Category Insight: Natural and sustainable glycerin soaps on the rise

With consumers shopping for more ethical, sustainable, natural and vegan products, brand transparency is a key to winning over future consumers. From information on ingredients to ethical sourcing, consumers’ buying decisions are being influenced by choosing transparent brands. In this blog, we explore trends and solutions for sustainable soaps and personal care products.

Brand Transparency and Ethical Sourcing in Personal Care Market

With sustainability in mind, brands have also started reviewing their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) especially across sustainability commitments and ethical practices, as selling a great beauty product is no longer enough. Current and future consumers are looking for brands and products that support and reflect their sustainability concerns and values. In fact, Mintel shows that in the US, 59% of US iGens and Millennials have stopped buying products from a brand/retailer if they believe they are unethical.

Brand transparency is being placed on top when it comes to consumer buying behaviour. More meaningful consideration is being given to ingredients, ethical sourcing and packaging. This is primarily due to the popularity of natural and organic products and the drive for ethical and sustainable importance, especially among younger consumers. With sustainable, natural and vegan claims on the rise, there is a growing demand for soap and other personal care products with sustainable palm oil and other alternative oils.

Sustainable RSPO palm oil products on the rise

Palm oil is one of the most controversial natural ingredients heavily used in personal care but linked to deforestation and other issues. However, palm oil and its derivatives are dominating in the personal care market and brands are promoting the use of sustainable palm oil.

According to Mintel GNPD research,the beauty and personal care market have seen an increase in NPD (new product developments) using sustainable RSPO certified palm and palm kernel oils with a 30% increase of products launched with sustainable palm oil (RSPO certified) from 2016 to 2018. Most product launches have covered EU and USA regions, with some interest in UAE. While bar soaps are dominating new product launches, products featuring sustainable RSPO certified ingredients this year are appearing in skincare, haircare and even colour cosmetics applications.

If you would like to know more about RSPO certified products, check our blog: Knowledge Corner- Everything you need to know about sustainable palm oil.

Palm and Palm Kernel Oil

Other Trending Ingredients - Coconut, Sunflower and Rapeseed Oils

While RSPO certified palm oil products are on the rise, conventional palm oil in beauty and soap products has faced many controversies compared to other natural and sustainable oils.

According to Mintel’s GNPD research in Europe and North America, new personal care product launches purely using coconut oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil and other oils had nearly tripled from 2016-2018. Products are also dominated by bar soaps, however, body washes and scrubs derived from these oils are launched as well.

Oils for skin

Oils for skin – Image Credit: @primal_harmony Photo by Chelsea Shapouri

Sustainable Soap Bases and Ingredients by Stephenson

Stephenson, the speciality soap and natural ingredients manufacturer, has experienced brands’ interest in formulating soap and skincare products with alternative oils, but also a higher demand for RSPO certified products. This switch occurred primarily due to consumers demanding more locally sourced and sustainable solutions. As a result, Stephenson offers an improved formulation for Crystal base derived from rapeseed and coconut oils - Crystal RC and RSPO segregated certified Crystal SP SG base made using sustainable palm oil. Other sustainable melt and pour soap bases include Crystal OMP, COSMOS certified organic soap base, and Rebatch (RSPO SG) cold process soap base.

Similarly, Stephenson offers emulsifiers for skincare, cosmetics and haircare applications using sustainable ingredient line, Durosoft. The unique range of ingredients offers the only RSPO SG certified emulsifiers in the market and emulsifiers derived from organic rapeseed and sunflower oils.

Enquire about sustainable glycerin soap bases here

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