Water is a precious commodity that is quite overlooked. Even when talking about sustainability in personal care, future risk of water shortages are appearing on the headlines. With consumers becoming more aware of these issues, there is a need for new product formulations that require little or no extra water in order to function.
Facial cleansing bars, dry shampoos, non-rinse body washes and solid moisturisers - are all water-saving beauty solutions which are on the rise, however, the next generation of products are set to work without any water at all. The appeal for waterless cosmetics and personal care products are already being seen amongst the younger age groups. In the UK, around 25% of youngsters are interested in dry soap, bath and shower products, and even more so in France (30%). For more on waterless trend for 2025 review this blog here.
Waterless formulations present many opportunities for innovation. Consumers are ready for waterless products, as long as they are performing well and more importantly having great sensorial attributes. Here at Stephenson we see this demand growing among our customers, especially with our recently launched Durosoft Range of ingredients that support product innovation for water-free solid and liquid formats.
What Are the Benefits of Waterless Formulations
Waterless personal care products present opportunities in product development where water is not a key ingredient. In the APAC region especially, many companies are dedicating their sustainability initiatives towards water conservation and exploring and launching waterless formulations. This trend is rooted in the K-beauty industry and has subsequently been embraced by cosmetics brands and consumers worldwide.
Other benefits associated with waterless formulations are: reduction in plastic waste, reduction in costs and aiding the creation of effective products. While American and European brands are showing interest in waste-free and sustainable concepts, consumers’ interest is growing worldwide. The APAC region has seen the greatest NPD increase in this category over the last five years with some consumers ready to pay more for ethical products and brands. For more on this, check our blog here.
#1 Waterless Formulations Offer More Sustainable Solutions
Waterless products are associated with sustainability. While beauty products from the inside can be made more natural and using sustainable ingredients, one of the main reasons why waterless products are popular among consumers, is their perceived effectiveness and convenience among ‘transumers’ or those with on-the-go lifestyles who are looking travel friendly, easy to use, effective and sustainable products in their everyday lives. In the personal care and cosmetics market more and more brands are embracing water-saving efforts and incorporating eco-friendly messaging on-pack. For products that use water-saving formulations, products such as dry masks, facial cleansers and dry shampoos could offer a lot more innovation and provide more sensorial attributes too, if you want to know more contact us to share some product innovation ideas.
#2 Reduction in Costs and More Product Value
From the costs association side, waterless formulations are more stable and less prone to microbial growth, thus potentially reducing the amount of trialling required. There is a reduction of portability costs associated with materials with no water, as they are more concentrated and lighter for transportation, as on-the-go products can be easily stored and transported.
Products with less or zero water, such as solid shampoo bars, lotions and deodorant sticks, are TSA approved to allow them to be packed into hand luggage when passing through airport security screening and thus sought after by consumers offering convenience and reduction of wasted goods.
#3 More Concentrated Products With Less Water
The move towards cosmetics with less/no water products is driven by the rationale that water is inactive. Removing water from the formulations thereby provides more room for beneficial ingredients, such as botanicals and essential oils, and by reducing cost of transport more can be spent on luxury, sustainable, organic or ethical ingredients - offering more value and effective products as a result.
Stephenson Product Innovation
Natural ingredients (DUROSOFT® range) such as emulsifiers, emollients, thickeners and solubilisers can be used for the production of waterless cosmetic product formulations from massage oils, solid lotions, bath melts and facial cleansing oils with natural and sustainable raw material claims. DUROSOFT® technology provides HLB range of 4-17, with vegan, COSMOS approved esters that can be used together to achieve highly effective and innovative final products.
Syndopal or other syndet bases besides their mild characteristics can be used to make cleansing bars as well as solid shampoo bars which are increasingly popular due to low water content and reduction in plastic packaging.
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