Among recent launches, there is an increasing number of waterless products, highlights Ecovia Intelligence. Brands are launching shampoo bars, sheet masks and related products. By not containing water, such products have lower environmental impact as they require less packaging, have lower transportation and distribution costs, and can be self-preserving. Garnier, Aveda, and Klorane are some of the established brands launching waterless products in the last couple of years. In June, P&G joined the bandwagon and announced that it will launch solid shampoos and conditioners under its Head & Shoulders, Pantene, Herbal Essences and Aussie brands.

Waterless innovations are now spreading to colour cosmetics, although powders and sticks have long been common in this category. Newcomers like SBTRCT are making a step further with plastic-free and zero waste products.

Skin care appears to be the very next frontier for waterless products. Emerging brands such as Yodi, Mono Skincare and Maison Dakōta are pioneering the category, with suppliers such as Aircos or Superga Beauty, among others, multiplying innovations.

To close their packaging loops, brands are also moving away from single-use plastics and refillable packaging is becoming prominent. In addition, Terracycle has expanded its Loop platform for refillable packaging to various countries. Labelled the circular reuse platform, Loop works with cosmetic companies and retailers so consumers can return product packaging for re-use.

In the deodorants sector, innovations are involving refillable packaging. Fussy and Wild Cosmetics, for instance, are UK brands that have launched sustainable deodorants in refillable deodorants. Fussy deodorants have clean formulations and are housed in plastic-free compostable packaging; the products are marketed as the ‘next generation’ deodorant.

As far as ingredients are concerned, upcycling is becoming increasingly popular as the cosmetic industry looks to valorise waste streams. Leading ingredient firms, such as Dow Chemical and Laboratories Expanscience, are using food byproducts to create new natural ingredients. Fruit kernels, vegetable peels, and coffee grounds are some of the waste materials used. The Finnish start-up Innomost is making cosmetic ingredients from birch bark side streams. Dr. Craft, O’right, UpCircle and Kadalys are some of the brands developing dedicated product ranges with ‘repurposed ingredients’.

The move towards circularity is also encouraging collaborations. Clariant, Beiersdorf, Borealis and Siegwerk have teamed up to create circular packaging innovations. The Design4Circularity initiative has created a colourless polyolefin bottle made from 100% post-consumer recycled material. The packaging materials can be recovered and fully recyclable for the same application.

As the circular beauty trend is gaining impetus in the cosmetics industry, Ecovia Intelligence believes its success will hinge on customer behaviour. Shoppers will buy novel products if they are aware of their sustainability merits. Consumers also need to be educated on how to use waterless products, what packaging to recycle, where and how to refill. “The cosmetics industry is making sustainable products, however are consumers being prepared for them,” asks Ecovia Intelligence.

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit - European Edition

Waterless cosmetics, upcycled ingredients, refillable packaging, new packaging materials, and customer behaviour will be featured in the upcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summit. Lush, Terracycle, SBTRCT, Clariant, Dow Chemical, L’Oreal (Garnier), Fussy and Kadalys will be sharing their experiences at the event. Since 2009, the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit has been covering sustainability issues in the cosmetic & personal care industry.

The European edition will be hosted at the Paris Marriott Champs-Élysées hotel on 7-9th November 2022.

More information is available from