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At this year’s edition of Cosmoprof India, Tanya Rajani, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst, presented Mintel’s latest research on India’s Clean Beauty market.

Cosmoprof India is a major B2B event for the fast-growing beauty market in India, with over 300 renowned brands from 12 countries presenting their latest novelties at the three-day event. 

Over the last two years, health and safety have been brought to the fore, making consumers look for beauty products that are safer for their hair and skin. This shift in consumer behaviour has generated consumer interest in ‘clean beauty’. In her keynote presentation on the Cosmotalks stage, Rajani took a deep dive into some of the key trends and opportunities that can fuel the growth of clean beauty in India:

Defining ‘clean beauty’

Clean beauty is still a vague term within the industry, and its interpretation varies to suit the locality where it has spread. The clean concept in India has closely tied itself to ‘natural’, as natural ingredients continue to be a high selling point with consumers. However, Mintel research shows that 72% of Indians agree that it is hard to tell if a product is truly a clean beauty product. Furthermore, consumers think of clean beauty as just a fad or a trendy label being used by brands (59% and 69%, respectively).

Clean beauty is still a new concept in India and is predicted to grow further in the coming years. More education and awareness are required to help consumers identify them better and attract them to this concept.

Focus on safety to drive clean beauty segment

According to Mintel’s COVID-19 Tracker, 93% of Indian consumers agree that COVID-19 has made them more conscious of both health and safety. With safety being a fundamental consideration for Indian consumers, clean beauty brands must build on their safety proposition. Backing this up with certifications, logos, clinical trials, and advanced science and technology can help establish clean beauty as a safer option compared to traditional beauty products.

Cruelty-free awareness campaign for LATAM countries (Source: Bunny Lovers)

Attaching a clear purpose, such as being safer to use, can also help target new consumers whose interest in health and safety is expected to linger post-pandemic.

Build the movement beyond ‘natural’

The natural narrative is deeply ingrained among clean beauty Indian consumers, with 68% of them agreeing that natural and clean beauty products are the same. But Rajani notes that being natural is not enough to lead the clean beauty movement forward. Clean beauty brands have an opportunity to focus more on free-from claims and proving the authenticity of their ingredients, as Mintel Global Consumer research shows that 39% of Indian consumers would trade up for beauty products that provide information on ingredient sourcing.

“Once consumers are well versed with clean beauty, brands can look beyond the focus on natural ingredients and attempt to trade them up to newer tenets of clean beauty such as organic ingredients, ingredient sourcing and sustainability initiatives,” she said.

Indian clean beauty brand Juicy Chemistry utilises social media to drive education around its organic positioning (Source: Juicy Chemistry/Instagram)

Panel discussion on the evolution of OEM/ODM Manufacturing

In addition to the expert keynote presentation, Murtaza Bakir, Mintel’s Country Head for India & Sri Lanka, moderated a panel discussion titled, “Evolution in OEM/ODM Manufacturing and the Key to Innovation going forward”. 

Panellists include senior business leaders from beauty brands such as REGI Cosmetics, Intercos, B-Kolor and Colorbar, where they discussed, among others, the importance of contract manufacturing as a valuable partner in the fast-evolving beauty market and the impact of the “lipstick effect” to OEM/ODM during a recession.