Demand for natural and organic beauty continues to grow, as more than half of all women, and 62% of Millennials, say they read labels on beauty products to avoid certain ingredients. Technology has enabled consumers to be more informed about the chemicals in cosmetics, hair, and skin care and many women have concerns about the long-term consequences of potentially harmful additives on themselves, their families, and the environment.
Who is the natural beauty consumer?
Unlike other of-the-moment beauty trends, the movement toward green beauty spans all ages. Almost three quarters of Millennials, 59% of women 35-44, and 53% of women over 45 say green beauty products are important to them. While they prefer natural ingredients across all categories, if they had to choose, 57% would select natural skin care products first, presumably because they are absorbed directly into the body and have the potential for the most disruption. Just over half of all women agreed that using natural hair products was very important, with research indicating that Millennial women are most invested in the category—26% will only buy all-natural shampoos and conditioners. Although all-natural color cosmetics are desirable, only a small segment of women (18%) say they buy exclusively natural cosmetics.
Naturally, moms want the best for their families, so it’s not surprising that 69% of women with children are more likely to value green beauty products when compared to 56% of women without children.
What ingredients do natural beauty consumers want to avoid most?
Today, consumers are better informed than ever before. They take time to research, read, and note those ingredients that they believe may be potentially harmful to themselves or the environment and will actively avoid them. We know that women look at an average of six sources before making a decision on a product and 63% of hair care shoppers and 57% of skin care consumers read product packaging before making a choice—for this consumer, transparency is key. Overall, sulfates continue to be the most avoided ingredient, followed by parabens, and synthetic fragrances. Oxybenzone, PEG compounds, mineral oil, nanoparticles, and retinyl palmitate are among the other chemicals most women wish to steer clear of.
Where do most natural beauty consumers live?
Interest in natural beauty is high nationwide, but women in the Western states and in the South are leading the green beauty revolution. 64% of women in the West and 62% of those in the South believe it’s important to buy natural beauty across all categories. But the rest of the country isn’t far behind—58% of women in the Northeast and 55% of Midwesterners also opt for natural and organic beauty…when they can find it. And that leads to one of the biggest problems for retailers: demand for natural beauty products is growing faster than easy-to-find options. Among shoppers at mass market drug and grocery stores, 14% of women say they are unsatisfied with the selection of all-natural products and that number is even higher (16%) for women in the West where there is more demand.
As interest in natural and organic beauty products continues to grow, brands and retailers will have to expand their offerings. Researchers found that 34% skin care consumers, 32% of hair care consumers, and 26% of cosmetic buyers will only purchase or purchase more all-natural products in the next two years. This offers a significant growth opportunity for brands to reach out to these informed and cautious consumers, but only if they have the ability to reach them. Women’s Marketing’s suite of strategic marketing services can get your brand noticed by those women who are most likely to try and buy. Contact us today to get started.
Sources: Kari Gran 2016 Green Beauty Barometer Study, Unmasking the Beauty Consumer 2016