Green beauty industry held back by sustainability issues
Although the palette of green ingredients has widened in recent years, beauty product manufacturers still face many technical and sustainability issues when using naturals, warns research agency Organic Monitor.
Preservation remains the number one technical hurdle for formulators, it says. This is because while many green materials have become available for preservation, no single material is popular because of variations in product composition. Stability is a major issue, with some green preservative systems leading to discolouration and/or odour changes. Green surfactants are another problematic area, partly because certification agencies cannot agree on permissible green chemistry processes.
The move towards green raw materials and sustainable processing methods is partly driven by leading operators, it maintains. L’Oréal and Natura Brasil, two of the largest cosmetic companies in the world, have made commitments to reduce their environmental footprints by the use of green formulations. L’Oréal has pledged to only use new cosmetic ingredients that have a lower environmental footprint then existing ones.
Whilst cosmetic formulators and product developers maybe slowly getting to grips with the technical issues associated with green materials, Organic Monitor believes the sustainability issues are likely to persist for many years yet.
Green formulations are a focal theme of Organic Monitor’s upcoming forums in Paris (21-23 October) and in Hong Kong (11-13 November).
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