in-cosmetics Latin America Special Newsletter

Wellbeing drives the LATAM natural trend, but research points to difficulties finding products

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

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Getty Images

Related tags wellbeing Cosmetics Latin america Natural beauty market

Natural and organic cosmetic and personal care products continue to be a growing niche in the Latin America region, but latest research from Mintel suggests price and availability is holding it back.

Cosmetics Design spoke exclusively Juliana Martins, senior beauty and personal care specialist at Mintel, a few weeks before she gives a presentation at the forthcoming in-cosmetics Latin America event, held in Sao Paulo September 18 – 19.

Juliana;s presentation is titled: 'Opportunities in natural products in Latin America', and is scheduled to take place on September 18th​, at 11:30am to 12:15pm, as part of the event’s educational program.

The presentation will clue in on some of the key categories and markets where opportunities exist, while also stressing challenges that are holding back the development of the trend, but ahead of that we posed questions to Juliana on the topic concerning the specific countries, product types and reasons Latam consumers are going natural, while also highlighting some of the key challenges.

Why are LATAM consumers looking for natural beauty and personal care products?

As Mintel identified the Total Wellbeing trend: consumers are trying to have more healthy attitudes in their life, eating better, choosing less harmful ingredients to eat/drink, and also trying to use more free-from cosmetics. People are seeing that beauty comes from inside out; it is a more holistic way to take care of themselves and to face life.

Latam consumers have the habit of eating at home, doing their own meals, instead of buying industrialized ones. The Mintel Meal Occasion report from April 2019 showed that 82% of Brazilians have breakfast in any week day at home, 78% have lunch and 84% have dinner at home in any week day. Also, 50% of Brazilians are eating healthier meals and 31% say they are cooking their meals from scratch more frequently.

So this way of life is inspiring beauty habits. The upcoming October Brazilian report The Beauty Consumer shows that 53% of Brazilians are interested in natural beauty products (eg no chemicals). Other data show the interest of Brazilians in more natural cosmetics:

Bodycare – September 2018: 42% of Brazilians consider that body care products that contain natural ingredients (eg derived from plants) are important.

Color Cosmetics – August 2019: 33% of women think that facial makeup that contains natural ingredients is important; 29% consider that mascara with natural ingredients is important; and 36% think that lip makeup with natural ingredients is important.

Hair care – April 2018: 24% of Brazilians are interested in using vegan/natural hair products.

Skincare Trends in Ingredients and Formats – September 2019: 40% of Brazilians are interested in skincare products for face and body made with plants and fruits from Brazilian trees (eg coconut, açaí).

Which categories have proven the most popular for natural products and why?

Juliana Martins, senior beauty and personal care specialist, Mintel

In Latam in general, I would say facial skincare. There are some brands developing natural skincare as:
- Somos Linda, from Argentina (​)
- Yuya, from Mexico (one of the biggest blogger in Mexico who teamed up with Republic Cosmetics to create a cruelty free beauty line in 2017 and has teamed up with Unilever-owned Sedal to launch Yuya Detox -​)
- Juicy Lab, from Mexico (​)
- Tessa, from Chile (a beauty brand that uses non-toxic natural active ingredients, as well as at least one locally sourced element (​)
- Ahal, from Mexico (​)
- Simple Organic, from Brazil (​)
- Macré, from Mexico (​)

But in Brazil, consumers have a lot of interest in the haircare category, thanks to our cultural diversity.
Established brands in Brazil working with natural ingredients for hair are Natura and L’Occitane au Brésil. We have also Bio Extratus and Feito Brasil.

Which countries provide the main opportunities for natural products in the LATAM region?

Actually, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.

In Chile, there is a growing concern about consuming more natural food & drink products as childhood obesity level was very high in the country. So this market started influencing the beauty sector to make more free-from products, but Chilean brands are not so innovative.

Argentina is already experiencing a major economic crisis, so natural products are still considered a luxury for many people.

Are natural ingredients from the LATAM region the most popular? Do consumers seek out Amazon ingredients, for example?

They are not the most popular. Natural cosmetics are already a niche market in Latam, with products more expensive than chemical ones. Another problem is to find those products. According to the upcoming report The Beauty Consumer, from September, 28% of Brazilians say it is hard to find natural/vegan products where they shop.

How do you see the natural beauty and personal care market evolving in the region over the next 5 – 10 years?

I think beauty brands will have to adapt themselves to what consumers want. They show interest in natural and organic products, but these products are more expensive and more difficult to be found easily. So the Latam beauty market will have to make efforts to develop more and more accessible natural products, making it a mass market, not a niche one. The biodiversity in Latin America offers a wealth of choice when it comes to natural beauty ingredients. Also, there are a lot of great possible innovations thinking about our different types of hair, skin and body.

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