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Key trends in beauty products for 2021: new natural ingredients

Echemi 2021-02-09

Well-informed consumers expect brands to provide natural, safe and environmentally friendly products. The natural product market is crowded and occasionally causes controversy. To win the trust of consumers, it is important to consider the source of socially responsible raw materials and green chemistry. In this column, we will focus on natural, safe and environmentally friendly beauty products.




Consumers want to use beauty and makeup products that are beneficial to physical and mental health, while reducing the impact on the environment, so the demand for natural beauty products is rising rapidly. However, under the epidemic, pure ingredients have become a basic guarantee.


Consumer demand for natural beauty products is rising rapidly. The British Beauty Association report pointed out that the global natural beauty products market is expected to reach 17 billion pounds in 2024. The market share in Asia is expected to grow the fastest. The Ecovia Intelligence report pointed out that sales in Asia increased by 21% in 2017 (in Europe and North America, this figure was less than 10%). In 2019, GlobalData found that 39% of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region want beauty products to contain natural and pure ingredients, and data from the research organization Euromonitor also shows that Chinese consumers value "natural ingredients" more than other consumer groups.


Unilever predicts that this trend will continue to develop in the next five years and beyond. "We are seeing more and more consumers start to use more natural beauty products. They feel that this is taking care of their physical and mental health and also contributing to the environment." Love Beauty, a personal care company under Unilever said Daniel Lythgo, brand manager of and Planet.


The growth of the natural beauty products market is accompanied by rising consumer expectations. They hope that these products will not lose to non-natural products in terms of efficacy, safety, and shelf life. Many natural beauty brands have begun to develop new formulas that can combine science and nature to ensure that the natural or natural extracts of the products can exert their effects without harming humans and the global environment.


Green chemistry becomes the basis of pure beauty products


Pure beauty is not equal to natural products, it promotes green chemistry. The ingredients used in this kind of beauty products are usually derived from nature, the effect is the same as that of pure natural products, but the negative impact on the environment is less.


The natural beauty products market is undoubtedly growing, but people's confidence in "pure" beauty brands is also increasing. Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido’s purchase of pure skin care brand Dray Elephant for US$845 million in 2019 proves this, which is one of the largest acquisitions in 2019.


“For the global environment, sometimes it is better to buy a bottle of ethical and beautiful sandalwood substitute perfume produced by a pure beauty factory in Germany than to cut down a tree.” said Sarah McCartney, founder of perfume brand 4160 Tuesdays. 


Green chemistry is also very helpful in making vegan alternatives to natural animal materials. "Decades ago, synthetic musk molecules began to replace deer musk." Abel founder Frances Shoemack said, "Abel just launched a new perfume Cyan Nori, using plant-derived musk molecule Ambrettolide, it is both renewable and also Biodegradable (many synthetic musk molecules cannot be degraded). Green chemistry is the future."


Beeswax is another natural non-vegan raw material that can be replaced by green chemistry. "I recently became very interested in a vegan wax called HabiWax in Ecuador, which works like beeswax," said Gay Timmons, a distributor of Oh Oh Organics. HabiWax is derived from sustainably obtained palm oil (its production company Natural Habitats is a member of the sustainability initiative Palm Done Right).


Use Asian ingredients


Food is an important part of Asian culture. Many popular ingredients that consumers are familiar with are entering the field of natural beauty, especially those super foods that are famous for their health and nutritional benefits.


Under this trend, many ingredients that appear in Asian dishes due to their health benefits will be adopted by the beauty market. Tim Foulds, head of Australian research at Euromonitor International, a global market research firm, told the news service website Cosmetics Design Asia: “In Asia, traditional indigenous plants and herbs are beginning to become skin care products. Consumers may choose those that advocate natural products. Brands using familiar ingredients with well-known beauty effects.


Fermented ingredients are common in Asian diets (such as Korean staple kimchi), so they are especially popular. The fermentation process is not only good for the digestive system, but also breaks down fatty acids, so when externally applied, the fermented ingredients are easily absorbed by the skin. Japanese skin care group Kosé pioneered the use of fermented brown sugar in the Kokutousei series (respected for its moisturizing effect), while Korean skin care brand Innisfree uses antioxidant-rich fermented soybean extracts in products such as firming energy essences.


The Japanese brand Keana Nadeshiko, developed by Ishizawa Labs, uses a variety of rice derivatives, such as rice bran, in skin care products, while Japanese pharmaceutical company Tokiwa has launched a Sana soy milk series containing soy protein and seed extracts.



From natural to powerful


As the natural beauty products market continues to grow, products are increasingly emphasizing efficacy and aiming to differentiate themselves from competitors.


"It's no longer enough to be a natural product. It must have better effects." said Jenni Retourné, founder of Willowberry Skincare. The brand's award-winning nourishing moisturizing cleanser contains rosehip oil, sage seed, and coriander seed oil. It is highly regarded for its excellent skin barrier protection.


Monpure, a new brand of scalp and hair health products, is the first to experiment with pumpkin seed extract. It is scientifically proven that pumpkin seed extract can block a hormone enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which generates the chemical substance DHT, which is one of the known causes of hair loss. Pumpkin seed extract is used in the brand's hair follicles to promote dense hair essence. It works with witch hazel, lactic acid and other ingredients to stimulate hair follicle growth. “Our products contain 8 to 12 ingredients that can work together to promote healthy hair growth.” The company’s CEO Natanel Bigger explained, “As the natural beauty products market becomes more complex, a product must have A variety of different natural ingredients instead of marketing around a single ingredient."


Abi Cleeve, Ultrasun's managing director, said, “We cannot look at an ingredient in isolation, but focus on how it works with other ingredients. Many natural ingredients are very delicate, so the formulation and packaging methods are extremely important.” Ultrasun Facial skin care products contain natural brown algae extract cyclic amino acid ectoin, which is proven to help block UV damage.

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