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Smartphone technology use to increase as mobile platforms become key info source for cosmetics

By Andrew McDougall+

11-Jan-2012

Following consumer reliance on eco-labels, including natural and organic logos, to identify sustainable cosmetic products, a shift is now expected in the coming years as consumers use smartphone technology to get real-time information when buying cosmetic products.

Speaking exclusively with CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com, Organic Monitor president, Amarjit Sahota, explained that the market analyst will be tracking these developments throughout the year in its research and its summits.

“Mobile technology is being used for cosmetic products where consumers are scanning the QR codes on product packaging to get information on the products, ingredients, etc,” he said.

Slow on the uptake

However, the number of cosmetic products with QR codes remains low. Non-profit association in the naturals arena, Natrue, launched its labelling scheme last year, whereby scanning the QR code on cosmetic products automatically gives consumers details on the ingredient composition and formulations.

In the US, the GoodGuide also ranks a large number of cosmetic products in terms of environment, society and health criteria. Each cosmetic product is given a rating from 1-10 on each criteria based on their scientific methodology.

However, in comparison with the food industry, cosmetics are at a far less advanced stage, and Sahota explains that this can be traced to less use of eco-labels also.

“The food industry is at a far more advanced stage in terms of sustainability and eco-labels than the cosmetics industry. For instance, there are over 500 eco-labels representing sustainable foods however there are less than 50 for sustainable cosmetic products,” he said.

Great expectations

“Organic Monitor expects to see a rise in eco-labels in the cosmetics industry (partly because of the rise in natural & organic standards) and then expects mobile technology to cause a tipping point where the number of eco-labels reaches saturation.”

Both mobile technology and eco-labels will be a key feature of Organic Monitor’s sustainability summits in 2012.

It will be addressed in the food industry next week at the Sustainable Foods Summit in San Francisco whilst in cosmetics; the industry will have to wait until May, when the topic of mobile technology will be addressed at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in New York.