Clean Cosmetics – A Lucrative and Intricate Trend with A Hefty Price Tag

By 2121 the value of the premium beauty and personal care market is predicted to increase by £16bn. This market is constantly being reshaped by various influences and we have put together an overview of a major cosmetic trend which we believe presents one of the biggest opportunities for the future of beauty. The concept of ‘clean’ is at the forefront of the minds of manufacturers and consumers – a focus on clean ingredients, clean skin and a clean environment. This has sparked a variety of new and exciting innovations that are helping to evolve the industry, creating opportunities for smaller independent companies that are beginning to capitalize on more niche and specialized areas.

1) It’s got to be natural.

Sparked by health trends in the food and drink industry, the concept of natural and healthy ingredients has begun to have a marked influence on the cosmetics industry. Consumers are seeking beauty products made from 100% pure and natural raw materials that offer multiple holistic benefits. Natural oils which can be extracted from seeds, wood, plants, fruits and vegetables have become one of the ‘hottest’ ingredients in the skincare market. This has materialized in products such as Passionline by Laboratoires Expansciences which is a concentrate of passion fruit juice containing anti-inflammatory properties that help to repair tissue. Raw ingredient manufacturer, Cosphatec, have also recently launched their new 100% natural magnolia extract which they market as ‘the natural way against acne’.

2) Less is more.

Dermatologists are recently reporting a growing phenomenon of sensitive skin which they link to exposure to pollution, stress and too many synthetic ingredients. The Environmental Working Group found that the average beauty routine contains 168 chemicals and more than ever, consumers are aware of skin irritations caused by chemicals and preservatives hidden in products. People are looking to replace fancy formulae with fewer, more effective ingredients and in response, brands are stripping back their products and are embracing simplicity. Just last year, Chanel launched their La Solution 10 De Chanel – a new fragrance-free moisturizer containing just 10 ingredients.

 3) Green and clean.

Increasingly conscious of how we impact the environment, more consumers expect products to be produced responsibly – fairly traded, sustainably harvested and processed. People are now actively seeking eco-friendly products and have become concerned with traceability which has given the chance for smaller, leaner, independent brands with lower output to stand out such as Susanne Kaufmann, a brand that prides itself on using solely Alpine ingredients in its products. Providing the exact source of ingredients has become a powerful tool, allowing brands to curate a trustworthy, honest and ‘clean’ image.

4) Anti-pollution.

Anti-pollution is without doubt the buzzword of the moment within the cosmetics industry. Due to the increasing awareness of polluted air and effects on the skin (cellular damage, dryness, inflammation, pigmentation), products that combat this have generated a lot of attention. Unsurprisingly, products using natural ingredients like plant extracts, vitamins and anti-oxidants are most popular on the market and many smaller companies have used this to their advantage. Dermalogica has also launched a new face wash that is a deep exfoliate with high pH value which opens the user’s pores and allows pollutants to be removed, leaving skin cleaner and fresher.

5) Halal.

For decades halal certification has been limited to food, but Muslim consumers are increasingly looking for products and services that provide holistic solutions to their lifestyle. In the world of cosmetics, the emphasis is on purity which goes beyond just ingredients (no alcohol or pork), and addresses the ethics behind the entire production chain and the effect on skin. Islam requires that Muslims purify themselves before prayer, for example, leading to innovations including permeable and wash-off nail polish. The scope in halal beauty is potentially vast, with a spiritual take on purity making ethical demands on products that can appeal to all consumers. Butterfly presented on Halal Beauty at in-cosmetics in London, get in touch to hear our presentation!

The future of clean cosmetics?

The cosmetics industry is constantly evolving but for now, ‘clean’ is in. People are seeking natural, simple ingredients that benefit the environment and come from a trustworthy source. This trend is allowing smaller, speciality brands to rival the large cosmetic corporations, begging the question – can these big businesses keep up? Using 100% natural, sustainably sourced and processed ingredients poses a significant challenge for brands who conventionally produce products at scale. The main issue for the established players to overcome will be how to quickly adapt to changing consumer attitudes and credibly play in this space without defaulting to a reactive approach lacking in ‘squeaky clean’ authenticity.

Katherine Arnot, Associate Consultant, 26.05.17
katherine@butterflylondon.com