Good Enough to Eat

January 3, 2007

Consumers look to natural personal care products to help them live a healthier lifestyle as the segment is poised to achieve significant growth.


Good Enough to Eat

Consumers look to natural personal care products to help them live a healthier lifestyle as the segment is poised to achieve significant growth.

Lindsay Elkins
Associate Editor

Papaya, mango and avocado. No, they’re not tonight’s dinner; they’re just a few of the ingredients making their way into personal care products. The natural and organic personal care industry has already achieved tremendous growth, a trend that is only on the upswing according to research from Packaged Facts. Sales of natural and/or organic personal care products total $4.3 billion and may reach $6.6 billion in 2010––an impressive jump of more than 50%.

Baby boomers and Gen Xers are leading the way in the natural trend as Americans continue to crave personal care products with natural ingredients and as a result, natural products have broken away from being a niche in health food and retail stores and made their way into mass merchandisers, supermarkets and chain drugstores.

So where did all the buzz surrounding the natural personal care market stem from? According to Jennifer Haid, vice president, consumer strategist, health/beauty for consumer trends company Iconoculture, consumers want control over every aspect of their lives––including personal care products. “Using natural and pure products is another way to exercise control,” explained Ms. Haid. “People want to know what’s in a product because it gives them a feeling of control over what they are putting in and on their own and their families’ bodies each day.”

While formulating products with natural ingredients isn’t anything new, the process has broken through health store barriers and gone mainstream said Ms. Haid. “Environmental concerns are growing, and younger consumers are highly connected and acutely aware of the global implications of their purchases. As their spending power increases, expect to see them make buying decisions based on eco-consciousness. People are also increasingly educated about possible carcinogenic ingredients in their personal care products, and are reading labels and looking for natural alternatives.” 
Aveda uses naturally-derived salicylic acid in most of its Outer Peace products.

Ms. Haid also adds that evolving technology with formulating natural products peaks consumers’ interest because they no longer have to sacrifice performance for natural ingredients.

A Clean Sweep

Since 60% of what is applied topically to the skin is absorbed by the body, according to Adena Surabian, president, Nature’s Baby, it’s no wonder skin care is a large area where consumers are looking to incorporate products with natural ingredients into their lives.

Nature Pure Labs recently launched its Cleansing Soy Milk and Tangerine Creamy Sugar Scrub with Hippophae. Cleansing Soy Milk is a gentle cleanser that cleans away dead skin cells and surface impurities and is free of parabens, mineral oil, petroleum gel or added color. The exclusive blend of extracts derived from soy isoflavones, orange blossom and chamomile combined with squalane, hippophae oil, and vitamins A & E leaves skin clean, soft and silky-smooth.

Nature Pure Labs’ Tangerine scrub is an exfoliator that combines rare rejuvenating ingredients such as olibanum oil, ylang ylang, and neroli oil to reveal revitalized, radiant skin.  Its creamy texture glides on skin while sugar granules gently scrub and massage away dead skin cells naturally, leaving skin fresh and smooth.

Tourmaline enhances the effects of the other ingredients in Aveda's cleansers.
Even though the ingredients are natural, they are just as effective at getting the job done as synthetic ingredients according to Nature Pure Labs. Hippophae is a powerful antioxidant that slows down skin maturation and promotes cell tissue regeneration while macadamia oil acts as a skin protectant that absorbs quickly and tangerine oil helps to clear congested skin.

“There are more promising trends in the all natural, natural design and naturally derived categories,” said Leonid Markman, founder and chief executive officer of Nature Pure Labs. Mr. Markman adds that the hot ingredients in skin care are sea minerals, botanicals such as mulberry and licorice for their skin lightening properties and isoflavones derived from soy, kudzu, clove and iris.

Aveda launched its Outer Peace Acne Relief skin care system in July and the company touts it as the first comprehensive skin care line clinically proven to treat and prevent acne using modern, botanical science. In fact, most products in the line utilize naturally-derived salicylic acid––which Aveda harvests from wintergreen oil––to keep skin clear and under control.

The four-step line includes foaming cleanser, acne relief pads, spot treatment and acne relief lotion. In addition to salicylic acid, Aveda makes use of tamanu oil, a strong anti-irritant with antioxidant benefits sourced from South East Asia; saw palmetto, an anti-irritant that helps reduce excess oil; boswellia serrata, which supports skin’s overall natural function; ambla, an anti-irritant and antioxidant and certified organic essential oils including lemon, tea tree and rose geranium.

