Skin care is the largest segment of the natural and organic personal care market, capturing 3.3 billion dollars with nearly 7 percent growth in 2011, according to Nutrition Business Journal. And its future is bright: NBJ expects strong numbers through 2017.
The skin care category that is showing the most promise and innovation is antiaging—the lotions, serums and creams promising to prevent (and even reverse) the most common age-related concerns including wrinkles, inflammation and hyperpigmentation. To gain the trust of customers seeking serious results in these areas, natural skin care manufacturers are formulating with high concentrations of top research-backed, targeted antiaging ingredients.
“The industry is maturing and the consumers are far more educated about ingredients and formulations,” said Linda Miles, founder of natural skin care company Derma e. “That has prompted the companies offering products to clean up their act and not be so vague with their claims. They have to be more credible and there has to be more clinical research on the ingredients for the consumer to actually consider the products.”
The future of natural brands in the antiaging market
Small brands without money for research rely on clinical studies backed by personal care corporations such as Johnson & Johnson and L’Oreal. But this means natural companies also face competition from mass-market beauty companies that are featuring many of the same bioactives as natural brands in their skin care products.
“One of the challenges the industry is facing is that many of the mass companies are trying to use natural ingredients in their formulations and capitalize on the market,” said Miles. “Many of these conventional companies are using natural bioactives in their products, but they’re also formulating with synthetics.”
With more mass companies tapping natural bioactives, how can natural beauty companies get a competitive edge? By pairing plant-based actives with natural preservatives, surfactants and emollients, while conventional companies turn to the easy and cheap synthetics in these ingredient categories. Miles also notes that natural brands should invest more in their own research.
“We’re going to have to compete with those people, so we’re going to have to step up our act and do clinicals on our finished products and not just rely on the ingredients as the basis for 'Yes, this is definitely working.'”
Here, Miles and Chris Fields, vice president of technology and science at Applied Food Sciences, dig into the science and natural solutions on the cutting edge of the nontoxic antiaging skin care industry.