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Savvier consumers continue to drive demand for natural cosmetics

By Simon Pitman+

Last updated on 13-Aug-2014 at 17:22 GMT2014-08-13T17:22:57Z

Savvier consumers continue to drive demand for natural cosmetics

George Korres, founder of leading global natural cosmetics brand Korres, believes that the driving force for natural cosmetics is and will continue to be an increasingly knowledgeable consumer.

Savvier consumers continue to drive demand for natural cosmetics

George Korres, founder of leading global natural cosmetics brand Korres, believes that the driving force for natural cosmetics is and will continue to be an increasingly knowledgeable consumer.

Korres spoke to Cosmetics Design ahead of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit , which will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil next month, where he will be giving a presentation about healing with homeopathy and how this can be merged with natural cosmetics.

In this exclusive interview we wanted to find out how natural cosmetics are evolving, where it will be in ten years’ time, and what are the primary driving forces behind the continued growth of this ever-expanding category.

A more sophisticated consumer is calling the shots

Only ten years ago terms such as eco-friendly, sustainability and traceability were not a part of the mainstream consumers’ vocabulary, but awareness of how environmental damage and global warming could affect our livelihoods and wellbeing is forcing many individuals to make these elements a crucial part of their lives.

“Ten years ago, no one expected that the average consumer today would come to have a clear comprehension in scientific terms like “formaldehyde”, “parabens” and “toxic substances”,” said Korres.

“This has bought a clear switch to the market towards natural cosmetics. And at a time when science and technology has allowed us to develop natural skin solutions that can address any need without compromising on efficacy, offering thus the opportunity to the consumer to choose based on whether they want a natural or a synthetic solution instead of choosing based on which one is more efficacious.”

Sustainability means greater demand for natural ingredients

Increasing awareness of the benefits of natural cosmetic and personal care formulation is making consumers realize that buying these type of products can benefit them personally, as well as the environment, a concept that is being combined with increasingly sophisticated formulation technology.

“I strongly believe that the ever increasing consumer‘s drive to what is “good” for their skin will lead natural products in different market segments,” said Korres.

“I feel that by continuously supporting the concept of sustainability in the natural cosmetics sector, more and more active ingredients will emerge that are effective and safe for use. This combined with new science and technologies will allow us to move even further.”

It is all about the face care products

But if you want to find out where the biggest strides have been taken in natural cosmetics, Korres believes that you have to turn the face care category, where consumer expectations are at the highest and where research and development has to come up with technologically advanced solutions.

“It is the most demanding category out of all when it comes to skincare. Consumers wish to fulfill all needs - anti-ageing, firming, moisturizing, brightening, soothing – thus the need for innovative active ingredients that can deliver clinically proven results,” Korres said.

“To be able to develop formulations that can offer as good results – if not better  - as the products based on chemical compounds. To be able to do this based solely on the properties of plant derived active ingredients is a huge achievement.”

Helping consumers navigate natural ingredients

Although consumers have become much more literate with respect to ingredients labels, Korres also believes that being transparent and making it as easy to understand as possible will bring significant benefits, which is why his brand has taken a very considered approach to all of this.

“At Korres we have introduced a very transparent way of communicating all of the above – we have introduced a Formula Facts table that clearly states the natural content of each formulation along with the ingredients we select and those we avoid; and we have also simplified the language used so that consumers can easily decode what they are reading, instead of opting for coded ingredients names that can only be understood by chemists and pharmacists.”

Where will the category be in ten years’ time?

“The savvier people get on all issues relating to health, safety, ethical choices the stronger the demand for natural products. It can only grow stronger. In our field, up until a few years ago, a lot of dermatologists would still insist that natural cosmetics could only cater for basic needs. That is no longer the case,” Korres said.

“As long as this drive towards natural cosmetics is supported by research and at the same time kept in a clear frame by legislative and regulatory changes, it will only bring more and more great products in the market. Nature is an endless source - there are so many plants that have not yet been isolated and assessed for their possible skin benefits.”

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