Greater understanding of pollution leads to new Sederma active Citystem

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Greater understanding of pollution leads to new Sederma active Citystem

Related tags: Skin

Sederma has turned its innovation attention to the popular anti-pollution trend, developing its latest natural active ingredient Citystem to fight against visible and invisible pollution damage to the skin. 

The Croda subsidiary unveiled the new product at the in-cosmetics show in Paris and the company’s Marketing Director, Olga Gracioso, tells us that the new ingredient, which is based on plant cell culture technology, takes a different approach.

“It is important to understand what pollution is, how it affects the skin, and how it is measured,” ​she tells “We also need to understand the consumer perspective of pollution and what they expect from skin care products to deal with this.”

Particulate matter

‘Particulate matter’, also known as particle pollution or PM, is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets, made up of a number of components, including acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles.

The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems, with the biggest concerns over particles that are 10 micrometres in diameter or smaller because those are the particles that generally pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs.

Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects. Some particles are also classified as ‘fine’ as they are 2.5 micrometres or smaller in diameter, often found in smoke and haze.

The inhalation of these particles is of great concern, but when it comes to the skin, Gracioso explains that it is different as all different sizes of particles can be penetrated through pores and hair follicles, for example.

“Whether it is PM 2.5 or PM 10 becomes irrelevant as particles may be too big, but chemicals and molecules within them can still penetrate the skin,”​ she continues. “There are so many criteria that you cannot just say: ‘this penetrates, this doesn’t’.”


From the research into greater understanding that Sederma carried out in China, the UK, the US, and Brazil, the ingredients firm could then outline its different approach to pollution’s effects on skin, setting out four pillars for product development:

  • Protection of skin cells from the penetration of pollutants,
  • Removal and neutralisation of toxic oxidant species,
  • Strengthening of the skin barrier,
  • Repair of cell metabolism.

From these pillars the team were then able to develop Citystem to give a healthy glow and improve skin radiance, while protecting the skin with a smooth formula.

The product is based on the power of weeds that grow in polluted areas, reflecting their strength, according to Gracioso.

In tests, it is proven to provide instant and long term cosmetic benefits through consumer and clinical studies.

After four weeks, Sederma claims skin grain is refined, the complexion looks fresher and purified and skin feels soft and smooth.

An instant overall improvement of skin appearance was also observed in a study with 100 volunteers after only one application of a cosmetic containing Citystem for 10-15 minutes.

Almost 80% of them found their skin had long-lasting moisturisation and a healthy glow, while 84% of them felt their skin was still refreshed the next morning.

According to Gracioso, it is expected that a range of anti-pollution products will be introduced to the market targeting a host of different needs, rather than just one.

Related topics: Formulation & Science, Skin Care

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