Inventive… and increasingly green packaging
Is it the publication of the Cosmos European standard on natural and green cosmetics that stimulates the use of recyclable packaging? Be it as it may, things are changing both in terms of packaging and formulas! Beauty, the overpackaging industry, is actually making efforts to pollute less.
People are increasingly more aware of environmental issues: ‘more than 80% of consumers are allegedly more interested in buying a product or choosing a brand that preserves biodiversity and communicates about it” (Source: IPSOS 2015). Major groups know this perfectly well and have been trying to mend their ways, starting with L'Oréal, who has made this a key issue for quite a while. Recyclable packaging and biodegradable formulas are gaining ground. No one will complain about it! Innovative both in terms of content and containers, the cosmetic products to be launched by the end of the year combine, more than ever, aestheticism and environmental concerns. Ecology increases sales, and it can make a difference when consumers need to choose between two products.
‘Giants' set the example…
L'Oréal has placed naturalness and ecology at the core of their latest launches, whether for Professional products distributed in hairdressing salons (Kérastase, Pureology, Matrix Biolage) or creations sold in supermarkets (given the volumes, that's good news!), like the latest Garnier SkinActive formulas (3-in-1 Nourishing Honey Botanical Balm, 140ml, €7.80) presented in 100% recyclable jars – provided they are put in the adapted bin – and free from any useless packaging.
As an example, the Kérastase Aura Botanica line comprises hair treatments containing 98% natural ingredients. The actives are purchased following the principles of eco-responsible sourcing and the formulas offer 97% biodegradability, on average (Bain Micellaire Shampooing Aromatique Doux – Gentle Aromatic Shampoo, 250ml, €22.50; Soin Fondamental Après-Shampooing Infusion de Nutrition – Nourishing Conditioner, 200ml, €32.40; Concentré Essentiel Alliance Aromatique d'Huiles Nourrissantes – Nourishing Hair Oil, 50ml, €36; Essence d'éclat Huile en Brume Hydratante – Moisturizing Oil-Mist, 100ml, €38.72).
The eco-responsible packaging is lighter, which reduces the use of plastic. The cap itself saves 45 tonnes of plastic per year. For example, the Aura Botanica Bain Micellaire has become the first Kérastase product to be packed in 100% PCR plastic (Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic).
The same goes for Pureology hair care products, which offer vegan, sulphate-free formulas and 100% recycled and recyclable bottles (three ranges: Moisturization, Repair, Shininess, Shampoo, 250ml, €17; Conditioner, 250ml, €20; Mask, 150g, €28), and the Matrix Biolage R.A.W. range, which contains up to 100% natural ingredients obtained with green chemistry processes, and whose containers are made with recycled plastic and are 100% recyclable (Nourish, Recover, or Replenish Shampoo, 325ml, €20; Nourish, Recover, or Revitalize Treatment, 325ml, €26).
The packs are manufactured in a plant committed to sustainable development in order to reduce water waste and consumption. Lastly, up to 99% of the formulas' content is biodegradable.
And with the eco-box, Matrix even invites hairdressers to recycle all their products.
…including in the selective channel
The latest Clarins Double Serum (30ml, €86; 50ml, €116) is presented in an eco-designed double pump-bottle that delivers the right dose to prevent any waste. This exclusive push button system fitted with a wheel makes it possible to personalize the product quantity according to the skin's needs, the climate, the seasons, or simply the face size! To limit the environmental impact, the metal was replaced with a recycled material representing 10% of the pack, the packaging was reduced (the internal wedge and the instructions were removed to reduce by 50% the weight of the case made of cardboard derived from sustainably managed forests), and the production and transport phases were optimized. As for the formula, it mostly contains organic and fair trade-certified actives.
