How is water accounted for in the formulation of NATRUE certified products?

Unlike other private, voluntary standards for natural and organic beauty products, the NATRUE Label criteria only takes water into account in the calculation of natural substances of a cosmetic product if it comes from a vegetal source (floral waters, plant juices, etc.). By excluding water added to the formulation or used to rehydrate dried plant extracts, the NATRUE Label criteria ensures that natural content of ingredients is neither diluted nor inflated, and it guarantees that each product has maximum natural and organic content across a diverse range of product categories.


Format innovation = less packaging, more sustainability

Water-free cosmetic formulas, particular solid substitutes for traditionally liquid format products, present a great basis for product development and innovation. Increasingly popular solid cosmetics come in formats such as bars, powders, balms and butters that are used in skincare, haircare and make-up. Due to their concentrated formulas, they are usually ‘activated’ with water. Some cleansers and serums in powder form can also be dissolved using other cosmetic products, such as moisturisers. A growing number of solid products are designed to be ‘all-in-one’, multifunctional cosmetics that can be used as body, face and hair care.


The switch of many cosmetics from liquid to these solid formats translates into a drastic elimination of plastic packaging traditionally used in cosmetics products, particularly under the rinse-off category. As opposed to their liquid counterparts, solid shampoos, gels and conditioners are mostly packed in easily recyclable materials such as paper or cardboard, or come in reusable packaging such as metal tins or pots made out of wood or cork.


In terms of transportation, cosmetics in solid, powders and balm formats contribute to reducing the product’s carbon footprint as they occupy much less space than their liquid versions. For leisure travelling, solid and powder cosmetics can be very convenient for consumers because they are not subject to the size limitations of liquid formats.


Developing products with a reduced water or “waterless” footprint is extremely challenging because of the role that water plays in all phases of the production, supply and consumer usage. However, using water more responsibly is the first step towards a significant reduction of the water footprint impact of the cosmetic industry. In 2020, leaders from the conventional cosmetic sector pledged to reduce their water consumption by as much as 60%. On top of water reduction, water reuse and recycling are essential to guarantee that water is used as effectively as possible in all production steps.

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