From Farm to Face

Natural personal care is making an impact in all retail channels.

Peppered with everything from coconut-infused lip oils to rose petal day creams, the natural personal care market is worth nearly $30 billion globally, and growing at double-digit rates, according to recent findings at Kline & Company. Skin care remains the biggest product class by value. Kline also found that the US and Europe are becoming “mature” in natural personal care, as non-GMO products in personal care is a rising trend.

“One of the main trends of late is what we are calling a ‘positively green’ trend,” noted Carrie Mellage, vice president, consumer products, Kline & Company, Parsippany, NJ. “In recent years product claims and marketing messages would focus on the absence of potentially harmful ingredients…today we are seeing a more positive twist, instead focusing on the natural ingredients that the products do contain instead of the potentially harmful ones they do not.”

Mintel delved into the segments and found that select natural and organic hair care products experienced “tremendous growth” between 2009 and 2012; however, sales are on the decline in the most recent 52-week period. With the exception of sun protection, natural skin care product sales have also risen since 2009. This is consistent with consumers’ purchasing behavior, which shows that shoppers are more inclined to purchase naturally positioned skin care products in comparison to other personal care categories, according to Mintel. And, after years of decline, naturally positioned lip products are on an upward trajectory and natural facial cosmetics are continuing to make gains in the category too.

Consumers flock to mass market outposts for natural and organic personal care products (NOPC), according to Mintel. The expansive choice (including the prevalence of NOPC offerings in the personal care category), competitive pricing and convenience offered by mass retailers make them a popular choice for shoppers. These retailers also continue to ramp up their selection of NOPC products while increasing their commitment to becoming more sustainable. Cost can be prohibitive when it comes to buying natural, so retailers that can combine value with natural benefits will likely enjoy continued success in the NOPC category.

“I think the farm-to-face trend continues with consumers wanting more transparency in their personal care products, and loving the sound of an ingredient that comes from a ‘farm’ rather than a lab,” noted Sophie Uliano, resident natural lifestyle expert on Hallmark’s Home & Family network, Los Angeles, CA. “It’s exciting that many of these cutting edge ‘natural’ companies are invested in using plant-based versions of active ingredients such as retinols. Another trend that continues is peptides; again, many of these more ‘natural’ companies are investing money in cutting-edge peptide technology.”

Uliano added that consumers want a “feel-good” story behind a product, as the branding and the “about” section of the company’s website has never been so important. In fact, natural beauty products are no longer a niche market but part of the mega-trend of conscious, healthy living, according to Jasper van Brakel, CEO, Weleda North America, Irvington, NY.

“The demand for natural, organic products show no signs of slowing, and with the growth of chains like Whole Foods Market, Sprouts and Mrs. Green’s across the country, consumers now have greater access to both food and skin care products that are good for them,”  he told Happi.

An Interest in Anti-Aging
According to Joy Akins, scientific and regulatory affairs manager, Natural Products Association, Washington, D.C., the personal care industry has been more focused on anti-aging skin care as the beauty trends are leaning toward a more natural look. 

“There was the craze of BB (beauty balm) creams the past several years, then there was CC (color correcting) creams and now DD (daily defense) creams,” she told Happi. “Consumers are looking for less invasive treatments that don’t require an office visit.”
Tata Harper, founder and CEO of Tata Harper Skin Care, Whiting, VT, agreed.

“Whether it’s for reducing wrinkles, lifting, firming, boosting volume or promoting hydration, they’re not interested in compromising with synthetic, potentially harmful ingredients,” she said. “New natural ingredients that perform topically to deliver the same effect as injectables have been a major trend lately and only are beginning to become more popular and widespread. There are neuropeptides that relax wrinkle-causing subcutaneous muscle contractions, without reducing expression.”

Vitamins, too, remain an important tool in the natural product toolkit. For example, Éminence Organic Skin Care launches this month the anti-aging Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Collection. Using breakthrough botanical technology, this collection delivers a stabilized infusion of antioxidants that defend against free radical damage, the leading cause of age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, while supplying healing properties and promoting a natural collagen boost for the skin. The Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Collection features multiple sources of vitamin C including a unique, highly stabilized and potent vitamin C salt called sodium ascorbyl phosphate. The salt turns into vitamin C once it is absorbed into the skin, which provides optimal potency and results, contends the company.