Shiseido has also innovated with the environmentally friendly packaging of their latest Waso range intended for Millennials, which contains whole plant cells, so they can keep all their nutrients. The products are presented in jars, tubes, and bottles with a handle, so they can be hung everywhere, like it-bags (Invisible Ultra-Moisturizing Cream with carrot, 50ml, €41.80; Color-Smart Day Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF30, 50ml, €41.80; Quick Matte Moisturizer, Oil-Free with loquat leaves, 50ml, €41.80; Soft + Cushy Polisher with tofu, 75ml, €31.20; Quick Gentle Cleanser with honey and a royal jelly extract, 150ml, €31.20; Fresh Jelly Lotion with white Tremella, 150ml, €31.20).
The containers look particularly beautiful and original, and they can easily become part of consumers' daily lives. These 24/7 skincare products can be used anywhere, anytime, while doing something else. Today's young women carry out their rituals in their bathrooms, in bed, or elsewhere – hence the creation of this ‘handle', which takes on a symbolic dimension, with the idea of being able to grab the bottle and take it anywhere with you, or hang it anywhere that seems convenient to you. In addition, the bottle caps were devised to be easy-to-use: they can be opened with one hand and the bottles can be placed upside-down.
Same form/content coherence for the creator of botanical beauty
After an eco-designed Shower Gel (a bottle containing 25% of recycled plastic – such a concentrated formula that only a knob of product will do for a shower, 100ml, €3.50), Yves Rocher has just launched the Élixir de Jeunesse line, putting the spotlight on the repairing, anti-pollution Aphloia over-concentrated extract derived from a botanical, sustainable, responsible Malagasy supply chain. The six formulas contain over 90% natural ingredients. The jars are made of recyclable glass and the bottles contain 25% of recycled plastic (Repair + Anti-Pollution Day Cream, 50ml, €35.80; Double Action Essence, 30ml, €35.80; Micellar Cleansing Lotion, 200ml, €11; Recovery Treatment – Sleeping Care, 50ml, €35.80; Anti-Asphyxiation Flash Mask, 75ml, €25.80; Reviving Roll-On for Eyes, 15ml, €25.80).
In this overview, we cannot but include the Léa Nature Group, who have always been using recycled packaging and conditioning systems made of plant-based plastic (based on sugar cane-derived ethanol) for their flagship brands: So'Bio étic, Natessance (hygiene and hair care), and Floressance.
Eco-designed packaging made with plant-based PE contributes to preserving the environment upstream (one hectare of sugar cane = three tonnes of plant-based plastic = CO2 reduction of 7.5 tonnes). Manufacturing a 100% plant-based plastic bottle – a renewable material – produces 75% less CO2 than a standard bottle. But recycled PET preserves the environment downstream as well. It gives a second life to yellow bin plastics, which remain 100% recyclable. Recycling one tonne of PET bottles saves 830 litres of oil (source: Consoglobe).
Natessance has developed 100% plant-based packaging for their sulphate-free shower gel and shampoo: in addition to drying the skin, sulphates are hardly biodegradable and harm the environment (latest launches: Gel Lavant sans savon pour bébé – soap-free cleansing gel for babies, 500ml, €8.35; Shampooing Extra-Doux Coco & Kératine végétale – botanical keratin & coco gentle shampoo, 250ml, €4.99).
As for conditioners, they are presented in plant-based tubes (Après-Shampooing Extra-Doux Coco & Kératine végétale – botanical keratin & coco gentle conditioner, 150ml, €9.80).
And among the latest So'Bio étic creations offering biodegradable, sulphate-free formulas packed in plant-based plastic tubes, there is a new hair care range available: a shampoo with sweet almond for soft hair – all hair types, a shampoo with shea butter for nourished hair – dry to very dry hair, a shampoo with guarana for fortified hair – normal to weakened hair, a shampoo with verbena for purified hair – oily hair and scalp, 250ml, €4.95 each; conditioners with sweet almond for soft hair or with shea butter for nourished hair, 200ml, €5.95 each.
They have also created creamy shower gels (Argan & Orange Blossom, Almond & Honey, Verbena & Lemon, 300ml, €3.85 each). All these products are subject to the ‘1% for the Planet' tax: a volunteer taxation movement followed by companies that undertake to remit 1% of their turnovers to environmental protection organizations.
Ariane Le Febvre© CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques