Five personal care ingredient trends


With growing global interest in cosmetic products, the spotlight is now firmly fixed on the ingredients used in these products. Claudia Fiannaca, Personal Care Ingredients expert at Ingredion, discusses the consumer trends that are driving personal care product development.

The Personal Care industry is growing. According to a recently published Personal Care Ingredients Database from Kline, Europe saw a 6% rise in natural personal care sales—more than double the pace of the total personal care market.

At Ingredion, we monitor trends in the personal care industry at both a local and global level in order to help our customers develop products which meet the ever increasing needs of the consumer. Here are my top 5 trends to watch for the personal care industry.

1. Natural Ingredients

Consumer awareness of synthetic chemicals is driving the growth of more ‘natural’ products in the personal care industry. This is leading to an increase in demand for ‘natural’ ingredients. It would appear that the more ‘natural’ the ingredients, the more attractive the product is to consumers.

By the end of 2014, UK sales of organic health and beauty products was up 20% on the previous year, with similar growth expected the following year, according to the Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2015. More specifically, the organic skin care products segment is expected to grow at an annual rate of 9.8% from 2014 to 2020.

This increased interest in the use of ‘natural’ ingredients in the personal care industry is likely to lead to a move towards the development of an agreed definition to define natural ingredients and natural cosmetics.

This poses a number of challenges to manufacturers as natural ingredients can be subject to variability in their specification, and compatibility issues can arise with other ingredients.

2. Using plants instead of animals

Natural and plant-derived ingredients are now more popular than ever before, while animal-based ingredients are on the decline because of negative perceptions of the production process.

For this reason, eco-friendly, sustainable brands are now preferred over products containing animal-derived ingredients. Owing to this, use of derivatives and lanolin are expected to decline.

According to a 2015 Government report, ‘Trade Statistics - Natural Ingredients for Cosmetics’, Germany, France and Spain are now among the leading European importers of raw plant materials and extracts from developing countries. The import share of imports from developing countries is larger in raw plant material (49%).

3. Rise of multifunctional products

Consumers want to simplify their routines to meet the demand of their busy lives, which is why they now want products to offer several benefits at once, such as anti-aging, cleansing, moisturising, anti-oxidant and UV protection.

As a result of this, multifunctional ingredients are growing in popularity. For example, consumers expect their skin care products to have sun care protection features to protect them against UV rays. This is driving the demand for UV filters, making it one of the fastest growing ingredient groups.

4. Milder ingredients

Consumers now are in search of efficient, but also gentle products - such as water-based products which are perceived to be less damaging over time.

Mintel predicts there will be a rise in ‘water free’ and non-rinse products; and products which consume less water during production. An example is Korean brand Whamisa, which offers a range of ‘water’-free products using botanical extracts instead of traditional purified water.

This trend, combined with a greater consumer focus on preservatives, is driving the popularity of ingredients considered to be milder, such as sulfate-free anionic surfactants being preferred over traditional surfactants. Alternative ingredients, such as organic acids and preservative boosters, are also being used more often.

5. Fewer harmful ingredients in developed markets

The use of ingredients that are considered potentially harmful are declining in developed markets, although this varies by region. In advanced economies, ingredients are under constant surveillance by the Government and other independent organisations, as well as consumers themselves. The awareness of potential adverse effects of these ingredients is very high, and will impact the way manufacturers choose the Ingredients they use in their formulations.

More information

Claudia Fiannaca is one of a team of experts at leading global ingredient solutions provider, Ingredion, who focus on developing innovative natured-based ingredients for the Personal Care industry.

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Our Personal Care ingredients can help manufacturers and retailers meet consumer trends, may support natural-based claims and achieve simple ingredients lists on product labels. To find out about how Ingredion’s products may help you create natural-based, simple label products, or to find out more, visit