“We know that vitamins C and E are hero antioxidants in skin care—with incredible abilities to both prevent and repair skin damage that leads to aging. It was challenging to formulate according to the high natural and organic standards we have set at Éminence while ensuring that these vitamins are stable, protected, and therefore beneficial to the skin,” said Dr. Viola Gyovai, PhD. biologist and candidate of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, who is also a product development consultant for the brand and integral to this specific launch. “Our breakthrough formulation is due to the unique cocktail of vitamin C—combining L-ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbyl phosphate, naturally fortified with antioxidant-rich kale and citrus. These products are all natural, made with organic ingredients and extremely efficacious.”

Fellow natural prestige brand Nude rolled out its new Advanced Renewal range this season. The potent eye complex was developed with high-performance natural ingredients to nourish, firm and tighten the delicate eye area; plumping with hyaluronic acid and wrinkle smoothing with Nude’s exclusive polypeptide complex. Argania spinosa leaf extract protects against environmental stress to brighten the ocular region. The Complete Advanced Renewal Collection also includes a serum and overnight mask, which contains nutrient-rich honey to soften and fig extract to refresh skin.

Origins is also bulking up its popular Plantscription line with Plantscription Powerful Lifting Cream, a high-performing formula that works deep within the skin’s surface to help visibly lift and revolumize skin, ultimately restoring youthful facial definition, said the company. To create the formulation, Origins sourced ingredients from around the world, including Indian Commiphora, resin extracted from the bark of a plant indigenous to India, where it is commonly called guggulu or guggul and has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for over 3000 years. It helps visibly restore lost volume and re-densify the skin. In Powerful Lifting Cream, Indian Commiphora works synergistically with the power lift complex, which includes a hyaluronic acid complex to help boost hyaluronic acid and centaurium to support natural collagen production visibly restoring volume and lifting skin.

The complex also features Plantscription’s signature anti-aging powerhouse ingredient, African Anogeissus, a rare extract from the leaves and bark of the sacred Anogeissus tree, native to Ghana, West Africa, where it is harvested as a potent wound healer and antimicrobial.

Fellow natural product leader, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, is also updating its portfolio with the reformulation of its popular Rose Day Cream. Now richer in roses, the best-selling moisturizer provides the same tried-and-true hydrating and harmonizing properties as the original 1967 formulation with added protective properties. With a celebrity fan list that reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood, the Rose Day Cream has been a mainstay in the brand’s skin care range for more than 40 years.

This year, the experts at Dr. Hauschka have added carnauba wax to the original formulation. Carnauba wax provides the skin with greater daily protection, while thickening the cream’s smooth consistency and making it easier to apply. Formulated with even more rose ingredients in its many forms, Rose Day Cream now includes wild rose hip, rose blossom extracts, rose wax, rose water and premium Damask rose oil. Additional ingredients include marsh mallow and St. John’s wort, which fortify the skin and soothe redness, and shea butter and avocado oil, which protect and help retain moisture.

Sourced from one of Dr. Hauschka’s many fair trade cultivation initiatives around the world, the essential ingredients in Rose Day Cream ultimately impact more than just your skin. Dr. Hauschka has established raw materials projects in Bulgaria, Ethiopia and Afghanistan to source the highest quality rose ingredients, according to executives  at the   South Deerfield, MA-based company. The cream hits stores and online this month.

Other Applications
The retail landscape for cosmetics and toiletries is ever-evolving, and consumers do not want to be pigeonholed by a particular channel when shopping. With this in mind, forward-thinking grocery stores are becoming more of a beauty destination and expanding their selection to include quality skin care at affordable prices, as proven by b-leve, based in Skokie, IL.

B-leve skin care is formulated with proprietary natural grape extract technology to provide long-term anti-aging benefits and help revitalize sensitive skin cells that have been damaged by UV-ray induced stresses, contends the company. Additional benefits of grape extracts include firming of the skin, antioxidant repair and protection and improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

“We wanted to bring the same kind of quality skin care available in the prestige marketplace to the local grocer, making it easy for women to find the products they want in a shopping environment that is a part of their daily lives,” according to Tony Harrington, director of business management for b-leve. “Our products reflect that initial goal, with truly effective ingredients like grape extracts that are proven via clinical studies to be powerful anti-agers.”

In addition to effective technology, b-leve products are paraben-free, hypo-allergenic and animal-friendly. Ranging from creamy cleansers to protective moisturizers and high-impact serums, one can enjoy the luxurious feel and superior performance for a fraction of the price of big name brands. In fact, the entire skin care line can be had for less than $100. Products vary from b-luminous facial cleanser, a creamy, surfactant-free facial cleanser that removes dirt and makeup while leaving skin fresh and moisturized; to the b-vibrant rejuvenating day lotion SPF 15, a lightweight day moisturizer that firms and enhances skin tone while protecting against UV damage. All b∙leve products are available at b-leve.com and grocers nationwide including Coborn’s, Giant Eagle and Hy-Vee.

