Natural Products News Round Table – Part 1 – Waterless Beauty Products

Natural Products News Round Table – Part 1 – Waterless Beauty Products

Back in October last year, I was invited to the Diversified headquarters in Brighton. Diversified are the publishers of Natural Products News and Natural Beauty News, amongst other titles, and organisers of several trade events including Natural & Organic Products Europe.  

The panel was chaired by Julia Zaltzman, editor of Natural Beauty News, and also sitting were Jayn Sterland, managing director of Weleda, Kirstie & Luke Sherriff co-founders of Pinks Boutique and Stockport health store Amaranth’s owner, Joanne Hill.

Four questions were posed, and I thought it would be interesting to share my musings on all of them with you. Here is the first question:

  1. Waterless Beauty – With water becoming an increasingly precious resource, smart beauty brands are investing in products that use less water and more sustainable production processes – many organic brands have spent time and resources making products look and feel like mainstream creams, is the waterless trend here to stay? How can organic beauty brands capitalise on this trend ahead of mainstream brands?

Upon reading this first question, I thought “is water really becoming that much more precious?” because none of us seem to be doing anything about it. So I looked for some stats and I found the following on www.fewresources.org

“By 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity and two thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions.”

Admittedly, this has a lot to do with the fact that 85% of the world’s population live in the driest half of the planet, but nevertheless, these statistics are food for thought.

To put the current price of water in perspective, and the reason it is the choice ingredient for a cheap filler in beauty products, I did a bit of research. On Amazon, I can buy 25 litres of distilled and deionised water on Amazon for £39.99. In contrast, I could buy 25 litres of organic jojoba oil for £829.49 on aromantic.co.uk. That makes the jojoba oil over 20 times more costly than the water!

With no real value put on water in terms of price, one has to question whether the threat of water scarcity is real and just how is will affect us all, and current production methods of not just beauty but all industry that involve heavy water usage.

But just how real is the threat? One only has to look at fossil fuels, at current production rates it is estimated we will run out sometime this century, but petrochemicals are still a massive part of mainstream cosmetics production despite being a limited resource.

Based on the aforementioned points, I do not believe we will see any decline in water usage in the beauty industry anytime soon.

That said, I do think waterless beauty products are here to stay. There are advantages to waterless beauty, such as less reliance on synthetic preservatives, and great concentration of active ingredients. These are two points that natural and organic formulators have always prided themselves on so in the natural products industry it is not necessarily a new thing. Natural products formulators will sometimes also use a water alternative, such as a hydrosol (a flower water – rose and lavender are both commonly used) or aloe vera juice or gel, which are water rich but also contain minerals and micronutrients to feed the skin.

Do you use waterless beauty products in your regime already? Are you a formulator with an opinion on waterless beauty? We’d love to hear from you hi@rebeccagoodyear.com