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Markets & trends

Cosmetics formulated without water could take the beauty market by storm in the next few years

Water free products - such as powder shampoo and leave-in conditioner bars - spare the natural resource, do not need packaging and require less storage space.

Over 70% of the Earth’s surface is made of water. However, only 3% of this volume is drinkable or suitable for human consumption. Key to life on Earth, water is also necessary in cosmetics production and sparing it is currently one of the biggest challenges in the personal care industry.

Paulo Kazaks is CEO at Sweet Hair

Paulo Kazaks is CEO at Sweet Hair

According to Mintel, products manufactured without water are part of a beauty trend that could impact the global market by 2025. In Brazil, specialty chemical companies and manufacturers of ingredients for cosmetics began to present sustainable solutions that follow this concept.

A bar shampoo - that can also be used as a soap or shaving foam - is one of the water free formulas developed by Chemyunion. "We aim to inspire the R&D and marketing departments of our clients with new possibilities of creation", says marketing director Leandra Moraes. "Consumers are looking for recyclable packaging, clean label products and there is a growing interest in water conservation," she says.

Beraca, the largest supplier of ingredients from Brazilian ecosystems, is also investing in the trend. Among the water free products in the company’s portfolio are gel conditioners, granular facial masks and a series of leave-in solid products composed of pequi and patauá oils. "Consumers can take a little bit of the product in their bags and add water when they want to use it", says Marianna Cyrillo, Beraca’s marketing and communication manager.

She also notes that some personal care products are made of 90% water. "If we already use water in the shower, it makes sense to use a powder shampoo. It will mix with the water in the shower, sparing it in the manufacturing process", says Cyrillo.

Brazilian personal care brand Sweet Hair launched a pioneer powder shampoo for beauty salons. It is now distributed in 70 countries. "Its manufacturing process is 100% water free. This saves an average of seven liters of water for every 400 grams of shampoo", says CEO Paulo Kazaks.

As well as sparing the non-renewable resource, water free cosmetics have other sustainable impacts. "Water free formulas save storage space, reduces the amount of material used in manufacturing packaging and reduces the volume of product in each package - which increases the number of items that can be stored or put on shelves", says Moraes. She also notes that this type of product is not yet exploited by smaller, independent brands, but she believes it will be done in the future. "It’s a matter of changing habits, accepting it and raising awareness", she says.

According to Beraca’s manager, water free cosmetics are a growing trend all over the world. She mentions successful examples, such as indie brand PWDR - which sells powder products only - and DS3 - a brand that became part of multinational company Procter & Gamble and whose slogan is ’Liquid Free Products’. "Brazilian consumers are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of their cosmetics products and it is a matter of time until this demand reaches the national market", says Cyrillo.

Renata Martins


© 2020 - Brazil Beauty News -

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