Mintel's GNPD database have this month thrown up a number of US product launches that have been specially developed for those with allergies, or who just prefer their cosmetics and beauty care products to be more simplistic.
But with the incidence of allergic reactions to certain cosmetic ingredients growing every year, there is good reason for this increase. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America skin test surveys indicate that between 40 and 50 million people in the US suffer from allergies of varying kinds.
According to a survey by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, most commonly reactions to cosmetic products are caused by fragrances and preservatives. The most frequently occuring allergies to fragrances include asthma-like symptoms and skin rashes.
Whatever the cause of those allergic reaction, the cosmetics and personal care has reacted to growing concern over allergies caused by introducing growing numbers of products described as 'hypo-allergenic', 'all natural' or 'fragrance-free'.
Currently around 5,000 different ingredients are used to fragrance cosmetic products, a significant number of which are also known to cause allergic reaction in some users.
Fragrance ingredients known to cause allergies include cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamic alcohol, eugenol, geraniol isoeugenol and oak moss.
The new generation of fragrance-free products are being marketed on the strength of their natural ingredients and the fact that they are unlikely to contain any of the above known irritants.
Primal Elements is launching a new line onto the US market called Sugar Whip Body Cleanser. It comes in a range of fragrances, including Pineapple Punch, Cool Mint and Ruby Red. But aside from the exotic sounding fragrances, it is interesting to see that the line is also being launched in a fragrance-free form.
Kiss My Face, an innovative cosmetics company that has received column inches for its quirky products, is launching a range of soy-based Sof Facial Cleansing bars. This fragrance-free also contains shea butter and is available from health food stores and mail order.
Staying with soaps, Avalon Natural Products is launching a Moisture Plus Soap Bar. This line has been reformulated in response to increasing pressure to avoid both preservatives and fragrances. The product is now free from all preservatives, including parabens. Although it does include fragrances such as lavender, lemon and Mint, all of the aroma ingredients are said to be 100 per cent natural. The line also includes a range of other natural ingredients, including shea butter, olive oil and aloe.
But it's not only the smaller, specialized cosmetic retailers who are getting in on the act. Avon has launched a Soothing Relief Body Wash, which is formulated as a hypoallergenic containing aloe and is completely, of course, fragrance-free.
This range of products is from a selection contained on Mintel's Global New Products Database.