From clean beauty to green beauty

The Green Lifestyle concept is not only exclusive to major industrial practices but is also part of our daily life. People think about it now when choosing beauty products for themselves, writes Shikhee Agarwal

The interest and need of consumers for a sustainable lifestyle has increased dramatically in recent times. Although the concept is quite old, it has grown in popularity since last year. From now on, the ‘Green Lifestyle’ concept is not only exclusive to major industrial practices but is also part of our daily lives. In view of this, people are now thinking about it when choosing beauty products for themselves. Taking a step back from chemical-based products, consumers are now more interested in products made from natural and organic ingredients. Seeing this shift in consumer preferences, beauty brands and manufacturers are now adopting methods to enter the growing sustainable beauty market to make the future better.

Among the majority of consumers who is 63%, products made with 100% natural ingredients are more and more popular nowadays. Not wanting to expose their delicate skin to harmful chemicals, they now want all products to be eco-friendly and skin-friendly, which includes not only a product’s ingredients but its packaging as well. People are now more aware of the effects of these harsh chemicals and the benefits of natural products.

When comparing the two, the tilt is more towards the one that is more beneficial not only for people but also for their environment. Since we now know how toxic these elements are to our skin, people have now started to search for products with natural ingredients in products among which Centella Asiatic also known as Cica, the combined green tea extract. with the latest technology are the most popular choices due to their incredible benefits. So, as a result, the term “Clean Beauty” was coined and is booming. Many new vegan and cruelty-free brands are entering the competition and seeing this already established brands are now trying to step up their efforts to tap the trending market.

In addition to this, the packaging of these products is also based on renewable natural resources like soy ink, bamboo bottles, etc. The reason for the changes are three major factors that consumers are taking seriously in the current scenario. It is about the responsibility for the environment, the effectiveness of the products and the long-term benefits after use.

As brands invest effort and capital in manufacturing sustainable products, selling them is also an important task that they look forward to. For this, they try to find the most profitable and preferred media for consumers. In recent years, the preferred medium has been online stores or e-commerce sites. Customers like to shop for their favorite products from the comfort of their own homes instead of venturing into a store in person. And now, when the situation is such that due to the global recession and pandemic, some companies have folded back on the drawing board and people are wary of any kind of physical contact with others, this medium has become the only concrete choice for not only consumers but also for brands.

Companies that have never had an online presence are now considering or have turned to the world of e-commerce in order to boost their sales even in this difficult situation. The same has happened in the beauty industry. Now all beauty and skin care brands have an online presence, making it easier for customers to purchase the products from the choice of brands they’ve always wanted. See the path of e-commerce led sales on this subject to see steady growth by the end of the year, including the big players Amazon and Flipkart.

According to professionals, the number of people shopping online and the variety of categories in which they shop are certainly beneficial for the growth of online business. And, since the online shopping process has become more accessible and easier with mobile apps where it only takes a few clicks and slides, customers who appreciate the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their home as well as discounts and Cash Back will definitely continue to purchase the products online. Whatever the category.

Taking into account the current situation, there are certain changes in consumer behavior that are at the root of the change in brands’ sales strategies. The first of the trends is the “digitization of the buying process”, where consumers make heavy use of the e-commerce touchpoints available to them. It is said to be on the rise given the strict distancing rules. Thus, digital platforms would play a big role in reaching a large audience, creating buzz to stimulate sales, facilitate payment with different payment methods and build customer loyalty. Next is the ‘Changing Purchasing Behavior’, where people are now interested in purchasing products that are good value for money and are essential in the way of life due to the move towards sustainability.

Another part of these changes is “improvisation”. This turned out to be due to the scarcity of certain products and resources, which led people to make the most of what they could easily source. These creative ways and methods have led to an evolution towards simple and convenient shopping models that have led people to give up binge drinking and focus only on basic needs instead of luxury goods. In other words, the emphasis is more on the essentials than on leisure.

That being said, we can now talk about what the future holds for the beauty industry as well as others in terms of consumer behavior and how consumer preferences will change further over time. There are a few trends predicted for the coming years that companies are already considering. These trends are:

Increased demand for transparency: Since all consumers are highly dependent on online shopping mode, there are instances when they have encountered fraudulent claims. This will ultimately lead to a constant increase in the demand for transparency as soon as the brand or online store ends.

Omnichannel shift and presence: to help consumers have a convenient shopping experience. There will be a bigger shift where more businesses will have an online presence with an offline presence.

The DIY approach: The changes caused by the pandemic are here to stay. People have become more used to doing tasks on their own. Whether it is cooking, makeup, personal care, maintenance of their home, everything is done by people. Therefore, brands might need to consider providing DIY products to customers. In terms of the beauty industry, products such as manicure sets, skin care sets and many other such kits have already made their way into the market.

Green products: As mentioned, the focus will be heavily on the category of green products, that is, products of natural origin that cause the least damage to the skin. Although the demand for Clean Beauty is already present, it is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, which will lead to an increase in the production of Clean beauty products by different brands.

Knowing the trends in consumer behavior ahead of time can give the business a boost and can prove to be of great advantage over competitors. Along with this, knowing the trends can also serve as a rough framework on the basis of which steps can be initiated to keep the brand ready for any emerging changes in the future. Reading the minds of customers is one of the crucial things for a business in order to operate the market effectively and it is becoming even more of a crucial step in today’s times.

Getting back to sustainable beauty, the sector has great potential and is expected to grow rapidly in the future. The sector has already grown by 15% and has overtaken the current cosmetics and personal care market. The sustainable beauty sector has yet to experience the significant growth expected for the coming years.

Beauty and skin care is a booming industry and will reach a six-figure industry by 2026. The packaging of every product can have ramifications that would lead to environmental degradation. Sometimes consumers throw away half-used bottles and it is now up to brands to make the best use of waste. Recycling would play a vital role in making the most of the reuse waste that has been created at every stage of manufacturing. Sometimes brands make bottles of products in glass bottles and they can be reused as a centerpiece on the table or as a flower vase.

In the ingredients of the product, they must be derived from sustainability, from the base oils to the ingredients that would act as active ingredients to soften the skin. From brands to consumers, all have started to become more environmentally conscious, making subtle packaging changes to launching loyalty programs to encourage product recycling. Nature-based skin care is less prone to allergic skin reactions and oils like glycerin are a humectant that would keep the skin hydrated and also prevent irritation.

Therefore, now is the time for brands to take the right step to help save the environment.

The writer has 19 years of cross exposure in beauty, consumer goods, media and fashion. She is AVP, Kiehl’s India

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