Formulating with natural and organic ingredients still throws up challenges

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Personal care products, Organic personal care, Cosmetics

Although natural and organic alternatives to synthetic ingredients have proliferated in recent years, problems with supply and formulation remain a challenge.

Formulating natural and organic personal care products has become easier over the years as an increasing selection of technologically advanced ingredients have hit the market, but as Organic Monitor’s Judi Beerling points out, it is still relatively early days for the category.

“Having sufficient supply of high quality raw materials at reasonable costs is a major concern for many companies”​ said Beerling, who is the market research company’s technical research manager.

But the problems are not just limited to the consistency of supply, the efficacy of ingredients and their quality. Formulating with natural and organic ingredients also throws up its own unique set of challenges.

Stability issues with natural ingredients

In the past, synthetic stabilizers, emulsifiers and preservatives have made the task of formulating personal care products all the more easy, but increasingly strict certification codes mean that most of these ingredients have been outlawed from natural and organic formulations.

“It is sometimes difficult to predict how natural and organic ingredients will change the stability profile of cosmetic products,”​ said Beerling.

Such technical challenges are giving companies enormous formulation challenges, which Beerling says is forcing many natural and organic personal care providers to sacrifice efficacy and sensory characteristics in favour of ingredient and stability requirements.

Efficacy and sensory characteristics

The problem this causes is that the compromised efficacy and sensory characteristics means that products often do not match the increasingly high standards consumers expect.

This is even more pronounced when taking into consideration the fact that natural and organic personal care products often have a premium price tag, which leads consumers to expect more ‘bang for their buck’.

Organic Monitor will be addressing the technical issues arising from natural and organic product formulation in a seminar entitled ‘Meeting the formulation challenges of developing natural cosmetics’ given at the forthcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summit ​to be held in New York, March 24 – 26.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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