Trends & research

A benefit of doing without water

For a long time now, the focus in the cosmetics industry has not been restricted to just how a product performs. Manufacturers and producers are looking at the bigger picture. In this area, BASF is a trailblazer and pioneer — especially when it comes to water.

Most of you who are reading this can probably access clean drinking water without any problems. Unfortunately, for many people this is not the case. Water is one of the most precious natural resources in the world. We all need to manage this source of life responsibly. 

Creating chemicals for a sustainable future is an important target for BASF. Clean Beauty + Green Beauty are not just empty words. Rather, these approaches and claims are applied all the way from the start of the value chain to the sale of the product. 

To achieve the goal of a sustainable future, we all need to work together: politicians, industry, and consumers. That is why the United Nations adopted Agenda 2030. This agenda defines 17 global goals for sustainability. Goal number 6 is: sufficient water of decent quality. BASF is committed to these “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” and is aligning its production to them. 

Shampoos on the market consist of up to 90% water

Responsible water management has played a key role in the company for years. By 2030, we want to establish sustainable water management at all production sites in water stress areas and at our Verbund sites. In doing so, BASF is applying the four principles of the European Water Stewardship Standard: sustainable water abstraction, maintaining good water quality, preserving conservation areas and ensuring continuous improvement processes, including in collaboration with third parties, i.e. authorities, municipalities and other water users in catchment areas. 

However, BASF Personal Care wants to go one step further and offer additional solutions for consumers, as water is vitally important in chemical production. Whether used as a cooling agent, solvent or cleaning agent, in the manufacture of products, or when transporting our goods: water is always involved. In personal care products even more than you might think. Many shampoos on the market consist of up to 90% water. Skin care products contain up to 85% water.

BASF Personal Care now offers solutions to customers and consumers that significantly reduce the amount of water the products contain. Positive for the climate and nature, but without compromising on proven quality: now you can do both at the same time. 

But it’s not just about reducing the amount of water in the products themselves — the packaging, weight and volume all benefit. The positive impacts include reduced plastic consumption and a reduction in the CO2 footprint. Some of these products are also produced using cold processes, meaning they do not need to be heated or cooled during manufacturing. This also reduces the amount of energy used in the production process. 

You can find more information on our concept page here.

In addition to all the environmental benefits, the consumer also gets value for money with these new solutions. Thanks to the ability to personalize products, the wishes and needs of consumers can be met at a very individual level. The sensory properties of the new skin care formulations with significantly reduced water content, or even no water at all, are also impressive. 

Continue to enjoy your skin care routine — with less water, the same quality, but much kinder to the environment.