message of purity communicated via edelweiss’s traditional associations with clean, crisp alpine air, this extract is ideal for brands looking to tap into the rising demand for pure anti-pollution skincare.
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