As more and more consumers are becoming aware of the environmental impact of their day to day lives, many are looking to change the way they consume and use certain resources – water being one of them. More individuals are viewing water as a limited resource and one that should be used economically. This is especially prominent in the Asian beauty market where many consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about water pollution. As a result, cosmetic manufacturers have been looking for innovative ways to reduce water use in the beauty and personal care industry and establish more sustainable practices. This includes products like dry shampoo that doesn’t require showering, and now the increasingly popular trend of waterless cosmetics.
Looking at the ingredient list of cosmetic products, water is often most commonly the first ingredient and thus the most abundant. Water has been traditionally used as the primary ingredient mainly for its affordability. Eliminating water allows many formulators to use different bases such as waters and oils derived from plants. In addition, there is a change to more solid forms of cosmetic products like powders as well as “instant mix” products where the consumer adds in water before use.
There are many advantages to eliminating water in our cosmetics and personal care products. The absence of water eliminates the opportunity for microorganisms to grow, so this naturally increases the shelf life of products without the addition of preservatives.
In addition, in terms of creating solid products with little to no water, this will reduce the need for excess packaging or plastic packaging like containers, and pump dispensers. Lush is a popular example with their massage and shampoo bars. In addition to requiring less water, these solid cosmetic products are generally more concentrated than their water-filled counterparts.