We know market trends change but what new innovation underpinning the cosmetics industry and upcoming regulatory changes can we expect heading into 2023? Whilst some patterns remain, like the continuing growth of the natural and organic market, others, like inclusive beauty without gender roles, are set to grow. Sustainability, minimalist formulations, natural ingredients, eco-designed packaging, and a real reflection on waste management remain on the agenda.

organic cosmetics outlook
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Trends to keep an eye on

Sustainability drive continues. The climate crisis, regulatory change and consumer demand continue to drive the need for green and sustainable initiatives. The demand for reusable or refillable products that use less packaging continues to grow with the aim of reducing our dependence on virgin plastic. Avoiding waste or excess plastic remains a top priority. Sustainable raw material sourcing and innovative formulation aimed at expanding the current waterless (solid) cosmetics product portfolio is expected to increase. A brand’s Corporate Social Responsibility, reflecting how it operates, traces and ensures ethical, social, and environmental aspects both within its organisation and with products, remains of high interest to consumers.

Localism is sought. Linked to sustainability and transparency, this movement aims to support communities where the product is manufactured rather than where the consumer is located. Beauty brands are increasingly expected to get involved with local initiatives and campaigns promoting social benefits and reducing environmental impact.

Skinimalism is back. The trend of selecting products with low impact and better performance – “less is better” or “Skinimalism” – continues, and refers not only to makeup but also to skin care routines. Consumers are anticipated to focus on quality (and efficiency) over quantity, centring on multifunctional products with low impact and better performance.

Hyper-fatigue and cost-saving impacts. Linked to preferences for “skinimalism”, the rising cost of living and supply chain disruption are affecting consumers’ pockets. The switch in the mindset of consumers towards their own needs and a refocusing on what really matters to them, including a greater emphasis on the link between beauty and well-being, remains apparent. With inflation-linked costs rising, some of these will, invariably, be passed on to the consumer. High prices can drive more people to cheaper, essential alternatives, and in an increasingly competitive, crowded and mature market for natural cosmetics certification still offers a means for differentiation and assurance.

organic cosmetics outlook

Regulation to be aware of

Listing Allergens. The final adoption of the proposed draft Act amending the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EU CPR) is provisionally foreseen for Q2 2023. The measures introduce 56 extra fragrance allergens and proposes:

  • an obligation to individually label allergens above defined concentrations for leave-on and rinse-off products;
  • to subject the same restrictions to substances that can alter to become contact allergens via autooxidation (prehaptens) or on the skin (prohaptens);
  • to simplify the naming by: (i) aligning common names and grouping similar substances into one entry; (ii) setting out which name to be used; (iii) adding isomers and by complementing and amending the CAS and EC numbers.

Regulation Revision. Publication of the Commission’s proposed revision of the EU CPR to align with the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability remains anticipated in Q1 2023. The proposal will be open to consultation. The earliest foreseen date for enactment of any proposed changes to the EU CPR would be 2026. The proposal will cover aspects ranging from product safety to digital labelling.

Unfair Commercial Practices. Following the IMCO draft report to the Commission’s proposal amending Directives 2005/29/EC (UPCD) and 2011/83/EU to empower consumers and protect against greenwashing, discussions opened to include the possibility of a pre-approval mechanism for sustainability labels or tools. The IMCO draft expands upon the EC’s proposal which relies on an external assessment through certification or verification of the methodologies to support labels or tools. A final vote on the IMCO amendments is expected in late Q1 2023 before the Parliamentary plenary session.

Green Claims. The EC is expected to release its proposal on substantiating green claims in early 2023. Most likely, green claims made on products will have to follow the PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) calculation method. Whilst the UCPD amendment provides a ‘safety net’ for consumers against greenwashing, the EC is looking into how specific environmental claims should be communicated. The two options on the table include: (i) obliging the use of the PEF method to substantiate claims covering only a narrow list of impacts; (ii) covering green claims beyond aspects in the scope of the PEF.

Packaging and Packaging Waste. To tackle the challenges related to waste, overpackaging, and sustainable production, revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) began in Q4 2021. Its revised scope expands beyond the existing PPWD to also include measures to reduce (over)packaging and packaging

Authors: Dr Mark Smith, NATRUE Director, and Paula Gómez de Tejada, NATRUE Communications Officer

Published in the BIOFACH & VIVANESS 2023 Bio Eco Actual Special Edition.

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Read the BIOFACH & VIVANESS 2023 Bio Eco Actual Special Edition