The shift to waterless cosmetics

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

The shift to waterless cosmetics
In our sustainability focus, we delve into the metamorphosis of water in beauty and personal care by looking at the demand for waterless product R&D efforts and releases.

World Water Day took place on 22nd March 2018. Now, more than ever, Asia-Pacific (APAC) multinationals and domestic-based names are dedicating their sustainability initiatives towards water conservation, collaborating with authoritative bodies, and exploring and launching waterless formulations.

Leading examples

Japanese cosmetics company Kao has teamed up with the Centre for Environmental Education and Communications (CEEC) with China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection to release its ‘Nationwide Cleanliness and Water Saving Initiatives’.

Indian brand Azafran Innovacion's use of plant-based, biodegradable and eco-friendly ingredients, for example, helping to promote water as a luxury, rather than a commodity.

O’ Right, a Taiwanese natural hair care name, supports the move towards carbon neutral businesses and has committed to lowering its water usage.

Furthering its sustainability goals, South Korean beauty leader, Amorepacific, has also prioritised its eco-friendly process​ set up and management by using 32,059 tonnes of rainwater in its productions units to lower its water and carbon footprint.

Watertight marketing

Increasingly, the personal care industry is embracing water-saving efforts and incorporating the environmentally-savvy and eco-friendly messaging into its brand story. Yet, waterless formulations such as dry masks​ and dry shampoos can still focus on innovation and provide an exponential beauty experience.

While these opportunities are on the rise, socially-conscious consumers need to be careful and ensure that products labels and claims purporting to be waterless are authentic and reliable​.

“Consumers want to see a world that lives and thrives in the future rather than one that is depleted in resources, but they also want great products so they want to use products/brands that provide great products but are mindful of our planet​,” ​Belinda Carli, Director, Institute of Personal Care Science, put forward. 

Beauty and sustainability

Conversations are happening, yet they need to continue and form part of the wider production, marketing and strategic initiatives in order to increase the development of waterless products​. 

While 70% of consumers in China say they are very concerned about water pollution, global intelligence provider, Mintel, highlighted how “water conservation isn't yet considered an issue in Asia Pacific”​. Therefore, more needs to be done through marketing and advertising campaigns to cause a shift in consumer attitudes.

The future of water conservation​ is set to expand this conservation awareness to areas beyond product development and enter the home and beauty routines of consumers. Waterless cleaners and easy rinse claims are new inventions expected to successfully and simultaneously promote cleansing and conservation.  

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