Organic & Natural Skin Care Market Research
In recent years, consumers have become more aware of what goes into the products they use whether it’s their skincare products or their household products. This has caused a sharp increase in the demand for natural and organic products. These products are mostly transparent in their ingredients, and attempt to include only ingredients that are found in nature, created without the use of pesticides, chemicals, and are created without the use of artificial ingredients or preservatives.
Consumers are demanding more of these organic products, from all-natural toothpaste and make-up to various household products, such as laundry soap to cleaners. Buyers passion for these items has encouraged demand, which has opened up new opportunities in the personal care and household market. I am going to focus on skin care predominately.
Organic & Natural Skin Care: Check Out These Stats
- 11: Percentage of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal-care products that the U.S. government has documented and publicly assessed for safety.
- 1,110+: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in the European Union.
- 10: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in the United States.
- 600: The number of companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.
- 20: Percentage of personal-care products that contain at least one chemical linked to cancer.
- 22: Percentage of cosmetics contaminated with possible cancer-causing impurity 1,4-dioxane.
- $160 billion: Amount spent annually on the skin- and hair-care, makeup, cosmetic surgery, fragrances, health clubs, and diet products.
The Demand For Organic Ingredients
The organic and natural skin care boom is part of the larger swing in consumer awareness about health and wellness. Late last year, Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic senator from California, introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act, this bill strengthens the regulation of ingredients in personal care products. “Our skin is our largest organ, and many ingredients contained in these products–whether it be lotion, shampoo, or deodorant–are quickly absorbed by the skin,” Feinstein said in her testimony to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. “There is increasing evidence that certain ingredients in personal care products are linked to a range of health concerns, ranging from reproductive issues, such as fertility problems and miscarriage, to cancer.”
Parabens and phthalates, for instance, have been found to be endocrine disruptors linked to increased risk of breast cancer. A recent study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, revealed that even a short break from certain shampoos and lotions made with chemical ingredients can result in a significant drop in levels of people’s hormone-disrupting chemicals.
Educating consumers is a key piece of this movement and one in which various e-commerce beauty sites and subscription services are heavily investing in.
Natural skin care is growing fast, almost eight times as much as compared to last year in terms of searches. Popular keywords include “organic,” “paraben-free,” “holistic,” natural,” and “vegan.”
Is This Pricey Switch to Organic Sustainable?
Going “organic” is costly. Organic farms tend to produce smaller batches because they don’t rely on growth hormones, so each ingredient is at a premium. Goods made without chemical preservatives also have a shorter shelf life, meaning they don’t last as long and the stock has to be refreshed. Some organic or natural skin care products are recommended to use within six months. Compare that to conventional drugstore brands, which give a window of two to three years. The longer shelf life allows retailers to buy in bulk without worrying about expiration dates. The fact that the industry has spent the last 20 to 30 years focused on synthetic ingredients also keeps their costs low, as large companies often use the most cost-effective ingredients available to be able to produce as much as possible.
But with naturals’ shorter shelf lives, how realistic is it that mass market companies will adopt them in greater numbers? Most consumers still rely on drugstore brands, such as Maybelline and Revlon, which keep their costs and ingredient prices low—sometimes one-third the price of premium organic brands. A Revlon lipstick can sell for as little as $4.99, while an Honest Beauty alternative, an antioxidant blend of coconut oil, murumuru butter, and Shea butter, can go for $18. A similar lipstick by Hemp Organics uses 95% certified organic ingredients and can be priced at $15.80.
There are two demographics that make up the strongest part of the clean beauty base: younger millennials (18-25) who are concerned primarily with environmental impact, and an older generation (40 and up) focused on health benefits. The prediction is that the group of conscious consumers will remain faithful to the cause, like newly health-conscious eaters who never return to McDonald’s. Once the curtain is pulled away and consumers know the truth, they won’t revert back to ‘unhealthy’ behaviors.
It’s a movement happening around the world. A movement toward better health, an evolution in consumer products where we’re realizing that a lot of things we thought were good are not.
If you want to further educate yourself on the “organic” or “natural” skincare movement, here is a list of books that I would recommend. I have read Natural Beauty at Home and The Green Beauty Guide and I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic or these books. Happy Reading!
Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry by Stacy Malkan
The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel
Natural Beauty at Home by Janice Cox
Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles