Growing environmental awareness and healthy lifestyles are fuelling demand in natural ingredients for skincare – and this trend is particularly strong among the all-important Millennials.
They may be locked out of the housing market, but Millennials are not shy when it comes to using their credit cards on personal items. In fact, they spend more than any other generation on cosmetics and personal care products.
However, they are no pushovers. Millennials won’t be flogged products they perceive to be harmful to their health or may damage the environment.
They are demanding personal care products that complement their healthy lifestyles. They are selecting cruelty-free and sustainably-sourced goods that give them a guilt-free conscience. And they are increasingly choosing environmentally friendly packaging.
More and more consumers perceive that chemicals made naturally are harmless, whereas man-made ingredients can damage their health or the environment. Regardless of the validity to these perceptions, there is a strong market force at play here. And to capture a slice of this market, you will need to do more than add a natural ingredient or two to your product.
Natural active ingredients, such as plant and vegetables-based actives, appeal to many consumers. And as this segment grows, it rests upon R&D professionals and formulators to develop next generation materials to stabilise and extend the shelf life of natural active-based ingredients.
Fortunately, there have been significant leaps in formulation technology in the naturals category, especially when it comes to efficacy, which is helping take this category to a more sophisticated level.
Targeted delivery systems are one area where technology is improving how active ingredients are applied to the skin, for example through encapsulation, plant stem cells, and peptides.
Thanks to cutting-edge technology, the wonder ingredient Retinol can now be stabilised using microencapsulation. Because the Retinol molecule breaks down easily when it comes in contact with oxygen, light and metal ions, until recently, cosmetic manufacturers had to take great care to minimise its degradation.
However, innovative microencapsulation technology can protect the active molecule so it remains active for the shelf life of a product, providing consumers with even better skincare results.
Stem cells have the ability to renew and repair damaged cells, thus avoiding the ageing process. Apple Stem Cells, for example, are highly effective in stimulating and promoting the longevity and activity of stem cells in human skin to help delay the signs of aging. While stem cells from the leaves of the Alpine Rose improve cell regeneration and the quality of our skin barrier.
As we get older, our natural repair processes slow. Peptides stimulate these processes and enhance the body’s natural responses. Peptides stimulate the release of our natural human growth hormone which, in adulthood, repairs tissue.
The negative impact that microplastics are having on marine life and waterways is in the global spotlight. And it’s not just consumers demanding better practices from the beauty industry. Governments around the world are banning the use of Polyethylene in cosmetics.
If you haven’t already made the switch, it is vital that you reformulate products containing microplastic particles with natural, biodegradable alternatives that won’t affect the environment.
As you will be aware, the Australian Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, threatened to introduce a law banning microbeads if the industry doesn’t phase them out voluntarily.
In New Zealand a ban on microplastic particles begins in July 2018, the US has already banned them, they are banned in some European countries, and Canada is considering a ban.
Natural alternatives to microplastic particles include: shells, (almond, coconut and apricot) kernels, minerals, (blackcurrent, cranberry and kiwi) seeds, flowers, leaves and fruit.
Image courtesy of: biobloomonline.com