Another key player in the mass market is, of course, Burt’s Bees. The naturals leader introduced a “breakthrough” in skin brightening that boasts dramatic clinical results after just four weeks, according to the company. Burt’s Bees Brightening regimen is a daily arsenal of five formulas which are dermatologist-tested and clinically-proven to visibly brighten skin, diminish the appearance of dark spots and discoloration and even skin tone, while improving skin hydration and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

This regimen derives its potency from wild, white daisies sustainably harvested in the mountains of Macedonia. Daisy extract (Bellis perennis) whose plant name means “perennial beauty,” has been shown to be a natural skin brightening agent, helping to reduce the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation. When combined with a Multi-Fruit Complex including extracts of bilberry, sugar cane, sugar maple, orange and lemon—each formula delivers brightening effects. The Burt’s Bees Brightening regimen includes the Daily Facial Cleanser, Refining Tonic, Dark Spot Corrector, Eye Treatment, and Brightening Even-Tone Moisturizing Cream.

Gluten has become one of the trendiest things to avoid, as millions of Americans are sensitive to this ingredient. While gluten-free foods are everywhere these days, the Jason  brand is introducing its first comprehensive line of gluten-free personal care products in July for the hair, body and face. Products span from a facial cleanser to hand soap to shampoo.

Meanwhile, in prestige, Jurlique’s Purely Bright Treatment Serum also targets shoppers who want to brighten the skin. This high-performance, concentrated serum features Jurlique’s proprietary VitaBrightKX+ complex. According to sources at the Australian-owned marketer, this formula is a pumped up version of the original Purely Bright serum, containing 100% more kakadu plum. That means more natural brightening power to help reduce the look of skin discolorations, and even skin’s tone and texture. This enhanced formula also features an innovative blend of botanical oils for an accumulative moisturization effect that keeps skin smooth and supple.

The new cold-pressed Senegalese Hibiscus Oil from Shea Terra Organics hails from a group of hibiscus farmers in Senegal and is made by hand pressing the seeds from hibiscus flowers. Hibiscus flower seeds produce rare and precious oil that is high in plant sterols, vitamins and essential fatty acids, according to the company. Shea Terra Organics bottles up these skin-loving nutrients to create 100% pure and natural face oil for younger, more radiant looking skin.

Another innovation in oil is from Elemental Herbology. Catering to the cravings for beauty oils, its new Harmonising Cleanse Facial Cleansing Oil harnesses the “ancient wisdom” of Traditional Chinese Medicine and combines it with high-performance ingredients and cutting-edge technology to keep skin radiant and clear, according to the company. Infused with a blend of 100% plant oils, this cleanser gently removes makeup and other impurities while providing skin with necessary nourishment and hydration. The oil’s silky texture adds a bit of indulgence to your cleansing routine, leaving the complexion clean, smooth and refined. Active ingredients include argan oil, jojoba oil, vitamin C, camellia flower, raspberry seed, sweet almond oil and more.

Overall, there’s been an increase in the use of exotic, plant-based ingredients in personal care, according to Ling Chan, celebrity esthetician and owner of Ling Spa and Ling Skincare, New York, NY.

“We are developing products with traditional Eastern herbal ingredients in our formulas,” she said. “Coming from a Chinese background, we use many different herbal remedies every day, such as ginseng and goji berries to promote our health. Westerners are starting to accept the benefits of Eastern medicine.” 

Head to Toe
Skin care SKUs for the bath, shower and beyond are also popular in the green personal care space. The latest creation at prestige naturals brand Korres is the White Grape from the Vineyards of Santorini collection, featuring a moisturizing shower gel and smoothing body cream.

Santorini is one of the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean with its sparkling Aegean blue sea and Cycladic white houses. The collection is infused with white grapes indigenous to Santorini. The grapes are cultivated in the arid volcanic ash rich soil of the island. This ancient vine variety goes back 400 years and remains phylloxera-free. It grows on its own roots with sea mist water, which drifts across the island at night.

Each of the new products offers a distinct, naturally sweet aroma, influenced by the volcanic soil and the sea air. The scent has notes of green apple, floral, citrus and peach for the ultimate Greek Summer sensorial experience, according to the company.
Fellow Sephora-stocked brand, Tata Harper, recently rolled out a Fortifying Body Lotion said to deliver the strengthening and restorative benefits of a serum to the entire body while thoroughly moisturizing for a visibly healthier, hydrated appearance. A concentrated, lightweight formula of nourishing, fortifying, softening and protective ingredients, helps soothe and condition existing dryness while boosting the skin’s natural moisture retention.

