High air pollution does more than just irritate your lungs, research confirms it also affects the way you look. By using ESA-provided pollution maps along with ultraviolet radiation data, cosmetics firm L’Oreal plans to investigate the future possibility of producing skincare products customised for local conditions.
Today the skin-ageing effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays are well known, but the harmful consequences of air pollution on our skin are less easily quantified outside of laboratories. Employing a 2800-strong team of scientists and support staff, L’Oreal has carried out field studies on this subject.
Working with the French Regional Centre for the Fight against Cancer and the Mexican National Institute of Public Health, in 1999 the company began a nine-month study in and around Mexico City - one of the most polluted cities in the world. To study the effects of ozone and nitric oxide on the skin, 96 people in a highly polluted district of the city were compared to 93 subjects living in a less exposed urban area 75 km away.
“We saw many differences between the two groups,” explained François Christiaens of L’Oreal. “We observed increased oxidation of the sebum - the oily secretion that lubricates and protects skin and hair - and the very dry or very greasy skin features of our volunteers living in Mexico City.”
Olivier Arino | alfa
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