January 26, 2019
Gone are the days where consumers would just pick up any beauty product without checking the ingredients list. Cosmetics with harmful ingredients, like parabens and sulfates, are a strict no-no. Instead, natural ingredients are preferred – especially these 5 natural ingredients that appeared everywhere in 2018. But before we dive right in, let’s first break down the once-upon niche: clean beauty.
The terms “all natural”, “free of chemicals” and “nontoxic” are increasingly common in the beauty industry. From Gwyneth Paltrow, Miranda Kerr and Jessica Alba launching their own clean beauty line to corporate giants acquiring clean brands, this ‘niche’ will soon be the norm.
Naturally (no pun intended), changes in the industry take time.
While the FDA is looking into banning more harmful ingredients, there’s still a lack of regulation. Major beauty brands use “clean” and “natural” interchangeably, even though there’s a slight difference. “Natural” means using ingredients that are plant-based, while “clean” means steering away from harmful components. Until stricter laws are enforced, there’s still a grey area when it comes to labelling.
Of course, both terms, as well as ‘green’, ‘organic’ or ‘safe’, still aim towards the same mission: people want products that are actually good for the skin. Skintellectuals, educated consumers on this topic, are part of the drive for change. They’re knowledgable on the science behind skincare products – and they’re more than ready to fight for a cleaner industry.
Big Corporations Are Playing Catch Up with Indie Brands
Everyone’s familiar with the infamous lawsuits faced by big beauty corporations – Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Unilever, to name a few. It’s not just those that were involved in scandals that failed to capitalise on the need for transparency, a majority of the big brands didn’t seem to care either.
But indie brands did.
The drive for not only a cleaner beauty industry but for a cleaner lifestyle led indie brands into where they are today. Indie brands have two advantages: they’re smaller in company size and they specifically cater to this need, allowing them to be nimble. In stark contrast, big corporations would rather not risk to disrupt the current supply chain or spend more to re-formulate. Sephora only released ‘Clean at Sephora’ last year, while indie brands have been in the game far longer.
Generally, indie brands either discard toxins entirely or go au naturel. Common ingredients in clean beauty products are Aloe, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter and Lavender Oil. Truth be told, they sound a lot better than Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or Formaldehyde.
And one of the perks of using natural ingredients? The world is the oyster.
Limiting and removing synthetic ingredients means that beauty brands can experiment with more organic blends – and experiment they did. From camel milk to probiotics (live bacteria!), some of these ingredients received a lot of buzz in the industry last year.
Some other buzzworthy ingredients were crystals, seen in DERMAdoctor’s Amethyst Clay Mask and Aether Beauty’s Rose Quartz Palette. Girl Undiscovered’s beauty balm, one of the winners for Best in Show of 2018’s Indie Beauty Expo, featured quartz crystals as well. The trend started in 2017, most likely due to the release of Gwyneth Paltrow’s controversial jade eggs and Kim Kardashian’s KKW crystal gardenia perfume. Rosewater was popular too, with Honeybelle and Herbal Dynamics Beauty selling five-star reviewed rosewater toners.
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
Stock movement for Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist, sold in Beauty Bay, had high stock movement from the end of 2018 towards 2019, with 5-star reviews as well. The greyed areas could indicate that the item was temporarily removed before it was replenished again.
The Top 5 Natural Ingredients
While crystals, rosewater and even Vitamin Cs (seen in DERMAdoctor, an eye souffle that saw high sellouts and replenishments on the Omnilytics Dashboard), shared the limelight, it was these 5 natural ingredients that took over the indie beauty scene.
Rosehip oil, as the name suggests, is sourced from the seeds of rose hips and has healing properties that reduces scars, hydrates skin and corrects dark spots. The ingredient is mostly used in essential oils, but is common in serums, cleansers and masks.
Although not uncommon, rosehip oil gained popularity only last year, as seen in brands like Aeos and Trilogy.
Yes, powdered green tea has found its way into the beauty scene. Matcha has high antioxidants, helping to even out skin tones – mostly in masks and scrubs.
Honeybelle and NiuBody, both indie brands, incorporated matcha into their masks, with many complimenting the pure ingredient.
Like matcha, turmeric is mostly used in masks, although it’s also seen in serums and face essences. Turmeric has the capability to delay ageing of the skin as it has curcuminoid pigments, a chemical that synthesizes antioxidant.
Both Apto and Fable Soap Co use turmeric in their face masks, with the latter brand mixing it with coconut milk.
Due to high demand, beauty brands that specifically carry products with probiotics are on a rise. Granted, the ingredient is a little different than the rest, since it’s live yeast. It is, however, good bacteria that reacts with skin cells, effectively rebuilding skin to its natural glow.
Brands like La-Flore and Osea feature skincare with probiotics, as well as in serums.
One thing’s for sure, the clean beauty movement isn’t waning anytime soon. There’s still a long way to go for the entire industry to change, but it’s a strong start. In fact, 2019 already saw some interesting ingredients, so do stay tuned for our upcoming article on the latest beauty trends!