“People want beauty products to be more ethical,” Sagentia research

October 23, 2019

Most British adults (79%) say personal care and beauty brands should put more effort into manufacturing their products in an ethical and sustainable way, according to new findings from Sagentia.

The sentiment was shared by men and women, and was consistent across all age groups. However, female respondents felt significantly more strongly about the issue than men, with 85% versus 73% saying more effort should be made.

The company commissioned a poll of 2,029 Brits to find out what matters most when they’re choosing personal care products such as body wash, cleansers, moisturiser or shaving gel.

Responses indicate that when people are buying personal care products, ethical and sustainability credentials (34%) are just as important as sensory characteristics, such as fragrance (31%). However, value for money (67%) and functional benefits, such as helping skin or hair problems (54%), are top priorities for most people.

Sagentia spokesperson Matt Herd says the findings show how the growing public discussion about climate change is moving mainstream. It’s changing how people think about the products they use and what they expect from brands. He believes people want personal care and beauty products that they can feel good about using.

“According to our findings, most people agree that personal care and beauty brands have a responsibility to do more,” Herd explains. “However, younger people aged 18-24 seem more inclined to take practical steps in this vein. We found that 33% would like to personalise the way packaging is sourced, for instance to make it more environmentally friendly.”
Herd acknowledges that many leading personal care and beauty brands have published sustainability reports and objectives. However, he says the research findings indicate that people want to see practical evidence of change, rather than corporate statements.

“It’s all very well having a company ethos that talks about sustainability, but it needs to filter down to the products too,” he says. “Packaging is one part of this. But it’s also important to think about the ingredients used in personal care and beauty products – where do they come from, how they are sourced. This is a complex issue, but consumers expect the brands they trust to tackle it head-on.”

Sagentia is a product and technology development consultancy which has worked with brands including Unilever and Nu Skin. It’s part of the Science Group.

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About Science Group

Science Group offers independent advisory and leading-edge product development services focused on science and technology initiatives. Its specialist companies Sagentia, Oakland Innovation, OTM Consulting, Leatherhead Food Research and TSG Consulting collaborate closely with their clients in key vertical markets to deliver clear returns on technology and R&D investments.