Do women really read beauty product labels looking for harmful ingredients?
According to a study released Thursday, nearly 60 percent say they do.
The Green Beauty Barometer study, conducted by natural beauty brand Kari Gran which polled 1,000 women in the U.S., shows nearly six in 10 U.S. adult women read beauty product ingredient labels prior to purchase, and nearly 40 percent intend to increase their spend for all-natural beauty products.
“For the last several years shoppers have become more conscious about what they put in their body through food consumption, and that’s spilled over to a greater awareness for what they put on their body,” said Lisa Strain, cofounder of the Kari Gran eco-luxe skin-care and makeup brand. “We started the Kari Gran brand with an intent to fill a niche, but really, it’s no longer a niche. This is mainstream. This is where beauty is going. Consumers are more aware and cautious as ever about chemical ingredients, and it’s not going to be business as usual.”
When asked to identify which ingredients they look for on beauty labels, women said the most-watched-for ingredient was sulfates. Nearly three in 10 women — 29 percent — seek to avoid sulfates, followed by parabens, avoided by 22 percent; synthetic fragrances, avoided by 18 percent; PEG compounds, avoided by 15 percent and mineral oil, avoided by 11 percent.
The interest in ingredients span a wide age range: 65 percent of women ages 35-54 claim they read beauty product labels, followed by 63 percent of women 18-34; 59 percent of women aged 45-54; 55 percent of women aged 65-plus, and 52 percent of women aged 55-64. The study found that Millennials — women aged 18-34 — are the most likely to spend more on all-natural beauty products in the next two years, with half of them claiming they will. This is compared to 44 percent of women aged 35-44, 34 percent of women aged 55-64, 31 percent of women aged 45-54 and 30 percent of women aged 65-plus.
When asked how important it was to purchase all-natural products among particular beauty categories, skin care came out on top, with 54 percent of women claiming it is important their skin-care product purchases are all natural. This was followed by all-natural hair care at 49 percent, makeup at 40 percent, fragrance at 31 percent and nail-care products at 26 percent.
About 24 percent noted it was “very important” their skin-care product purchases are all natural, while 30 percent ranked it “somewhat important.” Among those who deemed it important, Millennials led the charge at 63 percent, followed by women aged 35-44 at 58 percent. Geographically, 62 percent of women in the Western U.S. claimed it was important, followed by 54 percent of those in the South, 51 percent of those in the Northeast and 48 percent in the Midwest.
Of those who purchase beauty products in department stores, 17 percent say they are “not very” or “not at all” satisfied by the volume of natural beauty products found there. This is compared to 14 percent of beauty product shoppers in specialty drug and grocery stores, 13 percent in mass market drugstores and 8 percent of shoppers in specialty cosmetic retailers.
“People need to realize that whatever beauty products they put on their skin are ultimately soaking in to their bloodstream, so it’s incredibly important to be aware of the ingredients,” said Kari Gran, who founded her eponymous line after a medical condition made her question her beauty product regime. “It’s refreshing to see retailers continue to gain interest in all-natural products due to consumer demand — the education and awareness is getting out there.”