Waterless cosmetics concept drawing attention of APAC consumers, says GlobalData

Waterless beauty concept traces its roots to the South Korean beauty (K-beauty) industry that has been a pioneer in the development of personal care products using oils and botanical extracts without water. As a result, a range of waterless cosmetics have come to the fore in recent years in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) beauty and personal care market, drawing the attention of consumers and personal care brands alike, says GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

GlobalData 2019 Q3 Consumer Survey reveals that 45% of consumers in the APAC region are interested in buying products that are better for the environment or animal-friendly. Waterless cosmetics closely align with the ongoing movement towards ‘clean’ cosmetics.

Shagun Sachdeva, Consumer Insights Analyst at GlobalData says: “Consequently, beauty brands are encouraged to develop cosmetics with zero ‘added’ water as water is essentially an inactive ingredient that dilutes the product formulation. Eliminating water from the mix thereby provides more room for beneficial ingredients such as botanicals and essential oils as well as reduces packaging requirements.

“All this translates into lower transportation and logistics costs, and a smaller carbon footprint, as well as cutting the amount of plastic waste that may end up in landfills and oceans. Companies that adopt waterless concepts can endow a ‘feel-good’ halo to cosmetics brands, and further incentivize consumers to make more responsible purchase.”

Waterless cosmetics are growing beyond their epicenter in Asia and are all set to shape the future of the beauty and grooming products market. Brands are following differentiated approach to develop new formulations and applications and they recognize the need to generate awareness around the efficacy, convenience and sustainability benefits of waterless cosmetics.

Notably, 49% of APAC consumers pay high attention to the ingredients used in the beauty / grooming products they buy, highlighting the opportunity for innovation using this concept. In addition, 84% of consumers in APAC seek beauty/grooming products that contain natural ingredients.

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal has committed to a 60% reduction in water consumption per finished product by 2020 (from a 2005 baseline) while Unilever is committing to halve the water associated with the consumer use of its products by 2020 (against a baseline of 2010).

South Korea-based May Coop offers the Raw line of products made using undiluted maple water. The range includes Raw Sauce, tagged as an intensely hydrating toner and emulsion that is made from 93% maple sap and herbal extracts.

Sachdeva concludes: “Water-efficient cosmetics can make deep inroads in places where water is at a premium. Water-saving beauty/grooming products have a world of opportunities in emerging markets such as India, China and Indonesia, which faced several spells of dry weather and droughts in recent years.

“Such water-efficient cosmetics are also poised to capture consumer demand in developed markets such as Australia where many cities have reported rapid declines in surface and ground water levels. However, the key challenge for the manufacturers will be building consumer awareness and acceptance for waterless cosmetics.”

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