The Green Way

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | January 21, 2013

Marketers are keeping up with the growing demand for natural personal care.

Going green by way of natural personal care is becoming a lifestyle for some—further fueling both R&D innovations and consumer followings, one SKU at a time. Forty percent of respondents say they feel more confident using beauty and personal care products made with natural ingredients and another 22% feel this way about certified organic, according to a September 2012 survey by Mintel, Chicago. 

“In the age of parabens, phthalates and high-fructose corn syrup, ingredients that come straight from the source carry a sense of comfort and trust,” said Molly Maier, category manager, health and household, beauty and personal care, Mintel. 

Even an allusion to pure ingredients can suffice—which may be why ingredients such as apple, pomegranate and almond have become so prevalent in beauty and personal care products, noted Maier. Additionally, consumers regard sustainable production practices as important. Sustainability is more than a passing trend; it is becoming something consumers expect from manufacturers—some 50% of respondents say it is important to them that beauty and personal care products are produced in a sustainable way, according to Mintel.

However, companies cannot just throw on a “green” look and expect consumers to buy into it. 

“Consumers are looking for companies that truly walk the talk and whose image is rooted in these practices,” said Maier.

The beauty industry is also increasingly turning to the sea in the search for new ingredients, according to Organic Monitor, which noted that that although many novel raw materials are emerging, they are raising many questions about sustainability. Cosmetic and ingredient firms are developing new materials from coastal plants, seaweeds, algae and sea minerals. 

Meanwhile, the term, “certified organic” is appearing on labels for such disparate products as apparel, tissue and hygiene and dietary supplements. But, aside from food and drink, cosmetics remain the biggest category for certified organic products, according to Euromonitor International. Due to strong awareness of organic principles in the US, North America offers the greatest potential for the development of organic cosmetics or personal care products, according to the market research firm. This strong growth shows that North America is the “prime target market” for companies exploring organic beauty. Niche natural and organic personal care brands are becoming mainstream and, as a result, are increasingly sold in drugstores and supermarkets, thus expanding the consumer base. 

According to Packaged Facts, natural HBC sales through all US retail channels were nearly $8.5 billion as of the end of 2011 (2012 figures were not available at press time). In fact, natural HBC sales increased 78% between 2005 and 2011, according to Packaged Facts.

Critical Mass
Marketers are capitalizing on the green trend. Seventh Generation recently debuted a line of personal care products derived from plant-based formulas, including bar soap, body wash, lotion, hand wash and facial cleansing wipes. The range features the USDA Certified Biobased label—the first full health and beauty care line to do so, according to the company. Thenew certificationdiscloses the percent of renewable plant- and marine-based elements in products versus petroleum (a non-renewable resource). 

These Seventh Generation products contain fragrances made from natural essential oils and botanical extracts instead of synthetic fragrances. For example, the hand wash is available in chamomile and mint variations; the wipes, mandarin or lavender.
Garnier’s new Soothing Remover Cleansing Towelettes for Sensitive Skin are said to be alcohol-, dye- and fragrance-free; while calming plant extract and vitamin E relieve and prevent skin redness and irritation.


J.R. Watkins is harnessing the power of pequi oil in a new body butter.
Also in mass, J.R. Watkins Naturals launched a line of body butters. New Apricot & Pequi Oil Body Butter features antioxidant-rich pequi oil, extracted from the seeds of Brazilian-grown pequi fruit. It boasts a 97% natural formulation and offers intense hydration for skin, according to the company.

“Body Butter is one of the fastest-growing beauty categories and we’re thrilled to offer consumers a natural and affordable option that features an ingredient like Brazilian pequi oil,” said J.R. Watkins’ vice president of sales and marketing J.R. Rigley.

Pequi oil naturally contains essential fatty acids and vitamins A and E, and has been used for centuries to provide deep, long-lasting moisture to skin. J.R. Watkins leveraged these benefits in a formula rich with shea and cocoa butters and apricot kernel and avocado oils.

A mascara with green ingredients.

Dr. Hauschka applies its skin care approach to color cosmetics.
Mustela, a top-selling baby care and stretch mark brand in Europe, added on to its clinically proven Dermo-Pediatrics product range with the new Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm. Specially formulated to address the needs of babies whose skin is more vulnerable, this rich, deeply hydrating formula alleviates sensitivity, relieves itching and soothes irritated, eczema-prone skin. The balm is formulated with Mustela’s natural, patented active ingredient, sunflower oil distillate. Sunflower oil in its natural state contains significant quantities of essential fatty acids that are known to improve skin barrier function, according to the company. 

