Waterless beauty has been the word on the lips of industry insiders for a while. Here, we zoom in on what the waterless beauty movement really means and why these products are a great option for our skin and the planet.
What is waterless beauty?
Put simply, the term waterless beauty relates to products that are free from water. Instead, waterless beauty products are packed full of nourishing natural oils, botanical extracts, and no nasty synthetic chemicals that can do more harm than good.
But why do we need to go waterless? Surely water is good, pure and we use it everyday to cleanse ourselves in our daily rituals. Yes, it’s great and any skincare expert will advise you to drink lots of it to have great skin, but when it comes to the exponential beauty sector, consumption is an issue. Just like most other polluting sectors out there, the beauty industry needs to clean up its act and one way to do this is to turn off the tap when it comes to water.
“Water is one of the most used ingredients in cosmetics, but is becoming a major global concern as demand overtakes supply. Statistics from the UN estimate that two-thirds of the world will be living in water-stressed conditions by 2025. Therefore, it’s imperative for beauty brands to find ways to cut down water usage – whether that’s through reducing or completely removing water in their formulations and replacing it with plant oils or floral waters, or opting for solid formats.” Says Senior Beauty Editor of major trend forecasting hub WGSN, Theresa Yee.
Water makes up to 60-80% of the content of all your everyday lotions and potions, and just think how many half used bottles you might have in your bathroom cabinet at any given time. As much as 11% of the world’s population do not have access to clean water, so evidently there is a great cause to implementing waterless beauty products into mainstream consumption.
Is waterless beauty better for you?
Many facialists and skincare experts will argue that natural ingredients will always triumph when it comes to skincare. With our skin battling pollution and many other stress factors there are many benefits to using purer ingredients that haven’t been watered down. Your skin can therefore soak up all the goodness of natural oils and cleansers, and you can feel a little less guilty by buying organic skincare products.
Waterless beauty products were first pioneered in Korea - celebrated for their potency - this concept is now stretching to western markets with companies such as L’Oreal aiming to cut water consumption 60% by 2020. “Washing hair requires a lot of water and one brand who is tackling this head on is OWA Haircare. The company has created an innovative alternative with a powered formulation that contains 0% water. Water makes up about 70% of the ingredients in products, so removing water is not only better for the planet, but the end consumer will also get a more highly concentrated cream or lotion. Brands like Less offer a range of products that contains 100% active ingredients.” Says Yee.
The other benefits of waterless beauty products is that without water, there’s not much need for preservatives to stop bacteria growing, which means what you’re putting on your skin is in fact a lot cleaner and less complex with chemicals. Yee states, “At WGSN we forecast that the waterless movement is set to grow considerably in the coming years, with more brands tapping into this space with innovative waterless sustainable solutions. Water will become a luxury.”
Ecologically the benefits of waterless beauty are definitely worth the taking seriously. The positive effects on our skin also make waterless products an exciting addition to our beauty rituals. It's certainly an innovation that will be here to stay.
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