Charged Up Cleanser

Aveda also introduced Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating cleanser in September, which contains tourmaline crystals to gently exfoliate dull skin and reveal the inner glow.

"When added to the cleanser, tourmaline enhances the effect of the other ingredients––delivering superior moisture, smoothness, radiance and helping to reduce fine lines,” noted Peter Matravers, vice president of research and development for Aveda.

Sodium mannose phosphate, a corn-derived sugar, teams with naturally derived jojoba beads shaped into spheres to provide mild exfoliation without scratching or damaging skin’s surface while a cream base of mango butter, babassu oil and meadowfoam seed oil conditions skin.

Burt’s Bees is no stranger to the natural market, but with consumers demanding natural ingredients now more than ever, the company has been working overtime to develop new products that deliver serious results. Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore scrub gently exfoliates with finely ground peach stone while willow bark clears pores and golden seal controls breakouts. Radiance Day crème contains royal jelly, which is rich with essential amino acids, antioxidant vitamins and minerals to naturally combat free radicals and enhance cell renewal. The formula is blended with bee pollen to maintain skin’s essential moisture and restore natural radiance. Radiance Night crème also makes use of royal jelly, combined with essential amino acids, antioxidant vitamins and key minerals. Almond oil moisturizes, while rosemary and pinetree extracts stimulate cell renewal for a skin boosting overnight treatment. Radiance Eye crème contains chamomile, cucumber and rosehip extract to promote cell renewal and reduce puffiness and swelling while natural mica plays with light to blur fine lines. Soap Bark & Chamomile deep cleansing cream effectively removes makeup and dirt without stripping skin of moisture. Chamomile soothes and echinacea reduces inflammation and tightens pores for healthy skin.

Body Botanicals

Natural product launches aren’t entirely for use on the face however. Bath and body products are increasingly being formulated with natural extracts to answer the consumer demand for a natural lifestyle.

To give customers what they’ve been asking for, Crabtree & Evelyn, a pioneer in botanical formulations for more than 30 years, extended its popular Naturals collection of body bars, scrubs, shower mousse, body butters and mists to now include an in-shower moisturizer and botanical body lotion.

“Hearkening back to our roots as a pioneer in botanical formulations, Crabtree & Evelyn blended the very best of nature and science, tradition and innovation, to develop Naturals––a collection of good-for-you beauty remedies comprised of eclectic blends of botanical extracts, botanical oils and mineral complexes, free of paraben preservatives, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate and propylene glycol,” explained Catie Briscoe, director of PR & Interactive.

Botanical body lotion is a lightweight, silicone-free lotion that absorbs quickly and leaves skin soft, smooth and hydrated. Each formula uses select botanicals to work with individual ingredients for serious skin benefits. Three new scents: milk, sugar and soy to nourish, pink grapefruit and cucumber to tone and edamame, rice and bamboo to rejuvenate debuted in October.

Crabtree & Evelyn’s In-Shower moisturizers are part of the in-shower cleansing regimen to moisturize skin and allow consumers to skip the post-shower body lotion. The scents are unisex and include mango butter and cranberry to revitalize, olive, avocado and basil to condition, edamame, rice and bamboo to rejuvenate and milk, soy and sugar to nourish.

TePoema Complete Calming moisture can be used daily or weekly as an intensive mask.

“Natural products are becoming more mainstream and readily available,” noted Ms. Briscoe. “Manufacturers are investing heavily in natural technology while companies are making more of an effort to deliver products that are good for you.  Now consumers are able to find good quality natural products at more accessible retailers.”

Fragrance (and Irritation) Free

Jason Natural Products has built its company around the natural philosophy and continues to develop new products for its customers with the launch of the Fragrance Free collection of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, satin soap, hand and body lotion and deodorant stick.

“Approximately 15-30% of the population is sensitive to fragrance, a primary cause of skin irritation for many consumers,” said Laura Setzfand, director of marketing. “We recognized that there were no products meeting this consumer need, so we developed the Fragrance Free line, a complete range of hair, skin and body care products. Jason is the only company in the natural category to offer a complete range.”

