Naturals and Personal Care: Why the trend continues to bloom

Naturals and Personal Care: Why the trend continues to bloom

Including natural and naturally derived materials in personal care has been a steadily growing trend over recent years; but over the last 12 months we’ve seen the interest, and demand for, natural and naturally derived products grow significantly more than before. Ecovia Intelligience reports up to a 21% increase in ‘natural/green’ product launches in 2017, showing it is something consumers are keenly interested in. So, join in the natural trend and join us on our Naturals R&D Tour, coming to in-cosmetics Global this April 2019.

Why going green is so popular…

There are several theories on why consumers are trending toward more natural ingredients and product choices, including:

  • An ever increasingly busy lifestyle, where pollution and stress are prevalent. Consumers feel like they are taking ownership of their health and well being with more natural food choices, and this trend has spread to selections in personal care. It forms part of their holistic approach to well-being that consumers take in this modern age.
  • Consumers perceive natural as safer. In truth, natural ingredients need purity and safety checks just like any cosmetic chemical, but the perception of consumers is that these materials are safer and more mild; and that is a perception that you simply can’t change – so give them what they want!
  • Brands promote natural materials and ingredients as desirable – and they are, to a growing number of consumers – which has spurred the trend on, and a number of brands including natural/green claims and ingredients. Hence, the trend continues to propel itself forward from consumer popularity and a growing number of ‘natural’ claims.
  • The growing number of brands achieving ‘natural’ certification for their products has increased consumer trust in certified products.
  • Natural ingredients often contain more than one component that provides skin-tastic benefits and nourishment – even if the claim about the component and skin benefit can’t be made, consumers see the difference in their skin and repeat purchase or look for other green products to add to their daily skincare regime.

Going green with more choice than ever before

Raw material suppliers have risen to the challenge of providing more natural/green materials than ever before. We’re now seeing more green/natural solutions to a variety of formulation challenges that we didn’t have as recent as even 5 years ago. The growing choices of green surfactants, superfatting agents, emulsifiers, film formers and even pigments has meant we can now create ‘greener’ formulations with high performance to compete effectively with synthetic offerings – to give consumers the aesthetics and efficacy they want from green products.

What can I expect on the Naturals R&D Tour?

There can be confusion over what is natural, so suppliers and materials on this tour meet the requirements of certifiers. These ingredients are derived from natural substances using only allowed chemical processing methods without the residue of synthetic chemicals. These ingredients can be correctly identified in marketing material or on labels as being truly sourced from natural substances or derived from nature. Processing methods that can be used, and still provide an ingredient defined as ‘derived from natural sources’ includes alkylation; condensation; hydrolysis; hydrogenation; esterification and/or transesterification; fermentation; hydration; neutralization; oxidation/reduction; saponification and sulphation (note this is not the same as sulphonation).

Some exciting finds on the tour…

Here are some of the really exciting materials you may want to keep your eye out for on the tour:

  • Multi-functional materials – for example, emulsifiers that provide long lasting hydration and moisture loss protection. So you’re not only creating stability in your formula, you’re adding a marketing claim and enhancing performance.
  • Natural actives – there are a huge number of actives, with fantastic in-vitro and in-vivo data, to use in just about every product type with great effects – speak with suppliers and see just how effective, and marketable, these materials are!
  • Green surfactants – while there were limited options in the past and performance was limited, there are now loads of natural surfactant choices to give you foaming formulation solutions.
  • Natural preservatives with broader pH coverage – with more choice than ever before, you can be confident of effective preservation with the growing number of choices.

How can I know if ingredients are truly natural?

Watch this video, it’s a great summary to get you ready for your tour and using all natural and naturally derived materials with confidence: What are natural cosmetics?

Happy formulating and I look forward to seeing you at in-cosmetics Global 2019!

Belinda Carli

Belinda Cari is the Director of the Institute of Personal Care Science and the Official Technical Advisor to the in-cosmetic Group. Learn to formulate and/or enhance your formulation skills and regulatory knowledge with on-line training that is Government Registered and Industry Recognised. Find out more: or email

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