Waterless cosmetic

« Free » formulations such as « paraben free, preservative free, fragrance free » growth more on more on cosmetic market. Looking for refined and efficient formulas, with short INCI list and free from any controversial substance, consumers are continuously showing interest for new formulations. Focusing on the essential, while respecting resource preservation, products formulated without water is an adequate solution.

Water, a resource to preserve

Environment protection is a constant preoccupation and last consumer studies confirmed it. One of daily engagement in favor to ecology is to decrease our water consumption.

Thus, a Mintel stud, reveal that:

  • 15 % of Spanish consumers are interested in dry use soaps, bath and shower products, rising to 28% of those aged 16-24.
  • 10 % of UK consumers spent less time in the shower and 11% have reduced the amount of water they use compared to three years ago.

(Source: Lightspeed GMI/Mintel. April 2016. Base: Internet users aged 16+; 1,960 UK who have a bathroom, shower room or cloakroom at home; 2,000 UK; 1000 Spain)

And if customers are attentive to their consumption, they expect a same responsible commitment from cosmetic companies.

Water, formulator Suisse knife

Markets evolution foster news, especially in terms of galenic, and allow breaking fundamental cosmetics formulation rules.

Water is the greater part of formulation for economic as well as technical reasons. Indeed, water is at the same time:

  • a solvent,
  • a phase that can be emulsified,
  • a source for skin moisturization,
  • a compatible phase for technical thickener expression…

Water is therefore often use as base to develop various new textures.

Technical challenge to formulate water free products, require a know-how specific to each product type.

Assets of a water free formulation

By choosing a water free formulation, consumer benefits from concrete alternatives on 2 levels concerns:

  • At individual consumer level:
    • Preservative reduction: without water, bacteria growth is not possible, the use of preservatives is therefore not necessary in anhydrous formulas. Moreover, the positive list of authorized preservatives according to EU cosmetic regulation being continuously shorter, consumers are more and more exposed to same few molecules, leading to population sensibilization.
    • Number of products reduction: such as formulas, skin care routine based on water free products tend to minimalism. Water free products being often multi-purpose, sometimes more oily and suitable for a large target, they allow to reduce the number of products used in a bathroom, ensuring money savings.
  • At global environmental level:
    • Ingredient reduction: these minimalist formulas are designed to reduce the use of various additives as well as preservatives. Their reject in environment is therefore reduced in a same way (especially true for wash off products).
    • Packaging reduction: packaging size and format being reduced, the amount of material necessary for packaging production is also significantly decreased. Moreover, water free formulas are often more appropriate for refill, which positively impact the number of packaging consumption necessary for product use.
    • Shipment carbon footprint reduction: Unlike diluted formulations, this kind of product requires less transport, storage, packaging and produces 100 times less CO2 emissions.

Be however careful to respect warning use and recommended dosage of these cosmetics (which are often concentrated), in order to be sure to not overexposed yourself to actives raw materials.