Conscious Beauty, the New Generation Cosmetics

Interview with Lorraine Denois, Market & Digital Manager,

What is conscious beauty ?

Historically, it started first with the concept of green beauty, which originated in the belief that natural was better, because it was considered safer for the consumer and for the environment. Then the concept of clean beauty emerged, emphasizing the safety and efficacy of the entire supply chain. For a few years now, this trend has given way to conscious beauty.

Conscious beauty is a marketing word with no legal or standardized definition that has been increasingly emphasized over the last few years as consumers have become more mindful about their consumption. A conscious beauty consumer is committed to evaluating the wider ethical and environmental impact of a purchase with the same gravity as personal priorities. At Seppic, we've adopted the philosophy that it's about applying a thoughtful approach to our cosmetic ingredients: a mix between safety, transparency and ethics.

Why does it meet customer expectations?

More educated, with an easier access to the information thanks to the digital, consumers are more and more interested in knowing how their products are made. Consumers are ready to pay more for sustainable beauty brands as they are increasingly considering it an individual responsibility. The COVID-19 crisis has increased the need for safe ingredients.(1) Moreover we observed during the crisis(2)an increase in the purchase of efficient and recognised products, made with trusted ingredients. These expectations are still required and conscious beauty is now awaited by customers.

According to Fashion Snoops, a trend forecasting agency, the cosmetics industry will be placed under the sign of awareness and responsibility for the year 2023. On the agenda, more and more sustainability, natural ingredients, minimalist formulas, eco-designed packaging and a real reflection on waste management will be asked. Today's consumers are clearly expressing this desire to consume better for themselves but also for the sake of the planet.

Which solutions can Seppic bring to formulators?

As a responsible player in the cosmetics industry, we are working to offer our customers new solutions to help everyone enjoy a healthy life in a healthy environment, and answer our customers' needs. For example, the use of silicone oils declined considerably between 2015 and 2020(3). Our range of unique high purity alkanes from vegetable origin (EMOGREEN™) offers an efficient alternative for formulators to substitute them. Moreover, with easy spreading, non-greasy and non-sticky finish and high naturality and biodegradability scores, they answer to customer’s expectations. The carbon footprint of our emollients was calculated based on the method IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 2007 GWP 100a V1.02 (EcoInvent v2.2 data base) and represented a reduction of minimum 77% of greenhouse gas emission versus classical silicones(4).

Same for emulsifiers, where we see a research of naturality as the most popular emulsifiers used in formulas remain Glyceryl Stearate Citrate , Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate and Cetearyl Glucoside  & Cetearyl Alcohol(3). At Seppic, our natural O/W emulsifiers line of non ionic glycolipids is designed to minimize their environmental impact. Creating highly stable textures and liquid crystal promoters, they bring a lot of benefits to the formulation and to the skin. 

Even in the foaming product category, the new favorite surfactants must be natural, skin-friendly and biodegradable(3). At Seppic, we propose such natural surfactants with clean manufacturing process, biodegradable and low carbon footprint and with a good cleansing power (Sodium Cocoyl Apple or Oat Amino Acids, Caprylyl / Capryl Glucoside, Decyl Glucoside).

To hear you tell it, eco-design of ingredients and conscious beauty are linked?

Of course! For ingredient suppliers, eco-design should be an integral part of the ingredient design. At Seppic, one hundred percent of our new products bring at least one environmental benefit. It can be linked to the sourcing (that we aim to be responsible and ethical) or in the manufacturing process (production wastes valorization, sustainable extraction, …) or even at the end of the product life regarding biodegradability and non ecotoxicity.

Do you think that conscious beauty will evolve again to a new consumer’s mouvement?

Consumers have become aware of the need to limit our impact on biodiversity following the IPCC report and various associations after the extinction of certain species. They also feel the need for more frugality in our consumption of natural resources, whether water, energy or the exploitation of the botanical world. Little by little, we see that science at the service of nature takes on a new dimension. It is no longer demonized, but rather meets different actual needs. The first need is for performance where natural equivalents do not exist, but it also responds to the problems of consumer sensitivity for ingredients and formulas with a controlled and mastered toxicological profile. Finally, it seems to be one of the solutions to tomorrow's environmental challenges.

At Seppic, we believe in the link between science and nature to design ingredients. We rely on four technological pillars to design our ingredients for a conscious innovation: marine biotechnologies, botanical extraction, plant-based chemistry and polymer science.

References :

(1) Ingredients Trends in Beauty and Personal care, Mintel, 2021

(2)The Future of Facial Skincare, Mintel, 2021 

(3)Mintel extraction evolution of ingredients used between 2015 and 2020

(4) Greenhouse gas emissions of silicones assessed based on the type of feedstock data coming from available public sources (Global Silicon Council)


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