The main difference with this line is it is truly fragrance free, rather than most products on the market that are just unscented, yet still contain fragrance to mask the odor of the base, according to Setzfand. Each product contains soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile, avocado and vitamin E to help hair and skin retain moisture without irritation.

From Head to Toe

TerraNova recently put its best foot forward with the September launch of its Perfect Pedicure collection, a four-item line to soak, scrub, banish calluses and moisturize feet. The pedicure line is an extension of TerraNova’s popular shea butter collection of bath and body products and “answered customers’ demands for more spa-specific products,” said Laurence Diaco, who handles marketing and PR for TerraNova.

The collection features Tea Tree and Aloe Soothing foot soak to revive tired, achy feet, Crushed Walnut and Spice Warming foot scrub to slough away rough skin, AHA Fruit Acid Therapy cream to dissolve dead skin cells, soften and freshen and Tresses-To-Toes Moisture Remedy cream, which is enriched with 10% shea butter, antioxidant vitamins A and E, avocado and milk proteins to replenish even the driest skin while conditioning nails, cuticles and calluses.

Jason Natural Products' line is truly fragrance-free, not just unscented.

“Many natural and organic ingredients have properties that act to fight disease as well as heal the body in so many different ways,” said Mitchell Merrick, national sales manager. “Products like ours that have natural botanicals and essential oils help to nourish, soften and moisturize the skin, providing a youthful appearance.”

Essencia Aromatics for the Skin launched myriad new products that hit shelves in fall 2006 and according to Juliana Lipe, co-owner, the benefits of using natural products are many.

"Rich, plant-based base oils combined with therapeutic essential oils provide the perfect complement to our skin. Pure, beneficial, botanical ingredients provide vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids which encourage healthy, hydrated skin and fat soluble molecules, found in these botanical substances, are easily absorbed into the skin to heal and nourish.”

Essencia Aromatics’ new essential bath products––Lemon Ginger soaking salts, Rosemary & Eucalyptus soaking salts, Sweet Lavender bath gel and Sweet Lavender soaking salts––are all designed to not only repair skin, but relax the mind with soothing scents. New Essential Oil soaps are available in Lemon Ginger, Lemongrass and Rosemary & Eucalyptus scents to soothe and invigorate and a slew of new skin care products including Chocolate Mint body masque, Rose Geranium body butter and Soothing Ginger massage balm pamper, renew and polish skin with natural ingredients.

“The availability of all-natural products through the internet and the increasing number of consumer publications that focus on natural health and personal care have greatly increased public accessibility to and awareness of botanical products,” noted Ms. Lipe. “Many people who have never experienced the benefits of using natural products in skin care are now taking advantage of this availability.” Ms. Lipe adds that interest has grown among retailers to carry natural product lines in addition to their traditional products to meet consumer demand.

High Performance

Although natural personal care products are becoming more widely used by consumers, those who have yet to take a walk on the natural side may have the old idea that they have to sacrifice product performance for natural ingredients. This couldn’t be further from the truth. With widespread consumer adoption of natural products, consumers begin to expect more from their products. “The bar has been raised in terms of performance and awareness has spread,” observed Iconoculture’s Ms. Haid.

Bare Escentuals created the mineral makeup craze more than 20 years ago and has continued to be an innovative force in the mineral makeup category. The company took minerals to the next level with the launch of its RareMinerals Skin Revival Treatment Night, a time-released, nighttime treatment product composed of Jurassic Soil, a blend of 72 organic macro and micro minerals. It’s available in light, medium, tan or clear and touts serious benefits such as a reduction in pore size, increased cell turnover, a decrease in pigmentation spots and imperfections, reduction of redness associated with acne and rosacea and improved hydration. Vitamins A and C, antioxidants such as white tea and rooibos and natural anti-inflammatories such as wheat germ make RareMinerals a complete nighttime treatment.

Aura Cacia's Natural Perfumes don't extend beyond the wearer's own body space.

Independent clinical studies showed that 85% of users felt their skin texture improved, 81% saw fewer discolorations and 68% saw a reduction in facial lines and wrinkles.

Naturally Retexturized

At-home microdermabrasion has found its way into every segment, from mass to prestige and the treatment has now skated into the natural category, with the October launch of Nature’s Gate Organics Advanced Care Microdermabrasion Skin Refining System. The two-step system comes in a complete kit with Retexturizing cream, Replenishing lotion, a soft-bristled, wooden texturizing brush and a terrycloth headband to keep hair out of the face when using the treatment.

