With the rise of clean, natural, organic, green, and blue beauty, we are on the hunt for healthier, more sustainable choices when it comes to selecting beauty products. Now more than ever before, sustainability is a conscious choice and we are far better informed. Not only have we come to understand the impact of our choices, but companies have made this part of their top line agenda – from packaging to formulations.
One of the interesting trends that has become more prevalent in the marketplace is that of anhydrous products – otherwise known as waterless formulations.
Water is a precious commodity, and according to a recent report by Mintel, in the decades to come, water will be considered a luxury. Beauty and fashion brands are very much aware of this with Unilever stating that they have reduced the volume of water used in their manufacturing methods by 40% and L’Oréal recently claiming to have set a target of reducing water consumption by up to 60% for each of their finished goods. This thought process is trickling across the industry with many rethinking their future necessity for water.
Waterless beauty? The term originates in South Korea. The Asian market is known to lead many a beauty trend and Korean manufacturers have been creating waterless formulations with added skincare benefits for some time, not purely for environmental reasons. Waterless formulations are kind to our skin, reducing risks of flare-ups and irritation, and particularly good for people suffering with sensitive skin or acne-prone skin.
The formulations are gentler on our skin. Water is essentially used in most products and it is classed as “aqua” which is typically the first ingredient on a label and it tends to make up the bulk of the formula. Shampoos, cleansers, serums, and gels contain the highest percentage of water.
Waterless beauty can be created in a few different forms such as cleansing balms, powders, solids, oils, butters, and masks which can be incorporated into skincare, cosmetics, and haircare. Brands like Ethique Beauty is another brand whose mission is to reduce wastage and to introduce environmentally friendly regimes. They develop concentrated beauty bars for your hair, body, and face. Makeup brands have also started going waterless. Pinch of Colour has created all or their products without water – using ingredients such as honey extract and shea butter to replace water.
Certain waterless products can be slightly more expensive as they are concentrated, they are also considered to be of higher quality as they contain ethically sourced ingredients. However, the higher the concentrate, the less product you will need to use and the longer it lasts. Some shampoo bars are equivalent in concentration and usage to three bottles of product.
Although waterless products are environmentally friendly, we do not have to eliminate water from our routines entirely – it is more about being mindful about the subject and how we can start incorporating certain elements into our regimes that are more sustainable. It is important to be conscious about the amount of water we use and to be aware that certain products like balms and oils may also have water footprints. Most importantly, using fewer products, in general, maybe the answer. Less is more.
With brands turning to waterless formulas there are alternatives within the beauty industry to help take care of our planet. Swapping liquid soaps and shampoos to solids is beneficial to our skin and the environment – there is a soap for every need, from our hands and body to our hair and facial cleansing.
Refillable products are also becoming far more popular and readily available. Most products are recyclable, but it is not as easy as we would like to think it is. Only 8% of plastic waste is currently reusable. Body Shop has installed refill stations in its Bond Street store which allows us to purchase an aluminium bottle that can be filled and then refilled with their shower gels and creams. Charlotte Tillbury has also created a refillable lipstick option. We can switch up our look with their refillable shades available online and instore. Mac offer in-store recycling methods with reward schemes.
Swapping cotton pads for reusable pads or cloths is a simple and smart method to cleansing. Reusable cloths can be purchased from most retailers and brands, at affordable price points. Easy to remove makeup and to cleanse and tone, these clever tools can be machine washed up to 200 times.
Let’s rethink the traditional cotton buds. It’s estimated that 1.8 billion plastic stemmed cotton buds are used in England each year, 10% are flushed down toilets ending up in the ocean. Using bamboo stemmed cotton buds are far more environmentally friendly. Little steps and some consideration to how we select and use our beauty products, goes a long way to taking care of ourselves and our planet and protecting this for future generations.
We are committed to building sustainable brands for the future. If you are looking for support in developing a brand in the beauty industry or you have an existing brand and you are looking to reposition this, get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
‘Through Janet’s management skills, expertise and proven track record on the job she successfully managed the purchasing of our retail operations and ensured the integrity of our brands in-stores. Her enthusiasm and total dedication, delivered results in any project she was involved in.’
‘Janet is one of the best people I have ever worked with in my career. She fully understands the whole process of product development, supply chain and marketing. Janet has in-depth experience of toiletries and international retailing. I would recommend her to any company or client.’
‘Janet has excellent beauty market knowledge. Level headed with clear vision, direction and the ability to drive business forward, Janet led the teams through a complete product design change advising on what the key marketing messages should be, incorporating her technical knowledge and beauty expertise.’
‘I highly recommend Bespoke Advantage to business owners across the beauty, spa and wellness industry. Janet has been a fantastic support to my business. Through her in-depth knowledge of the beauty industry she has provided me with strategies specifically tailored to my business needs, to help me to grow my business across the marketplace’.
‘Janet has a wealth of experience across retail, buying and marketing. She conducted a full strategic review of our cross functional business and the travel retail market to develop a comprehensive buying and quality control strategy that was signed off at board level. I highly recommend her as an asset to any business.’
‘Janet is extremely professional, knowledgeable and thorough, an expert of her field. This shone through from our first conversation, which instinctively led me to want to work with Bespoke Advantage. As a new skincare brand the expertise of Bespoke Advantage has been invaluable.’
‘Janet, absolutely fantastic to meet you today. Thoroughly enjoyed The Beauty Workshop. You definitely excel in your area and beyond.’
‘We have been really pleased to work with Janet. Through her 6-Month online coaching program she showed us exactly what we needed to do each step of the way. Really look forward to having future opportunities to work together.’
‘Many thanks again for all the help, support and words of encouragement, as I said before, best and most sensible thing I’ve done in developing my beauty ideas is to engage with you!’
‘It’s been inspirational working with Janet. We are in the process of launching a skincare brand however have received conflicting opinions from so many people we were really confused. I am so impressed by Janet’s knowledge and experience in product development, marketing and retail and the way she explains everything so clearly. She is very motivating and positive, and so much fun to work with. I have much more clarity and confidence in how to move things forward.’
‘Bespoke Advantage helped us to bring our brand to life creatively and strategically. We have a clear strategy in place, with a distinctive brand message that enables us to articulate our brand to retailers and to journalists.’