For a lot of people, a sustainable lifestyle is becoming the new normal. Younger consumers’ lifestyles are busy and full of challenges such as worries about climate change, pollution or being connected via digital devices all the time. The quest is to find a personal balance. Therefore, they have a holistic approach to health and well-being.
Millennials or Generation Z are well educated about skin health being the basis for beauty and look for cosmetic products which are clean, natural and safe.
From niche to mainstream
Today a sustainable and green lifestyle is not a niche anymore, for a lot of people it is becoming the new normal. This is especially true for the younger generations. Their lifestyles are busy and full of challenges such as worries about climate change, pollution or being connected via digital devices all the time. The quest is to find a personal balance. Therefore, they have a holistic approach to health and well-being. This includes active workouts, a healthy diet with no or less meat, a focus on sleep quality and mindfulness. Because for them, health means not only physical health but mental health as well.
When it comes to cosmetics, their focus is on health and well-being as well. Young consumers as the Millennials or Generation Z are well educated about skin health being the basis for beauty. And cosmetic products provide multifaceted possibilities to feel better – be it through the effectiveness of the product or solely through the use, the ritual itself. It is not for nothing that a brand like Rituals, which sells pampering home spa experiences, is extremely successful.top
Focus on ingredients
Well educated as they are, young consumers are increasingly interested in the ingredients a product contains. They clearly know better what ingredients they don’t want to be in their skin care product than which ones they want to be in it. They use apps to check all ingredients and to make sure that they only buy products that are free from all potentially harmful ingredients. They want their products to be safe to use, even if their skin might be sensitive. But living in a world in which climate change is becoming an increasingly real experience means that they are no longer only interested in what impact a product has on them, but also in what impact it has on the environment. The holistic approach becomes a triad of body, mind and nature.top
Natural beauty – clean beauty
Natural products are often considered to be healthier. According to Mintel, in China 87% of consumers believe products with natural ingredients are better for their skin. Natural products are formulated with natural and plant derived ingredients of which some can still be harmful with irritating effects on the skin. The term ‘clean’ is often used to describe products free from certain ingredients such as parabens and sulfates. It does not mean these products are free from synthetics. Clean beauty is said to be safe and do no harm to users or the planet.
The natural and clean labeling started in the food segment and swapped over to the beauty market where it is a major trend now. There are many product labels used in the beauty market such as clean, natural or organic. But where exactly is the difference and which products can the consumer trust? Because of lack of regulations on these terms the consumer is insecure about the wording and difference between natural and clean: According to Mintel 40% of consumers agree that it´s hard to tell if a product is truly natural/organic or not and 27% don´t even understand the difference between “natural” and “clean”.
For this reason, retailers can create their own standards of clean beauty and their own list of criteria for what makes a product ‘clean’. So, the word ‘clean’ has different meaning for different people.top
What all these definitions have in common, however, is the promise of safety – for the consumer and the environment. The uncertainty of consumers over product safety has been further increased by Covid-19. In addition, consumers are placing more focus on the value of a product, i.e. on product performance. Ingredients with scientifically proven efficacy will add credibility and help to gain consumer trust. In the mind of consumers ‘clean” and ‘safe’ are already closely linked to each other. According to Mintel, in China 77% of adults purchase clean beauty products because they are safer than mainstream beauty products.top
What drives the consumer
Labeling a product as ‘clean’ is no longer enough. Clean beauty consumers are not only interested in the ingredients of their products but also in the brands behind the products. They demand a transparent and honest communication. They want the brands they buy to be sustainable and responsible. And they want them to be in an authentic way as they need to believe that a brand really cares and shares their values. Having a strict corporate ethic and being transparent about product sourcing, supply chain and social responsibility becomes a must-have for brands that want to position their products as ‘clean’. Clean beauty consumers want to make a purchase decision that makes them feel better – also about doing something good for the environment. Brands are faced with big challenges. What the clean beauty consumer needs is a reliable partner who can provide them with ingredients that are natural, safe, well documented and scientifically proven to work. A partner who cares – like CLR.top