“Most kits on the market utilize cumbersome, electronic brushes and synthetic crystals in the exfoliation crème,” explained Casi Morris, director of marketing, Levlad, LLC/Natures Gate. “We wanted to create a product that utilized natural and organic ingredients from around the globe that promoted skin revival and rejuvenation.”

The Retexturizing cream resurfaces and preps skin with a mix of plant and mineral ingredients including microgranules of volcanic lava stone from the Lipari Islands, crystallized bamboo powder and rice starch to sweep away dead skin cells and certified organic ginger, thyme and nettle to tone and energize skin. The Replenishing lotion hydrates and soothes with cehami to promote cell turnover and wild mango, coneflower, rosehips, fennel and marshmallow to soothe and calm.

“By formulating the products in this kit with some of the most efficacious and exotic indigenous natural ingredients, we created a unique, effective and original concept in skin exfoliation,” added Ms. Morris.

Extremely dry, itchy skin associated with eczema and psoriasis can be an uphill battle for many consumers, especially during the cold winter months. Derma E Natural Bodycare launched a complete line of Psorzema products, piggybacking off the success of its Psorzema Crème. Each product in the line blends therapeutic vitamins and botanicals to help relieve extremely dry, itchy or scaly skin while helping to activate skin’s own healing mechanisms.

“People have long been under the misconception that ‘natural’ means a product is not as strong,” pointed out Linda Miles, director of marketing, vice president of Derma E Natural Bodycare. “Though we still have quite a way to go in educating mainstream consumers, we are in the process of changing the ideology and have already proven to many, via scientific channels, that natural can be even more effective than man-made.”

The entire line consists of Psorzema Crème, Psorzema To Go, Psorzema body lotion and Psorzema body wash. Each product is steroid free and contains effective blends of neem, burdock, bearberry, chamomile, allantoin and vitamins A and E to reduce inflammation and irritation, support skin’s immune system and encourage healing.

Derma E's Psorzema line treats the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis using natural ingredients

“We expect to see an increase in demand for complementary therapies for skin conditions that are usually treated with invasive procedures or oral/topical drugs that can have adverse side effects,” noted Ms. Miles.

Serious Solutions

Tahitian Noni International, founded in 1995 by two food research scientists, keeps close tabs on all ingredients included in its products and owns the processes by which they are harvested and refined. Based on feedback from its customers, Tahitian Noni launched two new products in November that troubleshoot specific problems and deliver serious solutions with all natural ingredients. TePoema Youth Restore Lip Recovery tackles aging issues on the lips and surrounding lip area with noni juice, pineapple, papaya and sugarcane to hydrate and soften, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines around the lip area and improve lips’ color and texture.

TePoema Complete Calming moisture is a rich cream that incorporates noni leaf extract, sea kelp, oat kernel extract and monoi oil to hydrate, soothe and calm redness. The ultra rich cream can be used daily as a deep moisturizer or as a treatment mask once or twice a week.

“The natural category has begun to change and will continue to change the face of the personal care category,” said Ann-Celeste Billings, director personal care and women’s health. “Consumers see natural and organic as lifestyle choices.”

Erbaviva’s Quease-Ease lip balm is a quick fix for nausea that occurs from sea or air sickness and morning sickness. Quease-Ease is petroleum free and nearly 100% organic and blends essential oils of ginger and peppermint to calm upset stomachs while providing a tingling, plumping sensation to lips.

“We wanted to make a product that would act as a distraction for queasiness mainly steered toward use in pregnancy, though others can benefit from it,” explained Erbaviva’s Robin Brown. “The essential oils we use are also reputed to address morning sickness. The ginger provides a stimulating plumping sensation and is also reputed to help queasiness.”

