The rise of waterless cosmetics and an unlikely “fast-food” friendship

The rise of waterless cosmetics and an unlikely “fast-food” friendship

Every month, Simon Pitman (Editor, Journalist) takes a look at what’s shaken up the industry. From acquisitions to launches and everything in-between, don’t miss the latest cosmetics news, only here at in-cosmetics Connect.


Virginia bans testing of cosmetics on animals

The U.S. state of Virginia has announced that it is banning the testing of all cosmetics on animals by the start of 2022. The Humane Cosmetics Act will prevent cosmetics manufacturers from conducting testing of any kind of animals, as well as banning the sale of cosmetics tested on animals, from January 1, 2022.

The bill has been pushed by the Humane Society of the United States, which has been lobbying on both a State and a Nationwide level in the to ban animal testing on cosmetics in the country for many years. The organization said that the new legislation: “illustrates a growing momentum in efforts to end unnecessary testing on animals in the United States and around the world for products like shampoos, mascara and lipstick,” in a press statement.

Virginia joins California, Illinois and Nevada to become the fourth state in the country to introduce such a ban, giving increasing momentum towards enforcing a Nationwide ban. Currently, six other states are considering similar legislation, including Maryland, Rhode Island, Oregon, New Jersey, Hawaii and New York.

However, on a global basis, the United States is far from leading the way on animal testing, as more than 40 countries have already enforced full bans. Those countries include the European Union, Turkey, India, Switzerland, Norway, South Korea, the U.K. New Zealand, Israel and Colombia

Similar to the U.S., Brazil is also in a transitional period when it comes to outlawing animal testing, with the States of Malo Gross do Sul, Amazonas, Minas Gervais, Pará, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo already enforcing bans.

L’Oréal invests in water saving technology

Swiss environmental tech startup Gjosa has been snapped up by L’Oréal Development’s venture capital fund BOLD Business Opportunities. The company is based in Bienne and came to L’Oréal executives’ attention because of its unique water-saving solutions.

The two companies have already been working on a project to optimise shampoo rinse technology since 2015, with the object of saving water by reducing the time it takes to fully rinse suds from the hair.

The companies jointly announced an optimised shower head in 2018, designed to rinse shampoo thoroughly with just 1.5 litres of water, a marked improvement on the previous recorded average of 8 litres of water.

At this year’s CES show in Las Vegas, held in January, the two companies presented the L’Oréal Water Saver, which is billed as a sustainable hair care system for both salon and at-home routines, designed to save significant amounts of water.

“At L’Oréal we aim to offer the best sustainable beauty science and to be the champion of ‘Beauty Tech’,” said Barbara Lavernos, Chief Research, Innovation & Technology Officer of L’Oréal.

“By combining Gjosa’s unique water-tech innovations with L’Oréal’s knowledge of beauty rituals, data, tech, and personalisation, we will invent together new augmented beauty experiences for our consumers while protecting the coveted and precious resource that is water.”

On a company-wide basis, L’Oréal has already made water management a major part of its future sustainability goals, both with respect to manufacturing processes and product innovation. By 2030, the company is aiming to guarantee that all of its formulas will be respectful of aquatic ecosystems, while concurrently aiming to form a loop system based on the recycling and reuse of all water in industrial processes.

On top of that, the company also says that by 2030, all of its strategic suppliers will use water sustainably in their industrial processes.

Unilever is axing the term normal

Normal is out, according to executives at Unilever, who say the term is to be eliminated from packaging and advertising for all of its beauty and personal care brands. The move is part of the company’s newly launched Positive Beauty vision and strategy, which sets out what is described as

‘progressive commitments’ to the company’s leading beauty and personal care brands, including Dove, Axe and Sunsilk.

This taps into the growing momentum behind what is increasingly being recognised as a new social era, where inclusivity and diversity, together with equity and sustainability are all being viewed as crucial elements for beauty consumers. According to Unilever, Positive Beauty will drive major change in product development, transforming both the design and formulation to ensure they deliver products that tap into consumer trends.

Unilever says that the decision to exclude the word ‘normal’ is one of a number of steps the company is taking to challenge traditional beauty ideals, with the ultimate goal of ending discrimination and advocating for a more inclusive beauty industry.

The company says it took the decision following a 10,000 person study it undertook to gauge individuals’ attitudes to the beauty industry, and whether or not the use of ‘normal’ to describe hair and skincare products left people feeling excluded. The results of the survey revealed that 56% of respondents said that the beauty industry can make individuals feel excluded, while 74% thought it was a better idea for the industry to focus on making people feel better, rather than better looking.

On top of that, a significant 7 out of 10 people stated that using the word ‘normal’ on product packaging, has a negative connotation, while this figure rose to 8 out of ten in the 18 – 35 age group.

Unilever’s research is part of a growing body of evidence that points towards a new consumer era, where people are looking for products that cater to both their own individual needs, while also ensuring that they embrace a wider range of beauty needs.

“Consumers increasingly expect brands to take a stand on the issues they care most about. Unilever’s brands perceived as more purposeful grew more than twice as fast as the rest of the portfolio in 2020,” said Sarah, Kambou, president of the International Center for Research on Women.  

“The company’s research further supports this trend, with the majority of people (69%) saying they will recommend a beauty brand to their friends and family if it caters to a wide range of skin and hair types, while half of respondents would pay more for these products.

Chipotle links up with e.l.f. Cosmetics

It is not every day that a fast-food chain partners with a cosmetics company, but Chipotle’s new partnership with e.l.f. cosmetics makes more sense than you might think. The 100% vegan and cruelty-free makeup brand has announced a second partnership with Chipotle after its limited-edition collaboration sold out almost immediately last year.

This time the collaboration goes one step further, creating a four-product limited edition pack that will sell alongside a Chipotle burrito bowl – the first time the food chain has created a menu item that is sold alongside another brand.

The cosmetics collection will include a 12-colour eye shadow palette that is designed to reflect the food chain’s vegan ingredients, together with an avocado makeup sponge, a makeup bag and a plumping hot salsa-inspired lip gloss.

Named vegan “Eyes, Chips, Face” Burrito Bowl, it launched exclusively on the Chipotle app, to be sold at Chipotle locations nationwide throughout. The bowl is 100% vegan, designed to complement the fact that e.l.f. Cosmetics and Chipotle are both committed to supporting plant-based lifestyles.


Hear more about sustainability in cosmetics from our event speakers at Sustainability Corner.

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Simon Pitman established his career as a business journalist 25 years ago. He is the founding editor of the Cosmetics Design B2B business journals, which continue to be the leading beauty and personal care news source worldwide. For almost two decades Simon has been focused on what makes the industry tick, uncovering the latest technologies and product launches, as well as the newest trends to impact this fast paced industry. He is also a veteran of the in-cosmetics Group events, and having attended every one of the shows worldwide he has developed a deep knowledge about everything pertaining to cosmetics formulation.

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