Olay’s research in Beijing shows the effects of air pollution on skin health

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Olay’s research in Beijing shows the effects of air pollution on skin health
The clinical study found that people exposed to higher levels of air pollution had distinctly compromised skin compared to people in areas with better air quality.

The company put some science behind the belief that bad air leads to bad skin and found that the concerns are more than cosmetic. Pollution negatively impacts skin health, sometimes despite skin care practices and water intake.

Olay studied 200 women in both highly polluted Beijing neighbourhoods and less contaminated districts over the course of one year. The study tracked skin health and appearance, and researchers made note of the participants’ skin care routines and lifestyle choices too (insofar as they affect skin health).

Hydration and skin barrier function
The skin of women in the most highly polluted areas of Beijing was distinctly less hydrated than that of women in the districts with cleaner air, according to Olay. The study also found that women in the significantly polluted areas have “lower levels of important biomarkers indicating compromised skin barrier function.”

Olay’s study, in collaboration with, Dr. Wei Liu, tracked changes in air quality over the year and linked increases in air pollution to increases in skin issues like hives. Dr. Liu is Head of the Dermatology Department at the General Hospital of the Air Force, Beijing. The company says that further research in this area is underway.  

Carefully formulated skin care products can address both skin barrier function and hydration concerns. Based on the research, Olay plans to increase the proportion of vitamins E and B3 in its Total Effects skin care products.

“One of our essential ingredients, Niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3), is supported by over 15 years of data and published research that proves its ability to restore and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, whilst improving skin hydration and promoting skin surface exfoliation. Our team of leading scientists are constantly searching for the latest scientifically robust technologies that can complement and improve our products,” ​commented Dr. Frauke Neuser, Olay senior scientist.

The new product formulations will be available to consumers in January 2015.

Reducing pollution
Last week President Obama announced newly agreed upon plans between China and the US to reduce climate pollution. And, global climate negotiations are set to take place in Paris, France, next year.

Until then projects are underway that may start to improve matters: China and the US “will share city-level experiences with planning, policies, and use of technologies for sustainable, resilient, low-carbon growth. This initiative will eventually include demonstrations of new technologies for smart infrastructure for urbanization.  As a first step, the United States and China will convene a Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities ‘Summit’ where leading cities from both countries will share best practices, set new goals, and celebrate city-level leadership.”

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