News Release

Olay Reveals New Insights on the Clear and Present Danger of Air Pollution on Skin Health

- Clinical study from Olay leads the way in research about the impact of air pollution on our skin -

Thursday, November 13, 2014 10:30 am EST



Public Company Information:


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Olay and leading dermatologists reveal for the first time new unexpected insights into the impact of air pollution on skin health.

Recognizing the lack of in-depth research in the area of air pollution and skin health, Olay recently conducted a clinical study across the least and most polluted districts of Beijing, measuring multiple aspects of skin health and appearance on over 200 women while recording their lifestyle and skin care routine choices. The detailed analysis showed for the first time that subjects living in the highly polluted district had significantly worse skin hydration than subjects living in the cleaner suburbs, despite making better lifestyle choices (such as cleansing routines, water consumption and greater skin care product usage). In addition, lower levels of important biomarkers indicating compromised skin barrier function were found in the urban subjects. While not wholly unexpected to see impaired skin condition linked to high air pollution, this study is the first to provide sound scientific evidence that skin barrier function and skin hydration are among the most immediate and significant threats air pollution imposes on our skin.

Collaboration between Olay scientists and Dr. Wei Liu, Head of the Dermatology Department at the General Hospital of the Air Force, Beijing, demonstrated that concerns about air pollution are not just perception but reflected by real science. The team looked at the relationship between air quality and incidence of dermatological skin conditions among patients in Beijing over a year long period, and revealed a clear correlation between spikes in air pollution and increases in the number of patients suffering from skin problems such as urticaria (hives). While further research is needed and underway, these results show that air pollution is not just affecting skin on a cosmetic level, but can pose a real threat to skin health, too.

Speaking on the study’s findings, Olay Senior Scientist Dr. Frauke Neuser stated: “Olay’s commitment to working towards the next generation of pollution-focused skin care solutions couldn’t be timelier. This evidence shows that it is vital for skincare today to incorporate pollution-fighting, skin-repairing ingredients. 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.”

Olay boasts a number of ingredients for environmental protection in current product offerings. Starting in January 2015, three newly formulated anti-aging moisturizers from Olay Total Effects will be available. These daily moisturizers have been formulated with 40% more vitamins (including Vitamin E, an anti-oxidant that helps protect against oxidative damage caused by environmental stressors) and the highest level of Niacinamide in an over-the-counter Olay skincare product.

In addition to epidemiological studies, Olay scientists have developed lab-based in vitro assays to better understand which elements of air pollution are particularly harmful to skin, and how exactly they affect cellular function. The collective term air pollution comprises multiple gaseous and particulate compounds, such as PM2.5 (fine particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter), urban dust, diesel exhaust, and coal extracts – even though public attention often focuses on PM2.5. Some of these particles carry over 150 different chemicals attached to them, which many scientists see as the main danger pollution presents to skin. Initial learnings from Olay’s skin cell assays not only demonstrated the efficacy of current Olay technologies to protect skin against the harmful effects of various aspects of air pollution, but can also provide invaluable direction to develop more advanced skin care solutions in the near future.

About Olay:

Olay is a worldwide leader in skin care and has been trusted by women for over 60 years. Olay continues to hold to the philosophy it was founded on: to maintain a deep understanding of women’s changing needs and to combine products that fit their needs with the latest advances in skin care technology. The end result—superior product performance women have come to expect from Olay. It brings healthy, beautiful skin to more than 80 million women on five continents. For more information, visit

About Procter & Gamble:

P&G serves nearly five billion people around the world with its brands. The Company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Duracell®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, Wella® and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.


DeVries Global
Ashley Corkery, 212-546-8512

Multimedia Files:

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Clinical study from Olay leads the way in research about the impact of air pollution on our skin (Photo: Business Wire)
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Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Moisturizer (Photo: Business Wire)
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