100% Natural in cosmetics is not always better. it's all relative

100% Natural in cosmetics is not always better. it's all relative

Eva Lagarde

Like zero plastic, 100% natural is not necessarily realistic and better for the environment. I used to think that plastic was the problem, but actually waste and microplastic is the issue.

We need to learn to design for recyclability and for the planet. (we touch on that in the Sustainable Beauty Packaging course).This week at InCosmetics global we could see a lot of claims surrounding “sustainability”. It’s now a heavy buzzword, and we need to learn to differentiate the reality from the myth.

Consumers are looking to buy only biodegradable packaging as a way of discarding products in a “guilt-free” manner. But it’s actually not that simple on a technological aspect. It does not always work.

It goes the same with the formula. Eco conscious consumers are looking for 100% natural formulas to remove the stress from their environmental impact. But, it doesn’t necessarily work better for the planet.

Cosmetics are not a basic necessity good (like food and drink), so we shouldn’t use rare plants, or specific culture for cosmetics only. In other words we shouldn't dedicate land or deplete a natural resource for a secondary good. And this is when biotech is interesting when we can cultivate in bioreactor plants, algae, bacteria that would have amazing functions within cosmetics.

Also, natural ingredients are less stable in quality or function, so it can be tricky to formulate. Not impossible, but more challenging.

I’m not saying we should not use or claim naturalness in our beauty products. I’m just saying, it’s not that simple, and we should learn about the best options for our brand and beauty products and explain it to consumers accordingly.

Book a call with me if you have questions about your packaging or formulation, or if you want to learn more about sustainability in beauty.


Sensitive formula means MORE packaging

Why it’s interesting
One of the contradictions of sustainability, is the more natural the formula, the more sensitive it is, and the more packaging it needs to protect its active ingredients. Here this ingenuous brand has developed a specific packaging to mix the formula and active application. The idea is not new, but the application is. Here's a lot of packaging has been used, but at least it is “refillable” and refills are recyclable.

Key Takeaways
- 4 actives formulas and 1 base formula
- Glass Jars and Aluminium cap for the refill
- Take Back program for Globe + Dispenser and Base

After Verifying That Skincare Degrades, Unilever Ventures-Backed Exponent Created A System To Deliver Skincare At Peak Potency - Beauty Independent
After 60 days, Exponent finds the average skincare product loses half of its potency. It created a dispenser that blends skincare on demand.

Is the metaverse more sustainable than the physical world?

Why it’s interesting
Metaverse is everywhere and concerns with its environmental impact are starting to arise. For example, “Together, Bitcoin and Ethereum mining operations emit more than 70 million tonnes of CO² into the atmosphere… Because the metaverse is in its infancy, so too are its impacts. Intel predicts that as the metaverse grows, it will require 1000x its current computing capacity” … scary!

Key Takeaways
- Reduce carbon impact with data centres run on green energy
- Remember because it's digital doesn’t mean it’s free from environmental harm

How Brands Can Help Build the Metaverse Responsibly | Ogilvy
The latest chapter in our metaverse series spotlights the challenges and opportunities that come with building the metaverse responsibly. Read How Brands Can Help Build the Metaverse Responsibly by Sara Whelchel, Jaime Mougan, Elise Alverson at Ogilvy.

Ingredients trends at InCosmetics

Why it's interesting
We visited the Global ingredients show this week and we saw a few trends. Sustainability was everywhere but in more details upcycled ingredients and alternatives to functional ingredients derived from petrochemicals.

Key Takeaways
- WASTAR pink berry by Lucas Meyer won the Gold award on active ingredients
- PemuPur™ START polymer by Lubrizol Life Science won the Gold award on functional ingredients

Cosmetic Ingredients Trade Show | in-cosmetics Global
in-cosmetics Global is the leading cosmetic trade show for personal care ingredients. Network, learn, and discover new products at the ultimate cosmetics expo.