10 Sustainable Cosmetic Trends for 2022

cosmetics, sustainable

Report 49 / 2021-12-06



1 Pollution: The new competitor


Price, design, functionality, and quality will have a new competitor: Pollution. The environmentally conscious consumer will make their decision to buy a product based on its environmental impact.


Online shopping means many products on offer can easily be compared. We live in a world where almost all products by well-known brands, or even unknown brands, have an acceptable quality. Many products are extremely similar in price, functionality, and design. Pollution rates will be stated online alongside the prices. Choosing an environmentally friendly product is therefore an easy choice, especially when products have no significant differences.


Start from a clean slate. Bring your products back to the core and build it back up with pollution rates in mind. Think of creative concepts to ensure a low pollution rate while creating a unique experience for your product, such as our concepts of Do It Yourself, Just 5 Ingredients, and Local Concepts and many more.


2 No colorants


The enormous chemical process needed to make colourants is staggering, and in the case of care products we only see it for a few seconds before it is flushed down the drain never to be seen again. It’s a split second ‘joy’ that pollutes our drinking water and enables a highly polluting industry, with no benefit to the caring or cleaning capabilities at all.


The environmentally conscious consumer is no longer willing to buy coloured products. Be aware that colourants will create a worse pollution rate for your care product, see Future Trend 1 Pollution: The new competitor.


3 No Water Concepts - Solid Products - Local Water


Many liquid products can potentially be made into semi-solid or solid products, from food to personal care. Going solid means saving a great deal in shipping weight and volume, which will contribute to a cleaner and sustainable world. Liquid products are simply far too inefficient when transporting. More weight and volume also means products require more packaging and stronger packaging, which usually results in a lot of plastic waste. Replacing liquid products with a solid product will reduce this pollution. Get rid of all the unnecessary waste and pollution that comes with adding water from the factory. The environmentally conscious consumer is more than willing to add local water.


Convert as many products to solid products as possible. Skip the water in your recipe to make it the final thing a consumer adds to complete the product themselves at home.


4 Vegan: The new norm for all products


The rise of vegetarians, vegans, and flexitarians is undeniable. Even for people that do not go 100% vegan or vegetarian, animal rights concerns and environmental concerns are growing among the entire population.


For example, ingredients in perfumes often violate animal rights heavily. Musk from deer, or civet from the civet cat are often farmed in excruciating conditions, and the consumers are often not aware of this. The producers of perfumes are obviously not upfront about this, but we think this is the perfect time to come clean and to think of vegan alternatives.


This isn’t limited to perfumes, think deep on how you can improve on this topic. Rethink all your existing products that are not vegan. Think ahead of the problems that are coming in the future. Create a vegan version of your product before the market catches up with you. Everything you create should now be vegan and cruelty free.


5 Local Concept


Local ingredients, local production, local cultures, local concepts, local marketing.

Every country has their own culture. A culture is defined by the traditions, rituals, and habits. These are based on local circumstances such as climate, body type and hair type of the people who live there, and available ingredients. We have all accepted the concept that foods fit a culture's tastes and needs, but in cosmetics this concept is widely ignored.

Local production is better for the environment, and is respectful to the uniqueness of local cultures. Every region has their own speciality and local needs. This is totally ignored in perfumes, for example, as one smell is apparently deemed fit for all these tastes and differences in culture. We recognize different regions have different needs and tastes but the theory is thrown out the window as soon as we try to create or sell perfumes.

Create one perfume with different variations based on local cultures, smells, and ingredients. Develop the marketing accordingly. A beautiful way to combine diversion in culture with supporting the local economy, and contribute to a sustainable world.


6 Refill for colour cosmetics


It makes no sense to waste the entire holder of colour cosmetics every time we buy a new product. As the holders are not an integral part of the production process, we can easily switch to refillable holders, which can be filled conventionally with any colour out there.

It changes our focus on packaging completely. Customisation of the holders is a great option to provide consumers with a long lasting product that becomes personal. Facilitate the filling of these holders to save on waste and contribute to a sustainable world. The environmentally conscious consumer is longing for this. You can even dive into 3D printing technology to produce customized holders yourself and integrate this concept into your business directly.


7 DIY Cosmetics


Selling finished products has been the only source of revenue for the fashion and cosmetics industry for the last century. We just entered The World After corona, where semi-finished products and DIY will come back. The consumer of the world after is ready for this change.

DIY Cosmetics will ensure a more sustainable and customizable end product for the consumer. This is a huge change in concept from finished product to semi-finished products. High-end cosmetic products will suddenly be partly made by the consumer themselves in their own home with locally sourced ingredients, like water, salt, essential oils, or personalized scents. This complete turnaround for the cosmetic industry will have benefits for both parties: Lowered shipping costs and shipping volume, no exploitation of cheap overseas labour, and a creative product which is more sustainable than a conventional finished product.


The industry can supply a base product, with a custom bottle or jar, and a recipe to suggest a finishing method. Everything else can be filled in by the consumer adhering to their personal wishes and locally available materials.


8 Just 5 Ingredients


We are already used to the consumers avoiding specific ingredients that they do not wish to eat or apply to their skin. Just like scanning the back of food products to look at the ingredients they might want to avoid, we will start to see the same behavior in care products and cosmetics. This will become a habit for consumers in all levels of the market.


Adding less products on the back of your product means the conscious consumer will be able to scan your ingredients list more quickly. The potential buyer can take one glance and realise your product has no unnecessary or unwanted raw materials added to it. Less ingredients = less garbage. Add just the ingredients that are necessary as this is what the consumer wants.


Focussing on ‘Just 5 Ingredients’ for products means a new mindset, a new starting point for researchers, developers, and marketeers in the raw material industry to set their development strategy on. The raw material industry must find new ways to add the best functional qualities to a single product to ensure landing on that short list of ingredients. Product developers must make a product work correctly and still stand out from the crowd without adding complex, advanced raw materials that have unnecessary functions.


9 Purpose Economy


The consumer, especially the young generation, will not support you and your company anymore if you do not use your power to influence the world in a positive way. It is a new way to have a positive impact, without losing out on the traditional profits.


All products are nearly the same, so consumers will steer their choice based on personal values. Consumers will now start seeing companies more and more as a sort of political party. When a consumer agrees with something a company stands for, they buy their product. A company that does not follow this concept, will phase into non-existence. They will simply be out of the game. Joining the purpose economy is the only viable option.


10 Immaterial Concepts


Products with a high pollution rate will not be purchased, especially when the other characteristics of the product do not outweigh its pollution rate enough.

Avoid a future where you will become stuck in a group where a low pollution rate is the only selling point.


The next step in the cycle is Immaterial Concepts.

Rethink the product entirely and use innovative concepts that change the entire market. Think of immaterial design concepts, or a more concrete example: Autonomous cars with ride sharing services. It fills the same purpose but on a completely different level. It gives no material possessions to the user of the service but still fills their needs. Think of an eyeliner that is not an eyeliner as we know it, but more of a ‘laser’ like system that marks the liner for a day or a night.



Read More

1 Pollution: The new competitor

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2 No colorants

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3 Solid Products - Local water

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4 Vegan: The new norm for all products

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5 Local Concepts

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6 Refill for colour cosmetics

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7 DIY Cosmetics

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8 Just 5 Ingredients

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9 Purpose Economy

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10 Immaterial Concepts

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