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

Apr 8 / 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.
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