These days, you can't step foot in a drugstore beauty aisle without being inundated by products advertising all-natural, organic, green-induced miracles—brands and consumers alike can’t seem to get enough, and the data looks like it backs up the anecdotal evidence. The millennial affinity for a more natural approach has been well established, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that three in four women ages 18 to 34 say that buying products with green ingredients is important to them, but according to the third annual Green Beauty Barometer, a Harris Poll conducted for Kari Gran, eco-friendly goods are making gains with older age groups, as well.
Meanwhile, NPD Group’s 2017 Women’s Facial Skincare Consumer Report found that a growing number of U.S. women use facial products that are hypoallergenic, formulated for sensitive skin, and/or fragrance free; nearly half seek out products with natural or organic ingredients; and 40 percent look for those without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and gluten. This movement toward natural beauty is ultimately reflected in the participating brands’ bottom line. Per NPD’s retail point-of-sale data, prestige skincare brands touting wellness or natural ingredients increased their sales by 13 percent last year, more than double the overall market growth, representing nearly a quarter of total skincare sales to the tune of $1.3 billion. Not only that, a sizable chunk of the women surveyed for the Green Beauty Barometer revealed their intentions to buy more green products over the next two years, so there’s a strong likelihood that those gains will continue.
“There has been a titanic shift over the past decade in consumer awareness of the problem of unsafe chemicals in cosmetics,” says Janet Nudelman, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC), a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners that pushes for more stringent legislation on personal-care products. “That increased awareness has led to a change in purchasing practices, with consumers now voting with their pocketbooks in favor of safer products, and the rapid growth, in response, of the safe cosmetics industry.”