From the series "Elfriede Dambacher column"
Have you ever wondered what the car industry has in common with the cosmetics sector? Even if not immediately obvious, both sectors use the same raw material: mineral oil. It is used to fractionate diesel and petrol for combustion engines and to make quite a few ingredients and additives for the cosmetics sector. For decades, paraffin, silicon oils, polyethylene glycols or synthetic micro waxes were regarded as a guarantee of quality. But mineral oil has fallen into disrepute as a result of too many scandals, like the high CO² emissions from combustion engines, synthetic substances in cosmetics or microplastics in the ocean. But now, in the same way as in the automotive industry, a turning point is looming in the cosmetics industry and a replacement for mineral oil needs to be found. In cosmetics, it is increasingly being replaced by vegetable oils and waxes. But even if renewable raw ingredients are used instead of mineral oil, this certainly doesn't mean that the cosmetics are natural. Apart from having “clean” ingredients, natural and organic cosmetics are also about credibility and transparency. Nowadays, informed consumers also want to know who they are dealing with. And they want a look behind the scenes,
So for natural and organic cosmetics brands and retailers, authenticity has top priority. Consumers want to know what makes companies tick. It’s only logical that this is not something to be conveyed just via product quality but also has to incorporate other aspects. Consumers are looking for “clean” brands that they can trust - across the board. The car industry is certainly not a good role model in this context.
Elfriede Dambacher, owner of the Naturkosmetik Konzepte consultancy and an international industry expert, is the publisher of the Natural and Organic Cosmetics Annual Report and the quarterly Natural and Organic Cosmetics Trade Monitor.