Jane Iredale is bulking up its cosmetics and skin care collections with a new hybrid product. Its Golden Shimmer Face and Body Lotion is touted as a lightweight moisturizer that imparts an irresistible golden glow and subtle veil of shimmer designed to warm and smooth the complexion. It can be worn alone or paired with makeup. The natural formula rejuvenates and hydrates with botanical extracts, so it is gentle enough to be used on the face or body, said the company.

Scent is also a powerful component of natural personal care. For example, spa brand Lalicious’ newest scent, sugar lemon blossom, is billed as a refreshing blend of floral notes and lemon zest. The collection includes a Sugar Lemon Blossom Whipped Sugar Scrub, Hydrating Body Butter, Weightless Hand Cream, and Nourishing Lip Butter. More than 10 years ago, Jessica Kernochan struggled to find a highly moisturizing body exfoliator without a dense, oily mess, so she set out to create her own. The result was Lalicious, a cult beauty product with a formulation so unique that no manufacturer could replicate the innovative texture and unbelievable performance, said the company. 

Fellow independent skin care brand Epicuren is harnessing the power of antioxidants with its new Himalayan Superfruit Enzyme Polish, billed as an “exotic enzyme puree” of pomegranate, goji, bilberry, blueberry, cranberry, açai and noni, which is said to dissolve lifeless skin cells while the seeds delicately buff them away.

High in vitamin C, trace minerals, protein, vitamins, antioxidants and iron, these anthocyanin-rich superfruits are believed to possess life-giving and age-defying properties, and will leave skin polished and fresh, contends the company.

Weleda’s latest hair care collection was developed with the assistance of holistic experts backed by Weleda’s understanding of how natural ingredients support health and beauty. Each product is formulated around a lead “cereal” plant selected for its own extraordinary restorative abilities. Wheat targets specific hair needs and serves as the key plants in these nutrient-rich, harmonizing shampoos, conditioners and treatments. Ideal for the whole family, Weleda’s hair care products provide the scalp and hair with exactly what they need—and no more.

The latest release is the Oat Replenishing shampoo, conditioner and treatment. Organic oat extract helps strengthen hair, reduces breakage and mends split ends; while organic jojoba oil replenishes and smoothes dry, damaged hair. In the conditioner, white mallow provides replenishing moisture; and organic coconut oil promotes shiny, soft hair. In the treatment, organic shea butter softens tresses and adds moisture; while vitamin-rich organic sea buckthorn oil protects from damage and organic coconut oil promotes shiny, soft locks.

Phyto is also utilizing the power of plants with its Phytopolléine Botanical Scalp Treatment, an essential oil blend that awakens the scalp. This formula utilizes the natural powers of rosemary, sage, cypress, eucalyptus and lemon to instantly purify the scalp and catalyze microcirculation. It is recommended for those suffering from an unbalanced scalp whether it is dry, oily, itchy or irritated.
The company also rolled out Phyto 7, a daily leave-in treatment for fine and medium-textured hair. Infused with seven pure and natural plant extracts, this weightless cream instantly hydrates, smoothes and protects tresses while preventing frizz, static and split ends.

The Future Is Bright
For 2015 and beyond, more natural companies will seek to up the ante by way of formulations, noted Uliano of Hallmark.
“Up until now, there has been a huge divide between ‘natural’ and ‘scientific’ beauty,” she explained. “This gap is closing because women are now meeting in the middle—they want safe, wholesome products; however, these products must contain the kinds of potent actives that are going to make a difference.”

Uliano added that consumers will continue to demand more transparency from personal care companies, as social media puts pressure on marketers that don’t comply.

Mass market inventory and novel packaging will also drive natural the personal care sector, according to van Brakel of Weleda (for more on packaging trends, turn to p. 53 in this issue of Happi).

“More people than ever are now shopping for non-GMO items in the grocery aisle—this trend is likely to cross over to personal care as well. We already see this happening,” he said. “Manufacturers are also always striving to improve packaging and usability, and that is certain to continue into 2015.”

Kline projects that the market will reach $46 billion by 2018. According to Mellage, “We expect newness and innovation to remain critical, with future launches revolving around new and interesting plant extracts and botanical ingredients. We also expect that sustainability will become increasingly important.”

That’s good news for companies that have staked their claim in this increasingly crowded space.

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