The Honest Company, Santa Monica, CA, is expanding its 100% non-toxic product line with a new organic lip balm trio said to be gentle enough for the whole family. The set includes a lip balm in lavender mint, sweet orange vanilla and unscented Purely Simple.

“Today’s shoppers are proactive about pursuing healthier, safer alternatives when it comes to everyday personal care products. Whether it’s a veteraneco-friendly consumer who scrutinizes labels or a person who is new to natural living, shoppers want brands they can trust and that actually perform,” noted Christopher Gavigan, company co-founder. “In our experience at Honest.com, our customers don’t want a vague list of questionable ingredients that require a chemistry degree to decipher, they don’t want products that are ‘green washed’ and promise to be all natural but actually contain toxic chemicals, and they don’t want something that is expensive and fails to do its job. Because they are both savvy and busy, our shoppers want a trusted one-stop-shop for effective personal care products.” 

Fame and Fortune
Prestige marketers are also tapping into the demand for natural personal care. First Aid Beauty (FAB), sold at Sephora stores, expanded its sensitive skin care collection with Dual Repair, its first-ever anti-aging range. Created by industry veteran Lilli Gordon of Newton, MA, FAB products are paraben-, chemical- and colorant-free.

First Aid Beauty Dual Repair Eye Cream is new for 2013.
Dual Repair reportedly harnesses a breakthrough combination of ingredients to strengthen the skin barrier, stimulate the dermal matrix and reduce skin sensitivity. Each product contains a proprietary blend that includes the age defying and barrier strengthening actives such as astaxanthan, a potent antioxidant derived from marine micro-algae; SymCalmin, a derivative of oats that reduces inflammation, redness and itching; argirelin, an acetylated hexapeptide that reduces wrinkle formation and redness; ascorbyl glucoside, a form of vitamin C that smoothes and brightens the skin; and lana blue, an extract of blue algae with retinoid-like activity. 

“I saw a need for an integrated solution that went beyond anti-aging alone. The Dual Repair collection simultaneously heals and rejuvenates skin for optimal results,” said Gordon.

Origins Plantscription SPF 25 utilizes raspberry plant stem cells to fight aging.
Next month, Origins will bulk up its Plantscription brand with a SPF 25 anti-aging cream. This new plant-powered face cream is said to contain 300,000 raspberry plant stem cells and visibly reverses signs of aging. It also uses the line’s signature anti-aging powerhouse ingredient, African anogeissus. 

MAC, another Estée Lauder brand, is sourcing from higher grounds with the new Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator. According to the company, this unique foaming scrub contains natural volcanic ash and fine sugar crystals to deeply cleanse pores.

Marketers are also expanding green personal care offerings to include furry friends who could use a little TLC. John Masters Organics recently introduced an organic pet care line. The range features lemongrass and flaxseed shampoo and conditioner. These pet-pampering products contain essential oils of neem, citronella and eucalyptus to ward off fleas and ticks while lemongrass and flaxseed oils help to promote a healthy coat, according to the company. As an added bonus, the lemongrass works as a disinfectant to keep even the most mischievous pets fresh and clean. A portion of the proceeds from the product sales will go to help animal shelters around the US. The brand also recently rolled out a Eucalyptus & Agave Face Wash & Shave Foam combination product for men.

Color Me Green
Natural ingredients are being utilized in the cosmetics segment, too. Dr. Hauschka Skin Care’s Limited Edition Spring 2013 color collection includes three new limited-edition, all-natural products and two new eyeshadow brushes. The eyeshadow trio features plant extracts, including anthyllis and black tea, to nurture and support the delicate skin around the eyes while a smudge-resistant black mascara, made with neem leaf to strengthen lashes, is formulated with beeswax, candelilla and rose waxes too. 

“We provide luxurious experiences that please the senses—our fragrances, composed of essential oils, work wonders to soothe and energize—however, the goal of our products is to support skin health through natural, gentle transformation,” explained Mirran Raphaely, CEO, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, South Deerfield, MA. “That’s what our products do—and that’s what shoppers want from natural skin care—or any skin care, for that matter.” 

