For years, cosmetic manufacturers have used potentially harmful ingredients in toiletries and cosmetic products such as toothpaste, body scrubs, and exfoliators. Since these products contain microplastics (in the form of microbeads, tiny pieces of plastic) they are not only less effective than their natural counterparts but can cause great damage to ecosystems after being disposed of.
In 2018, higher consumer awareness means that these facts have commercial implications. As health- and environment-conscious lifestyles intersect and combine, ethical questions start to take a precedent in shaping purchase decisions.
How are cosmetic companies adapting to this trend?
Several companies, including industry giants like Unilever (owners of the Dove brand), have taken note of what consumers want and are replacing microbeads in their cosmetic products with natural ingredients. As of January 2018, the UK has even banned microbeads in products outright and the Beat The Microbead campaign keeps an active list of companies pledging to not use microbeads.
Brands are finding that switching to natural alternatives to microbeads provides customers with the results they need while being far gentler on the environment. To stay ahead of the curve, cosmetic brands can progressively start to eliminate plastic microbeads and replace them with more of these organic ingredients.
As customers contemplate switching to more ethical brands, they don’t simply look at the price, but also at how unique the product is, if there is the alignment of values between themselves and the brand, how the product itself feels on their skin and if it has the revitalizing exfoliating properties.
Benefits of integrating non-synthetic ingredients into natural exfoliants
Olive stone granules and almond shell granules can be easily integrated into skin cleansing products, Both of these ingredients are chemically versatile and provide restorative properties to the skin, acting as natural abrasives for face, dental and body scrub applications.
Cosmetic brands can use this opportunity to win new customers by releasing new product lines featuring different core ingredients. To do this, the company’s R&D team has to stay on the lookout for natural ingredients that will help the product stand out on the crowded shelves, and establish a loyal base of customers.