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The Skin Care Industry Goes Natural

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all naturalThe organic trend has become a movement, leading more skin care companies to develop natural and organic products. Some companies are rolling out entire branded lines featuring natural ingredients. Companies that do not offer their own natural products are acquiring or merging with those that do. Organic and natural products have permeated both the premium and mass-market segments of the skin care industry.

Even the difficult-to-enter male personal care market has welcomed natural ingredients. In the UK, the male-focused brand BullDog from Little Wing Trading doubled its sales between 2009 and 2011. The development of organic products has had a positive impact on natural products featuring plant-based ingredients. Natural products tend to be less costly than organic versions, making them attractive to mass markets.

Media focus has increased consumer awareness of several ingredients traditionally used to make personal care products. Preservatives classified as parabens represent one example. Parabens are used to make thousands of personal care products ranging from toothpastes, to shampoos, to skin moisturizers. Consumers are receiving the message that parabens are harmful, leading them to seek paraben-free versions of their favorite skin care products.

Sulphates and triclosan are two other substances that have been branded as harmful by the media. Environmental groups have jumped on the bandwagon, increasing consumer awareness of the negative aspects of these common personal care product ingredients. As a result, consumers are now demanding products free of sulphates and triclosan. Media attention is a powerful influencer of consumer perception, indirectly affecting manufacturers of skin care and beauty products.

This trend toward natural and organic products is particularly noticeable in emerging markets including Russia and Brazil. Forecasters expect this trend to continue as the global economy improves. As consumers in these markets increase their spending power, they become sophisticated shoppers. Given the choice of a chemical-laden or natural skin care product, many consumers will spend more for a natural version in order to protect themselves and the environment. Within the next five years, a significant “green” sector is expected to develop within major emerging markets.

As more consumers become aware of potential hazards of chemicals used to make skin care and beauty products, the skin care industry will continue to transform. Manufacturers can capitalize on this shift by replacing chemical ingredients with natural substances. This may even provide an entry point into a global marketplace of consumers eager to take a natural approach to skin care.

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