Survey Reveals Growing Consumer Interest in Environmentally Conscious Beauty Products

Various clean beauty products placed next to leaves

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Dec 22, 2023

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CleanHub has released its 2023 Clean Beauty Survey, revealing significant consumer interest in sustainable beauty products and concern over plastic packaging and other industry-caused waste, among other trends.

The survey gained information from 523 consumers across the U.S., finding that 63% of respondents consider clean beauty — defined as sustainable, safe, and non-toxic skin and cosmetic products — to be “extremely or very important.” In the same vein, the majority of respondents reported that they actively seek information about a given beauty product brand to find out what the company is doing to address relevant environmental issues.

The survey also noted that 40% of consumers claimed that they typically research a beauty brand’s sustainability credentials before making an online or in-store purchase.

Most consumers tend to rely on product labels and packaging in order to check sustainability credentials of a product, with a growing number looking to social media and peers for reviews. The clean beauty industry at large also appears to be seen in a generally positive light by consumers, without major concerns over greenwashing, of which a number of other industries have been recently accused.

Consumers Most Concerned with Packaging Waste, Non-Toxic Ingredients

In line with other findings about how consumers view packaging sustainability, the Clean Beauty Survey found that 81% of shoppers believed that brands should actively work to reduce plastic packaging.

The survey revealed that 120 billion units of beauty plastic packaging are disposed of annually, and consumers are becoming more aware of this issue. Especially as the green packaging market grows and interest in reusable packaging increases, more consumers are reporting a preference for refillable containers for beauty products, with some also suggesting solid-format products without packaging altogether.

The largest obstacle to supporting sustainable packaging was cost. About 47% of respondents claimed that they were willing to pay more for cosmetic products that came in sustainable packaging, but many consumers are still price-sensitive.

Non-Toxic Qualities Top Consumer Priorities

Of all factors considered most important when purchasing products, consumers placed “non-toxic” at the top of the list.

This year, the EPA finalized a reporting rule for PFAS, known as a “forever chemical” that may be harmful to human health and is also commonly found in cosmetic products. The survey report explains that 168 chemicals are used every day by beauty product users, so many consumers seek products with natural ingredients that are not known to be harmful to their own health or that of the environment.

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