Free-from cosmetics claims in the spotlight

Free-from cosmetics claims in the spotlight

With this year’s annual FreeFrom Skincare Awards open for nominations and clean beauty increasingly in the spotlight, we take a look at the current state of the consumer enthusiasm for free-from claims.

The Freefrom Skincare Awards aim to celebrate the best skincare products that boast ‘free from’ claims surrounding the absence of allergens and other ingredients that are out of favour with consumers.

Now in its sixth year, its a testament to the rise in consumer focus on naturals and organics when it comes to cosmetics, and ties into the enthusiasm for ‘clean beauty’.

However, with clean eating now under fire from some quarters, the question of whether consumer appetite for free-from claims can remain so robust arises.

The need for positive buzzwords

With the free-from trend predominantly based on marketing claims rather than scientifically-proven safety concerns, industry experts suggest that brands engaged with it need to be careful that they don’t become associated with buzzwords that take on negative connotations.

Jamie Mills, a market analyst with research firm GlobalData, recently told CosmeticsDesign that a savviness when it comes to the claims and terms used to promote a brand or a product portfolio is crucial.

“In light of the recent backlash towards clean eating, implying that some foods are “dirty” and potentially a driver of unhealthy or extreme diets in the quest to eat completely “clean”, there is a risk that “clean” could become a negative buzzword,” she explains.

The expert suggests that other related marketing claims or labels may be more appropriate going forward, and picks out raw, fresh and cold-pressed as some examples.

These, she notes, “can assist in strengthening a natural positioning in a novel way”.

A lazy route

Free-from claims have come under fire from some quarters of the industry for the fear they can provoke in comsumers, turning them away from safe and effective ingredients.

Speaking on the panel in 2015 about the various free from chemicals claims that are made, Dr Barbara Brockway, Special Advisor, IMCD, commented: “To me, the free-from route is the lazy route. Fear sells a product."

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