More Than Skin Deep

Even though natural personal care products offer consumers serious skin care benefits, natural ingredients are also making their way into cosmetics and fragrance. Bare Escentuals’ bareMinerals SPF 15 foundation is a consumer favorite and the company continues to develop new products to add to the line.

i.d. bareMinerals Teamed Up, a line of four bareMinerals eye colors in different textures launched in September and includes Soft Focus eyeshadow to provide a sheer wash of color, Cocoa eyeshadow for a darker, more opaque finish, Nude Beach Glimmer for a multi-faceted sheen and Bark Liner Shadow to line the eyes. The four colors work together to create different combinations of rich, layered color using only natural minerals.

i.d. bareMinerals Wearable Eye Collection in Meet the Stones debuted in October and is promoted as a truly wearable trio of colors that complement every skin tone and eye color. Each shade is specially formulated with the right amount of coverage and opacity to be versatile enough for every woman.
Bare Escentuals also developed a nail polish line infused with minerals that hit shelves in November. Chief executive officer Leslie Blodgett invited customers to come up with names for the four-color collection which include It’s Not Red, a violet shade, Tighty Whitey, a bright white, Give Peach a Chance, a creamy peach and Sunny & Share, a sunshine yellow.

Issimo's Guy Gear scrubs skin.

In September Aura Cacia launched a new line of natural perfume, derived from each of the five botanical elements that yield essential oils––roots, flower, fruit, leaf and wood. The natural perfumes are activated by body warmth, which results in a personal essence that accumulates gradually and doesn’t make its way beyond the wearer’s own body space.

Each scent contains only 100% pure, gas chromatography-tested essential oils and a coconut-    derived triglyceride carrier and features a convenient roll-on applicator.

“I definitely see a trend going to more natural and organic––kind of the watered down version of synthetic products,” observed Mindy Seiffert, an aromatherapy category manager for Aura Cacia. “Manufacturers will respond to that even in mainstream.”

A Guy Thing

Women don’t get to have all of the fun when it comes to personal care products, and naturals are no exception. Issimo International uses essential oils, botanical oils and marine proteins that work with skin’s natural self-correcting and maintenance properties, absorbing the essential oils, botanical and marine proteins to work from the inside out. The company promises consumers improved texture, a more comfortable feel and a look that glows.

Issimo created its Guy Gear line for men to address the complex condition of men’s skin. Products such as Tri-Wash Face, Hair and Body cleanser do triple duty in one step by cleansing and lightly conditioning the hair, face and body. Gush Protective facial moisturizer protects skin from fine lines and wrinkles and features a 100% natural preservative system––Biopein. Shield SPF 20 is a light, non-greasy sunscreen that contains cranberry oil to nourish and protect. Face Art Glide shave emulsion aims to streamline the shaving process for men by combining three benefits into one product: pre and post shave treatment and an effective glide for the razor. Natural extracts achieve a close shave that helps to eliminate irritation and razor burn. Face Mud is Issimo’s alternative to facial scrubs and replaces minerals lost from environmental factors with mud derived from the Dead Sea. Hydrolyzed soy protein nourishes and 2% glycolic acid retexturizes and smoothes while chamomile flowers balance the acid. Eye Thing is a firming and anti-inflammatory eye cream that reduces the appearance of fine lines and de-puffs with bromelaine, turmeric and caffeine. Body Scrub exfoliates with grapeseed meal, papaya, pineapple, soya meal and ground walnut shell and natural antiseptic extracts help heal and tone.

A Head Above the Rest

Hair care companies are cashing in on the natural trend and developing hair care products loaded with botanicals.

Aveda launched Pure Abundance hair potion in July, which combines plant-derived ingredients into a high performance styling product. Created to bulk up fine and thinning hair, Pure Abundance increases the diameter of the hair shaft up to 17% thanks to acacia gum and kaolin clay. Pullulan and organic honey provide a 100% naturally derived hold and silica derived from sand helps absorb excess oil from scalp and hair. The product comes in powder form, but instantly morphs into a light, absorbent lotion by rubbing the powder together.

“In both form and function, there’s nothing else like it on the market,” said Antoinette Beenders, global creative director for Aveda. “Potion instantly thickens hair, creating a perfectly sexy, tousled look with hold that’s not stiff.”

Davines launched Nourishing Vegetarian Miracle as part of its NaturalTech line in October. Vegetarian Miracle is a deep conditioning treatment designed to repair extremely dry and stressed hair with red algae to minimize split ends and add luster and body, rice protein and avocado to soften and detangle and vitamin E to restore balance and protect against free radical damage.

Whether a skin care, cosmetic or hair care item, natural personal care products continue to break away from their health store niche and move into mainstream, while offering consumers luxury and high performance.