Google recently released report on current skin care trends1 that confirms continued international interest in natural skincare.
Citing statistics from the U.S., Japan, and France, the report1 reveals several interesting highlights:
- Searches for vegan skin care have grown by 83% year over year in the U.S. Top trending searches include vegan soap, vegan skin care, and vegan face wash.
- Japan searches have particular interest in cleanser formulations. Search growth for enzyme, carbonated, and water cleansing indicate demand for gentle but powerful cleansing techniques.
- Many of the top ingredient searches further confirm interest in natural materials, such as clay, aloe vera, charcoal, coconut oil, and micellar water.
- Another top search trend among all three countries is bathing, with U.S. search appearing to indicate an interest in “crafting personalized bath time experiences with...natural ingredients.”
While the report didn’t reference search trends for natural preservatives or colorants specifically, the overall trend of interest in natural ingredients could be extrapolated to imply that.
Further, according to Grand View Research, Inc., the global organic personal care market was estimated at USD 10.16 billion in 2015, and is expected to reach USD 25.11 billion by 20252.
With that in mind, we asked our expert Personal Care contributors George Deckner, Priscilla Taylor, and Perry Romanowski for some tips on working with natural preservatives.
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- In Europe and Japan, use preservatives on the approved lists. If you use an unapproved ingredient with known antimicrobial activity, you can face regulatory action unless an approved ingredient is included in the formulation.
- The most important thing when choosing a natural preservative is getting a good definition of what is considered natural. By the strictest definition, there is no such thing as a natural preservative. If your marketing department considers Phenoxyethanol or Benzyl Alcohol natural, then those are good choices.
- Natural preservatives are more difficult to work with. In most cases, you'll have to control the pH and formulate at pH 5.0 or below.
- Use the "hurdle strategy" which will help inhibit microbial growth - not just with your preservative choice, but also with your choice of pH, production conditions, chelating agents, packaging and more.
- Get specific direction on exactly which ingredients your company allows you to use and which to avoid. Follow what your natural standard guide publishes (e.g. Ecocert, COSMOS, EWG). But ultimately, it is up to your company to decide what they consider natural. And that should come from your consumers.
- There are natural colorants but things like Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides and Titanium Dioxide, which can be found in nature, are synthetic when used in cosmetics. In fact, only synthetic versions are approved by FDA.
- Include chelating agents and other ingredients that can help boost the efficacy of a less-effective preservative. Naturally-produced chelators can reduce formulation preservative levels by as much as 70%. Typical use levels are only .05-.1%.
- When using natural preservatives, make sure you test and re-test. As holds true for any preservative for which there is limited in-use data, preservation efficacy testing of the final formula would provide assurances of the effectiveness of any natural preservative being considered.
- Think with Google: Google Unmakes the Skin Care Trends of 2017
- Grandview Research: Organic Personal Care Market Size and Forecast By Product (Skin Care, Hair Care, Oral Care, and Cosmetics), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa) And Trend Analysis From 2014 To 2025
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