Trends & research

Clean Beauty: Going natural all the way

Natural beauty is the hot topic everyone is striving to have. What is the truth behind this trend?

Using cosmetic products help our skin glow and look fresh without looking like we are wearing make-up is the paradox. Manufacturers are responding with products that contain a few selected ingredients that are as pure as possible. But what is really driving this "Clean Beauty" trend?

Growing consumer interest in "Clean Beauty" is closely related to other current trends. One example is mindfulness. Another is mental resilience: beauty through our inner strength. This is about managing a life full of constant changes while also managing yourself. Taking time to rest and relax as well as taking care of your own well-being are core needs. The desire for a better quality of life is closely linked to the concept of sustainability: what harms the environment cannot be good for me either. Because of this correlation, sustainable products and services are perceived to have higher quality.

There is also increased environmental awareness. Allergies, skin problems and other health risks have become a focus. Pollution is considered a major trigger and some cosmetic ingredients have been criticized in the media. Basically, cosmetics should consist of the least amount of ingredients that are as pure as possible. Manufacturers are expanding their portfolio with "clean" creams, lotions and shampoos.

Trends such as mindfulness, environmental awareness and sustainability feed the need for cosmetics with pure and natural ingredients.

There are already many personal care products with labels we have seen before in the food and fashion industry: "fair", "organic", "alcohol-free" or "vegan". There are products making promises ranging from purely organic and biodegradable to no animal testing to fragrance-free and toxin free. Therefore, "Clean Beauty" meets the zeitgeist of many consumers.

Producing clean beauty products presents the chemists and engineers working in labs new challenges. Lateral thinking is often needed. One example is when they are looking for plant-based or naturally occurring substances, or compounds that are very close to natural ingredients which are also ideally sustainably produced. Or when developing new recipes and adapting manufacturing processes to have a high-quality product. In the end, we only want what is absolutely necessary to go into the tube – yet with the effect we are looking for and a long shelf-life.

This is where BASF's know-how comes in: Our researchers and experts constantly analyze trends and consumer requests. They are leaders in the development of new formulations and support manufacturers with every question they have about application technology. And our clean beauty concepts do not compromise on the quality of cosmetics - neither their effectiveness nor how they make the skin feel, both when applying or after.

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