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Information and consumer awareness

corresponding

HANA MUŠINOVIĆ
Regulatory & Scientific Manager, International Association of Natural and Organic Cosmetics (NATRUE)

Abstract

Consumers are increasingly raising their expectations of a cosmetic product, and in doing so are looking to better inform themselves upon health, ethical and environmental attributes of a product. It is important to note that every cosmetic product placed on the market must be assessed as safe by law, and be in a position to demonstrate this when asked by an authority within EU Member States. Cosmetic product packaging is the first point of contact for a consumer before trying it and the place where consumers want, and should, acquire useful but not misleading information about the product. Since there is no official definition of natural and organic cosmetics (NOC), private labels exist that can help consumers differentiate greenwashed claims and find real NOC.


Consumers are increasingly raising their expectations of a cosmetic product, and in doing so are looking to better inform themselves upon the perceived health, ethical and environmental attributes of a product. This trend can be referred to as conscious consumerism. Consumer perception can inadvertently shape the use of certain raw materials in cosmetics. This is especially notable for certain synthetic substances, such as classes of substances like parabens or silicones, which have been negatively perceived and are viewed as being undesirable.

Conversely, consumers positively perceive substances that are natural or organic, and so from the manufacturer perspective we have seen a growing trend to emphasise naturals whilst indicating the absence of certain synthetics in their product communications; both for conventional or natural and organic cosmetics.

To make an objective and informed decision without being misled the consumer should be equally conscious, as part of their informed decision-making, about what is a baseline legal requirement for all and what is not. For instance, terms like natural or organic are officially undefined and so what is important is t ...




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