The cosmetics industry is dehydrated

“The main ingredient in conventional cosmetics, in percentages of up to 80%, is water.

13 June 2022 Monday 21:57
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The cosmetics industry is dehydrated

“The main ingredient in conventional cosmetics, in percentages of up to 80%, is water. A water that does not contribute anything and that, on the other hand, dilutes the active ingredient and causes us to consume the product much faster”, says Rodrigo Folgueira, from the Banbu Zero Waste cosmetics company. Folgueria explains that the industry uses it because "it is much easier to manufacture in liquid than in solid and much cheaper". However, an increasingly concerned consumer about the environment is causing a return to solid cosmetics (the classic bar of soap) or powder.

The cosmetics industry is dehydrated or, at least, those firms most concerned about the environment. “It is essential to reduce as much as possible the use of a resource as scarce as water in our formulations. We can do it with solid, powder or oil-based formulas and even butters with a very low percentage of water. Another option is to use the water obtained from the use of algae and thus avoid the use of fresh water”, said Anna Callao, technical director of Inquiaroma, at the Green Beauty Congress natural cosmetics forum. Inquiaroma is a supplier of active ingredients and natural ingredients for the cosmetic market.

The main problems associated with the use of water in cosmetics are “the need to use plastic in the container, either in the container or in the cap if the container is glass; In addition, cosmetics with water can be contaminated more easily, so they normally need preservatives to prevent the product from spoiling”, explains Nuria Alonso, director of the BioVidaSana certification for organic and natural cosmetics. Rodrigo Folgueira points to another drawback of incorporating water: the need to use more product, which implies greater transportation requirements, greater generation of waste and more greenhouse gas emissions. “The solid or powder formulas are more concentrated and last much longer because less product is required to achieve the same effect. Each of our products is equivalent to using three that are packaged in plastics,” says the co-founder of Banbu Zero Waste.

The other big trend in cosmetics is the use of natural and organic ingredients. "Ingredients and residues are the biggest concerns of consumers, although many times they do not know very well what each thing means and they are confused between certified brands and those that simply greenwash their image," adds Nuria Alonso. At the Green Beauty Congress, Clara Vigo from the cosmetics firm Provital warned companies that they are not doing their homework, that it is "increasing demands" and that the change "is not immediate, but rather requires time and investments".

The cosmetics and perfumery sector has an important weight in Spain. Last year, companies in this industry had a turnover of 8.2 billion euros, according to figures from the National Association of Perfumery and Cosmetics (Stanpa). About 35% of the activity is export, which places the country as the world's second largest exporter of perfumes and among the top ten for cosmetics. In fact, Stanpa states that Spain already exports more perfumery and cosmetic products than emblematic sectors such as wine, footwear and olive oil. Companies in this industry employ 40,000 people directly and another 250,000 more indirectly.



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