Consumers still don’t trust "natural" claims made by beauty brands

Most consumers want to buy natural beauty products but remain sceptical about how they are formulated and tested, according to new figures.

A survey of 1,000 UK and US consumers revealed that 70% of women and 67% of men doubt the honesty behind products labelled as “natural”, with a further 75% of women saying they are more likely to question these types of claims made by beauty companies now than they would have done several years ago.

Issues such as testing, effects of beauty products on the body and honest labelling were all highlighted as concerns in the report titled New Natural by The Innovation Group, the research and innovation unit of J Walter Thompson Intelligence.

Beauty brands may need to do more to convince consumers of the transparency of their product claims or risk losing sales because of scepticism. This includes being honest and open about how products are tested; 76% of women and 65% of men said they were concerned about how companies test their products. Meanwhile, 62% or women and 55% of men said they were concerned about the negative effects of skin, hair and beauty products have on the body.

In all cases, those respondents with young children (aged up to 12 years old) showed the most concern.

The report also revealed four key things consumers are looking for from truly “natural” or “eco-friendly” beauty brands: products that calm consumer anxiety over the perceived risks of conventional products, transparency over ingredients and processes that contribute to making the products, a holistic approach to both health and beauty that will support the consumer’s lifestyle, and a reduction in waste of the systems and processes used to make the products.