Beauty consumers say they care about the ‘sustainability’ of the beauty products they buy but only 51 percent “purposefully purchase recyclable/reusable beauty and personal care products”, according to new research.

The Benchmarking Group research company recently surveyed 7300 beauty consumers in the US “to gauge what steps they’re currently taking and what steps they’d be willing to take to fully embrace a sustainable beauty approach”.

The Group’s key findings include:

Beauty purchase drivers (most popular and least popular)

  • Efficacy – 79 percent
  • Price – 71 percent
  • Consumer claims/positive consumer reviews – 47 percent
  • Sustainable ingredients – 6 percent
  • Sustainable packaging – 3 percent
  • Renewable ingredients – 9 percent

‘Most important’ aspects of sustainable beauty

  • Cruelty free/won’t harm animals – 86 percent
  • Ingredients which won’t harm the earth – 80 percent
  • Ethical manufacturing process – 79 percent
  • Packaging that won’t harm earth – 74 percent
  • Recyclable packaging – 69 percent

Sustainable sacrifices

  • 76 percent of the surveyed beauty consumers said they would sacrifice cute packaging for sustainable packaging
  • 66 percent said they might sacrifice results for a product that is sustainable/better for the environment
  • 44 percent said they were willing to pay up to 10 percent more for sustainable beauty products

Sustainable shopping frequency

  • 56 percent said they ‘sometimes’ specifically look for packaging made with sustainable methods
  • 53 percent said they sometimes research safety of ingredients
  • 52 percent said they sometimes consider the impact of manufacturing on the planet before purchasing beauty/personal care
  • 50 percent said they sometimes pay attention to whether beauty products are made with recyclable materials

The report’s authors concluded that despite their ‘green intentions’, the majority of beauty consumers are not following through at the beauty counter.

“However you approach it (sustainable, recyclable, refillable), today’s beauty consumer is still figuring out how to co-mingle her love of all things beauty with her desire to protect the earth,” the authors said.

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