2 Min Read |
Today’s consumer is more aware than ever before of the ingredients in the cosmetics products they are using. Millennials, in particular, are keenly attentive of what their skin, hair and body consumes and they are more likely to steer clear of cosmetics products containing potentially harsh chemicals, opting for more natural cosmetics. This is bringing about a notable shift in the global cosmetics industry with pressure on the cosmetics giants to make their products ‘cleaner’.
Previously, natural cosmetics products were only available in select retail outlets such as salons and spas or high-end cosmetics stores. However, a shift in mindset in the past decade has increased demand for natural cosmetics and they are no longer just a niche offering but can be found across most mainstream retail outlets.
Not only that, but some of the mainstream brands are going natural as the global cosmetics industry senses this shift in preference for more natural cosmetics that are kinder to your skin and better still, the environment. Hourglass, currently one of the fastest growing colour cosmetics brands in the world, for example, has a range of products catering to the differing requirements of today’s discerning consumer with gluten-free and vegan products available as well as those that contain no parabens.
Clean beauty is the latest buzzword that is perhaps taking over from natural or organic in the global cosmetics industry. While it is difficult to define what makes a product natural, or indeed organic, the clean beauty craze is somehow easier to corner and for the mainstream consumer, easier to understand. Clean beauty products do not use any synthetic ingredients, but are considered to be as effective as many of the traditional beauty and personal care products that do. However, they do not necessarily contain organically grown or plant ingredients which can be difficult and expensive to source.
The Online World Pushing The Natural Cosmetics Agenda
Many of the global cosmetics players are reformulating products so they are more in line with the growing tendencies to avoid potentially hazardous ingredients. Johnson & Johnson, for example, phased out the potentially toxic parabens found in their beauty and personal care products after pressure from the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Skin Deep®, an online database containing ingredient information for more than 75,000 beauty and personal care products.
This is not to say that all Johnson & Johnson products can now be considered natural or clean because they do still use synthetic ingredients. However, it does point to a shift in the global cosmetics industry in terms of the efforts being made to reduce the amount of potentially harmful ingredients used in mainstream beauty and personal care products.
This shift towards natural or even clean beauty has also been supported by the advent of social media and bloggers. Today’s online world has made it easier for consumers to research and understand the list and type of ingredients found in their beauty products. Consumers can now make their purchasing decisions already armed with any amount of information regarding the products as they so desire.
Bloggers are highlighting potentially hazardous materials and cosmetics reviews often cite the ingredients list of a product as par for the course. Discussions on social media are helping to drive demand for natural cosmetics and/or clean beauty and the global cosmetics industry is taking note.
Celebrities are also helping to push the clean agenda with stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow (Juice Beauty) and Jessica Alba (Honest Beauty) having recently launched their own ranges of clean beauty and personal care products.
While the debate remains inconclusive synthetic ingredients and scientific formulas created in laboratories will continue to be used in the global cosmetics industry. However, thanks to increased demand from the discerning consumer, the use of parabens in beauty and personal care products has decreased and natural or clean products are now more easily accessible in the mainstream market.