We look at the future of beauty in 2018 – ethical and centred on sustainability.
Environmental challenges, such as climate change and a global decrease in biodiversity, are set to impact all facets of our lives, and our beauty cabinets are no exception. And while all things natural have been the beauty trend du jour for the past couple of years now, natural ingredients that many brands rely on are set to become a limited resource. “At the rate the beauty industry is cashing in on nature, natural resources will be at risk of scarcity,” explains Sharon Kwek, senior innovation and insights analyst, beauty and personal care, at leading market researcher, Mintel.
Kwek says that for the industry to keep up with the demands of natural-hungry beauty consumers, a dependence on science and technology will be crucial: “Brands should make efforts to educate consumers on how ingredient sourcing can be done differently without compromising on quality.”
In the coming years, beauty brands will also need to look to robotics, automation and biotechnology in order to maximise yields. “Aeroponics and hydroponics are alternatives to explore when harvesting natural ingredients,” Kwek adds.
To ensure the products we are purchasing really are sustainable and environmentally friendly, natural lipstick creator Karen Murrell believes that in the next few years we’ll start to see ingredients come with ‘birth certificates’. “I predict you will see these certificates starting to appear on more progressive companies’ websites,” she says. “This will be the start of total traceability of natural make-up from the grower or producer of that ingredient to the manufacturer and then on to the end user.”
A growing number of us might want our favourite beauty brands to be natural and organic, but we also need them to be safe, efficacious, sustainable and to have a shelf life that stacks up. “In the past we’ve had these laboratory-formulated actives that were very potent and very effective but potentially irritating, and then a swing to more holistic, natural-based botanical products, which weren’t doing any harm, but weren’t providing the same kind of efficacy as the synthesised versions,” explains Dr Dendy Engelman, Elizabeth Arden consulting dermatologist. “I think we’re going to see an elevation in the clean beauty space with more potent actives similar to those formulated in the lab.”
Mintel’s Kwek agrees, explaining that it won’t be possible for beauty brands to solely rely on nature in the long run. Instead, she says beauty brands will need to turn to biotechnology to help replace natural ingredients with safe, synthetic green ingredients: “Biotechnology boosts the merging of naturals and technology while ensuring the safety and purity of ingredients and formulations.”