While the issue of dangerous chemicals appearing in cosmetics has been top of mind for many of us for decades, 2015 marked a huge milestone in the evolution of natural and organic personal care.
A late-2015 op-ed piece in the The New York Times, Contaminating Our Bodies with Everyday Products, highlighted two recent and extremely significant warnings from the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics and the Endocrine Society about chemicals that are used in everything from receipts to cosmetics, showing that the medical mainstream is finally catching up to consumer advocacy groups.
Check out last year's top natural beauty moments and trends, which helped strengthen a foundation of better transparency and trust in natural personal care.
With hair and nail salons representing one of the most toxic segments of the beauty industry, manufacturers are stepping up their game to deliver nontoxic nail products that lend salon-quality results. While there’s still more work to be done in the salon sector, companies such as SOPHi (from the makers of kids’ polish, Piggy Paint) represent the future with odorless, hypoallergenic nail polish. We hope to see more of this in 2016—as well as more hair care companies delivering on nontoxic colors and treatments.
From committing to non-GMO and revealing all ingredients to growing their own plants or working with international co-ops, mission-based beauty brands continue to emphasize the importance of true transparency. Only companies authentically communicating their commitment to traceability will earn the trust of natural beauty devotees.
Continuing to combat the notion that “natural doesn’t work,” companies are focused on formulating with ingredients that have the science to prove their efficacy. Leading the the way is nutricosmetics brand NeoCell, a company committed to clinical research for its collagen-based products; more and more topical companies are also investing in the space. To complement these efforts, brands are focusing on higher-end packaging and merchandising to support the higher price point of such products.
We’ve seen various labels and certifications leave their mark on the cosmetics space, but this is the first to specifically address safety, which could have major positive effects on the space in 2016.
EWG VERIFIED: For Your Health will leverage the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database to simplify the process of shopping for nontoxic cosmetics and guide manufacturers and retailers in developing more conscious business practices. A well-thought out, research-backed program is just what’s needed to take cosmetics safety to the next level.
Science-backed and natural products continue to show great promise in the antiaging category—but there’s yet another trend that will prove critical to the space. Considering that customization is making its way into nearly every aspect of life, it comes as no surprise that anti-aging, too, is moving away from generalization. And whether it’s using technology to pinpoint an individual’s specific lifestyle needs or to customize natural products, today, personalized anti-aging solutions hold a great deal of promise for both people seeking ways to optimize health and for the companies investing in tomorrow’s solutions.
Ever since the EWG launched its Guide to Sunscreen nine years ago, consumers and retailers have become more aware of the benefits of mineral picks—and potential hazards associated with chemicals. Education is vastly improving around the mineral sunscreen category, but a highly public kerfuffle with The Honest Co. proved that even these products are not exempt from missteps and scrutiny.
Essential oils are indeed having a moment—and we don’t expect their time in the limelight to end in 2016, considering sales have been exploding since 2009. A combination of the flourishing DIY beauty movement (hello, Pinterest!) and essential oils’ holistic diversity (they act as alternatives across all facets of life, showing up in food and beverage, supplements, household products and personal care) are key factors contributing to their growth. In 2016, we hope to see more companies following the model set by brands like NOW Foods and Aura Cacia, who are creating secure, sustainable supply chains in order to address sourcing issues associated with the rapid boom of the category.
New beauty brand Fat Face, a 2015 NEXTY award winner, exemplifies the unique ways in which more and more natural beauty brands are tapping into the food tribe movement, whether that be vegan or, in this case, paleo.
Making these passionate consumers their greatest ally, Face Face aligns with the paleo food tribe, using only pure ingredients and tallow—rendered beef fat from free range, grass-fed cattle that the company says helps to nourish and moisturize the skin. Love it or loathe it, slathering up with animal fat is an undeniably forward-thinking concept that shows how natural beauty continues to build on emerging trends in the food and beverage category.
9 influential natural beauty trends of 2015 (via @deliciousliving)
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