How COVID-19 Will Make the Beauty Industry More Sustainable

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the beauty industry in a number of different ways.

From the limited supply of raw materials to how beauty professionals, hair stylists, and aestheticians interact with their clients, everyone is trying to adjust to the new normal. Moreover, consumers are also changing the ways they purchase and use personal care and cosmetic products.

One of the biggest ramifications of COVID-19 is the shift to greener, more sustainable products. Here are six ways the pandemic will make the beauty industry more sustainable.

1. Skin Health and Viruses

The coronavirus pandemic has increased consumer awareness and interest in anti-viral products, including hand sanitizers, cleaning agents, and hand washes. Due to this elevated demand, some skin care companies have started releasing products aimed at rebuilding and restoring the resilience of skin microbiome, which is the bacteria that reside on the skin. Symbiome, a direct-to-consumer skin care brand startup, is releasing six products, including a face cream and cleanser, designed to improve the skin microbiome.

2. A Return to Natural Ingredients

Consumers want to know where their skin care and cosmetic products are coming from. This has increased the demand for natural product ingredients. Cosmetic developers are doggedly pursuing these ingredients, including:

· Natural Oils: Consumers can expect to see more coconut, palm, avocado, and argon oils in their beauty products.

· Agricultural Plants: The beauty industry will be using more soybeans, corn, and other agricultural plant ingredients to derive green cosmetic surfactants, emulsifiers, and biocatalysts.

· Bacteria: One example of this is the Deinococcus bacteria, which has been utilized to create pigments and aromatic ingredients.

3. Sustainable Rainforest Ingredients

With the boost in natural ingredients comes the question of sustainable sourcing. The commercialization of rain forest ingredients, such as palm kernel oil, may be the key to deforestation of the world’s precious rain forests. Some cosmetic developers are working with the indigenous communities of Boreno in Southeastern Asia to round up wild harvested rainforest ingredients. With more than half of the island’s rainforests being lost within the last 50 years, it’s critical to preserve what still remains.

4. The Disruption of Raw Materials

The nationwide lockdown has greatly disrupted the supply of raw materials to the beauty industry, particularly natural ingredients. Longer transportation times, increased freight costs, and quarantine measures at ports have all been culprits of this disruption. Some cosmetic firms are establishing regional and local supply networks to avoid the disruption.

5. Avoiding Toxic Ingredients

By using more sustainable ingredients, cosmetic developers are avoiding many toxic elements that can be found in popular brands that can harm the environment and human health. Ingredients such as BHA and BHT, coal tar dyes, aluminum, and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives will not be seen in these greener cosmetic products.

6. Sustainable Packaging

Recently, The Sustainable Packaging Initiative for CosmEtics (SPICE) launched a digital ecodesign tool to track and reduce the eco footprint of cosmetic packaging throughout its lifecycle. Called SPICE Tool, the initiative aims to embed ecodesign into the cosmetic packaging development process.

With consumers more aware about health and the environment now that ever before, the beauty industry is taking steps to be more sustainable. This includes the use of natural ingredients, products that boost the skin’s natural flora, and eco-friendly packaging solutions.

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