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New Research in Natural Ingredients

By: Sherrie Berry
Posted: November 30, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

This article originally ran in the July 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

  • The natural beauty market only continues to grow in popularity, forcing brand owners to now seek new natural ingredient alternatives for cosmetic formulations.
  • Don’t be fooled by the chemical names of ingredients—often, despite complicated names, these ingredients are still natural and/or organic.
  • Preservatives are another place where natural cosmetic ingredients come into play, so its important to stay informed on what’s available and efficacious.

Have you ever enjoyed or benefited from a man-made lake? If you have, you will appreciate the new research in natural ingredients. Why? Consider this: A man-made lake is none other than natural ingredients moved or manipulated for the purpose of providing beneficial resources, such as energy, drinking water and food.

So it is with natural ingredients. Recent research has shown that if you combine or manipulate certain natural ingredients, they can enhance each other’s performance in a synergistic way, providing beneficial and effective results. Currently, due to the beauty industry’s relative self-regulation, beauty brand owners are able to make natural claims without certification.

The Natural Revolution

The natural revolution is quietly gaining momentum in the beauty industry.

  • Organic and natural sales growth in the U.S. is increasing every year.
  • Consumers are increasingly interested in natural beauty products.
  • According to Lee Kynaston, editor of Men’s Health magazine in the United Kingdom, men are inquiring and requesting all-natural products for their unique skin care issues.
  • Baby boomers are looking for healthier alternatives, from natural or organic food and clothing to pet food and makeup.
  • Young people are increasingly choosing organic clothing, food and skin care.

It is easy to understand why beauty brands are ramping up their research and rushing to satisfy this consumer demand. However, ask any beauty industry product development team how these trends have affected their daily routine, and they will say it’s a tough job. It’s difficult to maintain natural or organic standards—as upheld by organizations such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Ecocert—and also make sure a formula is silky smooth, neutral or pleasantly scented, neutral or pleasantly colored, pleasantly textured, easy to absorb, nonoily/non-greasy, non-comedogenic, non-allergenic, hydrating, fair trade, eco-friendly, with a reasonable shelf life and, last but not least, just as effective as a conventional product, or better. It is a challenge to say the least.