Eco-consciousness to drive demand for waterless cosmetics in APAC, says GlobalData

The use of waterless cosmetics, a trend that originated in South Korea, is growing across the globe, particularly in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. It represents an innovative shift in the beauty sector, and these products are particularly popular among environmentally conscious consumers. With growing eco-consciousness among consumers, the demand for waterless cosmetics is expected to grow further in the APAC region, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Mohammed Masiuddin Shajie, Lead Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Unlike traditional cosmetics, waterless beauty products eliminate water as an ingredient and utilize alternative bases like butter, oil, and botanical extracts. They are therefore referred to as anhydrous cosmetics. According to the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association, an average beauty product contains 60–85% of water, while in rinse-off products, such as shampoo and conditioners, this percentage is even higher. Given the waterless formulation, these products will reduce the strain on freshwater resources. In addition, they will appeal to environmentally conscious consumers, as their smaller pack size will reduce the carbon footprint.”

Deepak Nautiyal, Consumer and Retail Commercial Director, APAC and Middle East, GlobalData, notes: “Consumers are becoming more conscious of the environment and are looking for sustainable products. In a GlobalData consumer survey, 49% of respondents in Asia and Australasia stated that the information about water footprint displayed on product packaging always/often influences their product choices*.  In the same survey, 81% of respondents said that they find sustainable/environmentally friendly feature as “essential/nice to have” when making a purchase. Furthermore, 52% of these respondents stated that for them “sustainable” means using natural resources at a steady level that won’t damage the environment.”

Shajie adds: “Besides emphasizing the sustainability aspect of waterless cosmetics, manufacturers can also position these products as healthier alternatives to traditional beauty products. Waterless cosmetics do not need preservatives and are therefore suitable even for sensitive skin types. These beauty products also come with an extended shelf life, while the concentrated nature of these cosmetics makes them convenient for travel and on-the-go application. A focus on these additional aspects can further encourage the adoption of waterless cosmetics among a wider consumer base in the region.”

Nautiyal concludes: “The future of waterless cosmetics in APAC appears bright with the ongoing consumer demand and innovations in the industry propelling progress towards more eco-friendly practices. These anhydrous products will grow in popularity, providing an alternative to traditional water-based formulations. However, manufacturers will have to invest in consumer education and engagement to increase awareness regarding sustainable consumption and highlight the other benefits of waterless beauty products.”

* GlobalData 2023 Q2 Consumer Survey – Asia & Australasia, with 6,438 respondents

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