All over the world, people are stressed by the drawn-out pandemic. Whether economic hardships, health concerns or travel restrictions, the “new normal” doesn’t feel normal at all. People are longing to reconnect with one another, travel and explore different countries and cultures again. The crisis has also enhanced awareness of what’s most important in life, now and for the future. Topics like health, wellness and sustainability have come into sharper focus than ever. Nature-based and minimalist products are in demand.
But people are also looking for a moment of nurturing and care in our uncertain and often stressful world. Personal care formulation concepts characterized by outstanding sensory profiles and pleasing fragrances, alongside efficacy, have a special appeal. As a globally leading supplier of ingredients for personal care products, BASF has responded to the current mood with a new concept titled “Getting closer.” It is designed to support personal care industry players in developing products that speak to the needs and wishes of consumers in these times as well as in the post-pandemic era.
To address today’s rising environmental awareness, the personal care industry is introducing increasing numbers of sustainably sourced products. In line with this trend, BASF’s Personal Care Division is expanding its portfolio of renewable, plant-based ingredients for personal care manufacturers. These solutions are part of the Responsibly Active program.
The program’s main focus is on botanicals within the company’s bio-actives portfolio. BASF names three main pillars as the basis for the initiative: sourcing of botanicals for new products while protecting natural resources, empowering and respecting people along the value chain and reducing BASF’s operational climate footprint.
Each plant extract has verified efficacy and possesses its own ecosystem, seasonality and lifecycle. Because plants are the essence of the Responsibly Active program, and BASF relies on biodiversity to continue discovering new feedstocks and innovating in the future, sustainable practices are a key component of the business model.
Based on expertise in plant extraction and green processes, BASF’s bio-actives portfolio, which it markets under the brand Care Creations , includes 40 products that are 100% of natural origin according to the ISO16128 standard and more than 20 products that are also approved for the COSMOS label. Over the past three years, the company has launched eight new COSMOS-approved bio-actives. These are suitable for a wide variety of applications, ranging from anti-aging and body-contouring to brightening and grooming products for men.
Ingredients that qualify for eco-labels are particularly relevant in an industry serving well informed and skeptical consumers. Organic certification of sourcing enables full traceability and ensures responsible management of natural resources.
In 2008, Lipofructyl Argan became the first bio-active in the portfolio to receive organic certification. The Morocco-based argan program, launched in 2005, represents an important milestone. It demonstrates how large industry players can work with stakeholders to develop a supply chain with positive long-term environmental, social and business impact. The program continues to guarantee a fair return and significant contribution to the local community through commercialization of three bio-actives derived from the argan tree. About 1,000 women have been involved to date, all of whom are able now to afford healthcare, schooling and other benefits for themselves and their children. The argan oil is certified as a Fair Trade product, in addition to its organic certification.
Less is more
Renewable, nature-based ingredients are predestined to meet the needs of the minimalist cosmetics trend, which is closely aligned with the demand for natural cosmetics. With consumers increasingly calling for pure solutions with a reduced number of ingredients and verified benefits, these solutions enable manufacturers to develop formulations that tap into this huge market potential. The wish to eliminate unnecessary overconsumption and care for the environment also reflects a heightened sense of what truly matters.
Diversity & inclusion
The inclusive beauty trend pays tribute to the fact that people come in all different colors, shapes and sizes – and that’s a good thing. Uniform ideals of beauty and behavior are a thing of the past. Concepts designed to meet widely diverse wishes and lifestyle choices are especially relevant. From young singles to moms raising a family and graying best-agers, inclusive beauty concepts address a huge cross-section and exclude no one.
The “Getting closer” concept developed by BASF is aligned with these trends. It refers not only to people’s need to get together again after a long pandemic, but also seeks to bring together different people who may have been unfamiliar with each other in the past. As we emerge from the pandemic and refocus on pressing challenges such as countering and mitigating climate change, while fostering equality and growth opportunities, these topics are more relevant than ever. As different stakeholders tackle today’s and tomorrow’s global issues, the personal care industry can play an important role.