Burt’s Bees is cashing in on the natural beauty trend with a new set of lipglosses formulated with 100% natural ingredients filled with moisturizing botanical oils and beeswax, of course. Tarte also recently rolled out a maracuja lip exfoliant.

A new compact from Physicians Formula expands on the BB trend.
“Masstige” marketer Physicians Formula is rolling out a line of “BB cream-inspired” color cosmetics that contain white willow bark extract for natural exfoliation as well as encapsulated glycerin and perilla ocymoides fruit extract that acts as an anti-aging ingredient. The brand is bulking up its line of Organic Wear Mascaras with Fake Out, said to deliver a false lash-like effect with added volume, length, and curl; along with 24-hour wear and ingredients of 100% natural origins, 70% of which are organic.

Next Up in Naturals
The US natural HBC market is expected to hit $13.6 billion (retail) by 2016, gaining 78% from 2012 to 2016. Taking a closer look at the category, sales of natural skin care products will approach $9.4 billion.

Tarte Maracuja Lip Exfoliant
While the beauty and personal care market is well-positioned for future growth, messaging and marketing for products will likely need to make slight shifts in order to resonate with well-informed, socially-conscious consumers looking for products that are good for them and the environment, noted Maier of Mintel. 

“Traditional top-down marketing may not convince a new generation of beauty and personal care shoppers who are skeptical of claims and will search out the best quality for the best price,” Maier explained. “Instead, a more social approach, incorporating a variety of methods, may prove more successful. Magazine and third-party are areas to explore, as are online campaigns via social media outlets.” 

Gavigan of The Honest Company agreed. 

“With the proliferation ofEtsy-like marketplaces on the internet, increasing access to independent producers around the world, we’ll see huge growth in small batch, handcrafted andartisanalnatural personal care products,” Gavigan told Happi. 

Shoppers’ commitment to supporting small businesses and socially-minded merchants has increased the demand for products that exhibit the refinement, heritage and authenticity of handmade items—as well as contain unique local ingredients like the clays of Italy, berries of Maine, salts of Hawaii, and creams of Vermont, he added.

“More companies will manufacture their own products because access to natural ingredients is improving and they’ll have more control over sourcing the quality of their ingredients and the ultimate formulations,” Gavigan said. “This, in turn, will encourage more transparency and honesty about manufacturing processes and ingredients…In the near future, I hope we’ll see 100% plant-based and sustainably sourced products—inside and out.”

Amazon Bulks Up Natural Personal Care Offerings
Amazon.com is expanding its roster of green beauty SKUs. The following products are new to the Amazon site and were selected based on trends that the company anticipates in 2013.

“The Simple products have been especially popular this year and we anticipate that a lot of people will gravitate toward natural products that help their skin retain moisture in the colder January and February months,” noted Alex Stathis, a spokesperson for PMK*BNC, one of the beauty public relations agencies representing Amazon.com.

Here's a look of what's in the stock:
Why the Raspberry?
Among all the raspberry variants that were evaluated, the red raspberry variety Rubus idaeus chosen as the source of stem cells wasthe one that contained the highest level of biologically-active compounds, according to Origins in reference to its latest Plantscription rollout. The raspberry strain was identified in Dei Lombardi, near Avellino, on the Apennine Mountains in Italy. In 1980, a major earthquake devastated the small town. After rebuilding brickby brick, a British expatriot with a passion for gardening was inspired to plant raspberry bushes. They flourished in the rich Italian soil and ripened into plump, succulent berries. 

A Tree For Every Product Sold…
Éminence Organic Skin Care takes its long-standing commitment to the environment to a new level to fight global climate change. Every time one of its active organic or Biodynamic products is purchased, a portion of the proceeds goes toward planting a tree. The company expects to plant the equivalent of more than 1000 football fields of trees in the program’s first year.

“We’re so excited about our Forests for the Future initiative. Planting even just one tree can make such a difference,” said Boldijarre Koronczay, president and founder, Éminence. “Deforestation is the leading cause of climate change. If we want to protect the future of our planet, and our own health, tree planting has to be a part of the plan. We’re committed to rebuilding and restoring the environment one product, and now one tree, at a time.”

More info: www.eminenceorganics.com/en-US/