Sustainability Breakthroughs in Personal Care


 March 25, 2019

“Organic”, “eco-friendly”, “sustainable”, “vegan”, “natural.” These words are big with consumers in the clean beauty market. What do they really mean and how are these concepts evolving? Our experts dig into some of the most influential sustainability breakthroughs in the personal care market.

Sustainability on the Rise

In 2017, researchers from the NPD Group (one of the largest market-research firms in America) reported that close to half of all females in the U.S. prefer products that contain natural or organic ingredients — and are willing to pay to find them. Consumers are looking for formulas free of synthetic ingredients or products that are sustainably sourced, produced and packaged.

The natural-beauty movement began in response to growing consumer concerns over the synthetic ingredients used in some personal care products. In recent years, the demand for natural beauty products has dramatically evolved. This demand has been spurred on by industry experts like Environmental Working Group (EWG) and influential voices such as Goop and Beautycounter. While terms like, “natural,” “nontoxic,” and “eco-friendly,” are largely unregulated, consumers are still seeking out “clean” brands who make these promises.

Peace of Mind: Shoppers Want “Free-From”

For many consumers (especially millennials), shopping decisions are driven by the desire for peace of mind about the beauty products they use. Globally, the majority of shoppers (87 percent) prefer products with “no harsh chemicals or toxins.”

In response, savvy brands are doing everything they can to put the focus on “free-from” ingredients such as parabens, a family of chemicals that are used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold in cosmetics, moisturizers, hair care and other personal care products.

This list also includes formaldehyde-releasers, a type of preservative that releases a small amount of formaldehyde in beauty products, such as eye makeup, shampoos and lotions, to prevent the growth of microorganisms and bacteria. They include propylene glycol, diazolidinyl urea, and methylene glycol, among others.

Brand Awareness: Beauty and Personal Care (BPC) Scorecard

Perhaps the most significant sustainability breakthrough in the beauty and personal care market stems from a recent study by The Sustainability Consortium and Forum For the Future. In May 2018, they released the first science-based scorecard of 32 key performance indicators (KPIs) in beauty and personal care products. .

The “Beauty and Personal Care Product Sustainability Rating System” is the result of a thorough collaboration among various stakeholders including retailers, suppliers, and NGOs associated with the beauty and personal care product industry. It aims to increase BPC product sustainability by “creating a shared vision for sustainable products and driving a clear market signal.”

In this rating system, the most “sustainable” products are those that embody a high-score across four different thematic areas:

  1. Packaging (sustainable sourcing, recyclability, stewardship list chemical management, etc.)
  2. Disclosure (intentionally added ingredients, fragrance allergens, ingredient function, animal testing, etc.)
  3. Human Health (formulation, chemical selection, chemical footprint, ingredient disclosure, etc.)
  4. Supply Chain and the Environment (palm oil sourcing, formulation raw material suppliers, water use in manufacturing, messaging and design, biodegradability and environmental risk, etc.)

As noted, “Although retailers will be independently applying this system and providing brands with incentives to achieve their sustainability goals, it can be used proactively by brands to highlight individual products in their portfolio that represent the best of the best in product sustainability.”

Stay on Top of Sustainability Breakthroughs with Kinetik

At Kinetik, we know that sustainability and product formulation go hand in hand. As an innovative, natural raw materials distributor, we strive to exceed the needs of our customers with minimal impact on the environment. From the initial product development process through production, our knowledgeable team provides consultations and educational resources for brands to adopt and lead clean beauty practices.

See some of our most popular sustainable ingredients:


Kinetik is headquartered in the USA, but we work with clients and represent suppliers worldwide. Contact us at (732) 335-5775 to speak with one of our sales representatives about ingredients to support your formulations today.