As industry professionals we know that demand for natural and organic beauty products has been around for some time now, and with no official legislation in place to regulate product claims, most beauty companies have tapped into the trend. Yet while the demand for ‘natural and organic’ coined-products is still strong, the trend has evolved. Indeed, with the rise and rise of conscious consumerism, so have we witnessed the global movement towards the term ‘clean beauty.’
So, what is the definition of clean beauty and what is driving it? While ‘natural and organic’ products promote themselves as using ingredients derived from nature, clean beauty is all about formulations free from harmful ingredients, whether they’re manmade or pure – because as we know, there are some natural ingredients we certainly don’t want in our cosmetics or personal care products (poison ivy face wash anyone? No, didn’t think so.) As the global crusade for wellness across all lifestyle sectors surges on a pace, what we are witnessing is the unrelenting pursuit of clean, healthy, conscious choices and goods. And these goods are required to be free from any ‘bad’ chemicals that will contaminate and sully our new-found love of a holistic lifestyle. Indeed, according to the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor report, the wellness industry increased 12.8 percent between 2015 and 2017, growing in value from $3.7 trillion to $4.2 trillion in 2017.
With wellness websites such as Goop and now Poosh thriving while other media are shutting up shop, it’s clear that the passion for a clean lifestyle in terms of products, diet and lifestyle choices is going nowhere. According to the report “The wellness economy has grown at nearly twice the rate of global economic growth [3.6 per cent],” with the personal care and beauty industry accounting for more than $1 billion of that in 2017, according to Vogue. That’s some growth.
And like the aforementioned Vogue, Goop and Poosh, the media is going mad for it, keen to capitalize on a captive audience. Articles detailing the ever-expanding array of clean skin care and make-up abound. However, very little has been mentioned about hair care, which, to me, seems somewhat incredulous given that the shampoos, conditioners and styling products literally have direct contact on the scalp, with the shampoo and conditioner residue (and its potentially harmful ingredients such as cationic surfactants and cationic polymers) being washed into our waterways. According to speciality ingredient company INOLEX , ‘The cationic charge makes these ingredients toxic to aquatic life, including fish, daphnids, algae. They can then bind to negative surfaces on and in the bodies of these organisms, such as fish gills, and prevent normal bodily functions from being performed.” And in the era of action against global climate change, I wouldn’t say that’s very ‘clean’, would you?
So as you can see, the question now is not if clean hair care will blow up, but when? In fact, we predict that clean hair care is going to be the next big category where ingredient lists are scrutinized. As conscious consumers demand more from their products in all areas, clean beauty will continue to grow and in turn, clean hair care. Companies such as INOLEX cater to the demand bycreating ingredients that adhere to ‘clean’ guidelines. In fact, INOLEX is already ahead of the game. Understanding the need for the same high performance given by the regular Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (quats) used in hair care products without the negative environmental effects, it has created a new category of conditioning agents. AminoSensyl HC is “an innovation for the hair conditioning and hair treatment market that is cationically charged and provides high level performance benefits in formulations but it is not a ‘quat’.” This chemistry causes no skin irritation, contains 100% USDA certified biobased content, and is completely natural – derived from amino acid (valine) and a sustainable non-palm plant. It’s exactly the kind of ingredient the industry should and will be looking to use if it wants to capitalize on the inevitable expansion of ‘clean’ into the hair care market.