UK Personal Care Consumers Going Natural to Avoid Synthetic Chemicals

London – High growth in the UK natural personal care products market is primarily driven by consumers’ concerns about synthetic chemicals in cosmetics & toiletries. A new study by Organic Monitor ( finds that 89% of buyers of natural personal care products stated avoiding synthetic chemicals was important or very important to them. Just 4% stated it was not important.

The first-ever UK study into consumer behaviour towards natural personal care products finds that health factors and ethical considerations are the primary motives for 71% of buyers. The presence of natural & organic ingredients is the main reason for a further 17% of purchases.

Parabens were identified as the synthetic chemicals that cause most concern. A third of consumers stated they try to avoid parabens in personal care products. The surfactants Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate were the second most mentioned. The associated health risk of these chemicals is leading consumers to buy natural & organic personal care products.

A major finding is that certification is not important to most buyers. Just 35% of consumers stated that they look for symbols & logos when buying natural personal care products. About half of those who do, look for the Soil Association symbol. Interestingly, 79% said they would be willing to pay extra for certified products, however less than a quarter would consider paying a price premium of over 30%.

Organic Monitor conducted research by interviewing buyers of natural personal care products in the UK. Personal interviews were undertaken to get an insight into consumer attitudes, preferences and expectations of natural personal care products. The study finds that the typical buyer is female, young to middle-aged, well-educated and in the higher social bands. Although most purchases are by seasoned shoppers who have been buying natural personal care products for over 2 years, most new consumers are from the younger age groups.

This Consumer Insights report gives several marketing recommendations to new entrants and existing producers & retailers. Companies are advised to educate consumers by focusing on educational campaigns and public relations. Emphasis on product packaging and labelling is also encouraged to ensure ‘the product mix’ is in line with consumer expectations of natural and organic products.

Research Publication: #1231-60 Consumer Insights: Natural & Organic Personal Care Products in the UK
Publication Date: November 2007

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About Organic Monitor

Organic Monitor is a business research & consulting company that has been tracking the global organic & related product industries since 2001. Our business services include market research publications, customised & technical research and business consulting.

Our new Consumer Insights division is undertaking consumer attitude & behaviour studies in our specialist industries. Visit us at

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Tina Gill
Organic Monitor
Tel: (44) 20 8567 0788
Fax: (44) 20 8567 7164
Email: [email protected]

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